Homework at School, Lessons at Home: Flipped Learning

The goal is that students are able to learn by and for themselves. Turning traditional teaching upside down. Achieving that students come to class to practice what they have learned at home by themselves using all the resources at their disposal and of course new technologies: videos recorded by their teachers, Internet, digital resources, etc. This is what is called “flipped learning” upside-down learning: classroom assignments, lessons at home.

The aim is to increase the commitment of the students, to make them feel they belong to a common project in which all of them can contribute with something and in which they come to class and participate with the aim of extending their skills, not to take a master class passively.

Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are the creators of this concept almost nine years ago. With the traditional system of learning  the class focused primarily on the teacher, what made them feel uncomfortable, everything revolved around them, students did not have the prominence it deserved. In addition, some children lost classes due to the huge number of extracurricular commitments they had, which delayed the course rythm.

That was the beginning. Their idea was from the very beginning that no child lost a single class, that all those who had the opportunity and ability to learn independently of the teacher could do it.

If you ask them exactly what the Flipped Learning is they will respond many things, so many that it is sometimes difficult to follow them. But, summarizing it, what they mean is the following:

Flipped Learning transfers ownership of knowledge to students. It customizes teaching for each.

It gives teachers more time to explore new teaching methods with their students. Makes learning the star of the class. Maximizes student-teacher interaction time.

If a teacher used to address a few years back about 30 pupils, explaining the lesson to them and answering their questions, this has now become an absolute one-to-one: teachers  address each one individually at home, which leaves them more free time to interact with each student during class. Interactions can be: teacher-student, student-student or student-content.

And no, the Flipped Learning is NOT just about video. It is about education quality.

In classes where this system has been implemented (worldwide but, very specifically, in the U.S. and northern Europe) the results are immediate: students califications have improved significantly in virtually all cases. And the most extraordinary thing is that:

  1. Class discussions reach very high levels of critical thinking.
  2. There is great teamwork among students, who range from one group to another according to which discussion interest them most.
  3. The interest in content has increased since they are framed into a context, they relate to the real world.
  4. It is a challenge for students to learn how to relate and argue with each. They cooperate with those who are a bit behind, use the material as of their own and teach each other without anyone asking them to do it.
  5. They often go beyond what is required by the curriculum, learning more than in the traditional way.
  6. Students turn from passive listeners to active learners.

In this model the most important thing is that students are intermediaries between their own personal learning characteristics and their achievements. Between what they can become and what they do actually become.

It is what is called a Self-regulated Learning model for students (Pintrich and Zimmerman).  A system that aims for children to take responsibility in their own learning and develop it in a continuous way.

It is all well explained by one of its authors in this video:

Is this the educational model of the future? Is this the beginning of change?

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