Why Flipped Learning Can’t Replace Good Teaching
Flipped learning is a well-established approach to education that has been trending upward for more than a decade. In a flipped learning classroom, students learn basic content at home through videos of lectures and/or reading assignments. This then allows the teacher to have a more flexible classroom time dedicated to in-depth exploration of subject matter through discussions, experimentation and/ or hands-on learning.
Flipped learning was first introduced in 2011; according to FlippedLearning.org, “the number of teachers who indicated they had flipped a lesson during the school year went up from 48% in 2012 to 78% in 2014.” This trend has continued over time, with more teachers at all levels recognizing the value of flipped learning.
The increase in flipped learning makes good sense based on the research, which suggests that learning outcomes improve in every subject and at every grade in flipped classrooms. Notably, nearly 60% of students enjoy learning at their own pace outside of school as opposed to listening to lectures. What’s more, research shows that “active learning” (classroom learning that involves doing rather than passive listening) results in better test scores and other measures of achievement.
Does that mean flipped learning is better learning? Or are traditional teaching methods still relevant?
Well, the answer depends on the situation. Flipped learning has become very popular, in part because it has the potential to make it much easier to engage students and personalize learning in the classroom. But a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work with flipped learning; it’s up to the teacher to select the right model and implement it effectively. In some cases, traditional teaching methods are effectively paired with flipped learning to create a blended pedagogical approach. In others, a “pure” flipped learning might be most effective.
In my view, here is how flipped learning can be adapted to suit various learning styles:
Flipped learning clearly has tremendous advantages in many situations, but it does require careful planning and appropriate implementation. Lectures have their place in certain settings and for certain subject areas, and educators who use flipped learning approaches must select the right flipped model for their group. It the long run, it seems that flipped learning is here to stay, though models and methods will continue to evolve.
- To facilitate collaborative and interactive learning in the classroom, the teacher may opt to have students view or read a lecture at home. Class-time is then used to answer questions, facilitate discussions, or otherwise elaborate on the content
- To provide for a variety of different learning styles, the teacher may present some demonstrations or may choose in some situations to flip the learning experience so that students come to class having viewed a demonstration or video at home
- Students who are involved with individual research projects, independent studies, or specialized training may not have the option of learning in a classroom setting. In this case, students may conduct research or hands-on work on their own, and then meet one-on-one with a teacher to present and evaluate work
- Often, the best way to learn is to teach. In this model, students learn content at home—alone or in groups—and spend class time explaining what they have learned to their teacher and class