Researching the Flip Model- What’s So Good About It?

As I have been looking for ideas on the “Flipped model,” the educational philosophy, and raw data support, I found it hard to search out. Yes I have found Nings, social groups, twitter feeds, and blogs here and there on the flipped model, but not as much as I would using other alterations of educational reform (phonics, whole language, project based learning, and 21st century learning, the list can go on and on…). What I have realized is this:

A: The “Flipped” model is a term of relatively recent use.

B: It has existed for years before the term, “Flipped” stuck.

So, I held up my search for “Flipping” the room and took a look at what “Flipping” represents. Doing this, I was able to find a lot of information on why I am pushing this flipped idea. Thoughts on what activities to use instead of Direct Instruction and what learning philosophies I can employ to benefit my kids, began to find its way on my mac screen. Here are some resources that I have pulled that support the “Flipping” model.

  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy Model– Basic Bloom’s Taxonomy supports Flipped in the sense that a flipped classroom puts emphasis on using class time for higher order thinking skills, where students have a teacher to help and students with which to collaborate,  and frontloads the lower order thinking skills for the homework before a class even begins.
  2. Students Thrive on Cooperation and Problem Solving: A good article written by Bob Pearlman for Edutopia. PBL or Project based learning in the flipped model supports technology to create, “Just in Time” learning and differentiation to the projects and allows for collaboration and engagement in the classroom, where otherwise it is difficult to find room in a traditional classroom for such instruction.
  3. Letting Go in the Classroom– A blogpost by Rebecca Alber on Edutopia that outlines constructivist thought and its potential benefits to the classroom.
  4. What do Teacher’s who flipped have to report? a graphic put out by the Flipped Learning Network to Represent teacher’s thoughts on the model.
  5. Flipping the Classroom… A Goldmine of Resources– Michael Gorman wrote a very substantial resources blog from which I gleaned my own inspiration to add to. Many thoughts of what I found meaningful in Flipped learning… as well as some articles I see as somewhat missing the mark to technological blending in schools. One thing however is for sure, the people featured in these articles would rather have done something and possibly be wrong, than do nothing and wonder what could have been.

In the end, to say that flipped is just assigning lectures as homework and homework as class time is too simplistic. It goes without saying that to claim that, “flipping is the end-all-be-all savior of education” is nonsense. To simply assign videos and have the kids come in to discuss and “Play School” is not what makes this work.  As teachers, we need to do what is inherently best for our kids, and not allow technology to do the work for us. This includes deciding what media (podcast, text, ppt, etc..) would be a good delivery model, notes and graphic organizers, and extending activities that make the learning contextual. What the flipped model does do is provide a framework, where the following can occur:

  • Guided Practice: Students spend the majority of class time practicing and applying material with an “expert” to help them see the big picture. Constructivist thought is guided to correct misconceptions of material and differentiate as needed based on questions proposed by the student.
  • Allows for students to take the material at their own pace– with pause buttons and replays.
  • Increases student engagement in the classroom by giving, “just in Time” learning in which teachers coach learning in context and not isolated tid bittery.
  • Allows the teacher to do more than just perform, but do what they aspired to do in the first place, play an interactive role in a child’s education.

Could you think of some other positive outcomes to this model?

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