In catching up on my pedagogical reading, I ran across the idea of the flipped classroom and was very intrigued by the idea of the 21st-century teacher as a learning coach rather than as a presenter of content.
This article from The Daily Riff –written by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, the two Colorado teachers who came up with this approach—gives their perspective of the challenges that led them to literally flip the way they use their time in the classroom. As many of you know, the idea is for teachers and students to use classroom time to work together on assignments, group projects, and other learning activities, based on the premise that students will have used their time at home to watch lectures online. Income disparities, home life challenges, and the digital divide among the student body can present challenges to this model, as discussed in this thought-provoking article in Mind/Shift about whether the flipped model can benefit low-income classrooms.
The main thing that struck me in reading about the flipped classroom is that teachers and students alike report a new degree of human connectedness, a key ingredient to learning and success. How many of us can point to a particular teacher in our past who saw our gifts and encouraged them, helping us to become the people we are today? On the face of it, the flipped classroom takes this to heart and makes it the central part of the classroom experience.
If you’ve had experience with this model, please share your thoughts with us. And check in again in two weeks for more from TFCB!