Flip It! The Flipped Classroom Model is for Everyone

“Will a flipped classroom work in your subject and grade level?

We think the answer is yes.

Here’s why.”


In The Flipped Class: Is Flipping for Everyone?, hosts Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams demonstrate basic ways subject-area educators can apply the flipped classroom model to their teaching practice. Bergmann and Sams are veteran educators and pioneers of the flipped classroom.

The Flipped Class: Is Flipping for Everyone?

Never heard of a Flipped Classroom?

The premise is quite simple: take the traditional balance of class/homework time, and flip it around.

In a typical classroom, the majority of class time is spent delivering content, while skills practice is assigned as homework. In a flipped classroom, content and lesson delivery takes place outside of school—frequently in the form of a video lesson—while hands-on, collaborative work and projects take place in the classroom.

Here’s what it looks like in practice: the teacher records and shares the lesson with students, students watch the lesson before class, students spend class time on applied learning activities, teacher spends class time facilitating and supporting students during activities.

“The key question and the one I’ll start off every discussion about flipped learning with, is what is the best use of your face-to-face class time? I would argue, at least in my case, that it was not me standing in front of my students yakking. That was not the correct answer; the correct answer was hands-on activities, inquiry- and project-based learning, and all those things that we have known that research has borne out to be effective and meaningful and important,” said Bergmann in a 2012 interview with The Journal.

Differentiated instruction is a big benefit of the flipped classroom model. “Having a flipped classroom in place gives students control over the pace in which they are exposed to content,” says Sams. If you’re a teacher, you know how important it is that every student understands the content that’s being taught. But in a class of 20+ students, what is the likelihood that everyone will be absorbing information at the same pace? Slim to none.

With the help of virtual learning aids and video delivery, students can choose how, when and where they engage with a lesson. They can replay content they don’t understand, skip through content they’ve already got a grasp on, and revisit previous lessons to scaffold learning. They can choose to watch the video at home, at the library, anywhere, at any time of the day, in order to best meet their learning needs.

Taking the leap to a flipped classroom model can be intimidating, but as the movement grows, so do the number of resources available to teachers who want to get started. Is Flipping for Everyone? is part of a larger series from Edutopia called the Flipped Learning Toolkit. In it, Bergmann and Sams share strategies to get stakeholders on board, formative assessment tools, programs for recording and delivering lessons, and how to overcome common challenges.

Whether you’ve already successfully adopted the flipped classroom model, or are just becoming acquainted with it, there is something to be learned from it’s rapid and successful growth in classrooms across the country: differentiated instruction and active, project-based class time makes education more effective and engaging.


Feature image courtesy of Unsplash, JJ Thompson.

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