What is “flipped learning?” In many classrooms, the students receive a lesson and then work at home on assignments. Often the lesson is in the form of a lecture. The teacher tries to make the lesson apply to all students and allow for differing needs.
Flipping has the ability to empower students and increase learning. Teachers provide the lesson as homework, often through a video clip. Students watch the lesson and come to school prepared to interact and apply learning. Frequently, students are given a synthesizing question or analysis activity to complete while watching the video. Students take much more control of what happens in the classroom with this information. Flipping frees teachers’ classroom time to facilitate and personalize learning, “guiding from behind.” This participatory and engaged learning environment is a transition from memorization of content to applying 21st century learning skills. It aligns with the direction education desperately needs to move.
Over 12,000 teachers are members of the online flipped community. George Mason University researched this growing trend. They suggest that four pillars ground this learning model: F.L.I.P. F=flexible learning environment. Empowering students’ voice in how they demonstrate learning requires flexibility and open-mindedness. L=learning culture shift from teacher as dispenser of knowledge to students actively involved in the full process. I=intentional content where teachers carefully determine what information is foundational and how to maximize classroom time using a variety of instructional methods. P=professional educators. The role of the teacher becomes more rigorous, with the need to personalize and constantly adapt instruction.
As education releases the industrial era model of assembly-line teaching, models such as flipped learning offer important and effective opportunities to better prepare students for the rigors of the 21st century.