Flipped education is a hot topic since the story of successful flipping at Clintondale High School went public.
The very idea of a flipped classroom turns the whole learning process upside down. Homework is not done at home anymore. Students watch teachers’ lectures at home and do the so-called “homework” in class. Teachers record video lessons for students to take at home on their smartphones and tablets or in the school’s computer classroom. In class, they do projects, exercises or lab experiments in small groups receiving constant guidance from the teacher.
By the way, you’re also welcome to watch the video on Flipped Education.
Everything new, different or unordinary is usually criticized. At the same time flipped education is quite another matter: the only controversial point about it is a way of implementing. So, few if any doubts if it’s worth it or not. Which is not surprising as the results of deploying flipped education are just fantastic! One has only to take a look at this striking example.
The Clintondale High School had been designated as among the worst 5 percent in Michigan. That year, more than half of ninth graders had failed science, and almost had half failed math. To change the situation for the better, Clintondale’s ninth-grade teachers decided to flip their classes.
The results were dramatic: the failure rate in English dropped from 52 percent to 19 percent; in math, it dropped from 44 percent to 13 percent; in science, from 41 percent to 19 percent; and in social studies, from 28 percent to 9 percent.
In 2011, Clintondale flipped completely — every grade, every class. With flipping, failure rate dropped from approximately 30% to under 10%. Graduation rates rose dramatically, and are now over 90 percent. College attendance went from 63 percent in 2010 to 80 percent in 2012.
Flipping a classroom changes several things.
- One is what students do at home. The school uses videos, audio files and readings as homework. Many students do not ask questions in class, worried they will look dumb. But they can watch a video over and over to get things right without a fear.
- Flipped classroom frees up class time for hands-on work. Students learn by doing and asking questions. Instead of presenting the information in class and having students work on projects at home, where they don’t necessarily have support, in class, one-on-one or in small groups, teachers can help and guide them through the learning process. Students can also help each other, which benefits both the advanced and less advanced learners.
- Flipping also changes the distribution of teacher time. In a traditional class, the teacher engages with the students who ask questions — but it’s those who don’t ask who need the most attention. Now it’s a lot harder for students to hide. The teacher can see pretty much where every student’s understanding is and how to help them.
Thanks to highly positive feedback flipped education gains popularity and has a fair chance for existence. However it’s never just black and white. Don’t lose your head inspired by breathtaking statistics. First of all make sure that this is the right thing to do in your case – both for you and your learners.
What do you think?
This blog post is based on articles devoted to Flipped Education by Tina Rosenberg, the Pulitzer Prize winner.