There is a common misconception that flipping the classroom simply means replacing class lectures with recorded video. While this can, and often does, form an element of the flipped pedagogical model, there is a LOT more to it. And in turn, a LOT more opportunities to mould and adapt the flipped learning model to your teaching style, to your individual students and to your school’s goals and culture. In this short but delightfully concise video starring flipped learning legends Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, we can see that the flipped classroom is a much more fundamental shift than simply throwing a few videos at students.
How we utilize and arrange our physical classroom space is a fascinating subject in and of itself. In the case of the flipped classroom there is no specific furniture arrangement or setup, but more of an objective. This objective is to remove the focus on the teacher and put the focus onto learning.
The classroom in all of those situations is a presentation station. It’s not a center of learning. When we rethink the space of the classroom, we’re reorienting how the classroom is used, where the front of the classroom is or where the front of the classroom isn’t.
With this change of space and shift in focus, comes a very different style of teaching where all of a sudden there is a lot more time available for other forms of learning.
What we want to encourage you to do is to think about ways you can get your students engaged in some of the higher order thinking. The higher tiers of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The analysis and application and evaluation and creation components. All within the context of the content that they’ve already learned before they come to class, in better ways, with an expert in the room. A content area expert and a learning expert. And that expert is you.
So getting started does not mean you need to rearrange your desks first thing tomorrow. But it is an opportunity to start rethinking your role and how you and your students can start using class time to best effect.
In short, a flipped classroom is a way for teachers to transition into the role of facilitator, becoming that guide on the side. We really see the flipped classroom as a transitional tool for educators to move away from being the center of attention in the classroom and move that attention onto students and onto the learning that’s happening in those classrooms.
Feature image Time icon designed by Richard de Vos for The Noun Project.