Sunday, October 30, 2011

Not Flipping over The Flipped Classroom!

The Flipped Classroom is gaining popularity in classrooms around North America.  Simply put, a flipped classroom involves the teacher having students watch and listen to instruction at home, outside of class, and then using class time for what was previously used for homework. Click here for more information, including videos of Flipped Classrooms.

Three concerns with The Flipped Classroom
1.  Homework Debate
2.  Teaching with Poverty in Mind
3.  Over Scheduled Children

Homework Debate
Those who argue that we must find ways to teach and assess in-class will have the same arguments against the Flipped Classroom.  Students who were not completing homework (for various reasons) will now not be completing key foundation requirements of instruction.  They will arrive to school ill-prepared for extension activities when they have not completed the instructional component of the learning activity.

Teaching with Poverty in Mind
If a teacher is applying the concepts of teaching with poverty in mind, they are creating relevant classrooms where students see their connection and feel part of a safe and inclusive environment.  If the key components of instruction are assigned out of class, will equity issues be addressed?

Over Scheduled Children
Similar arguments against homework also apply to many students who are over-scheduled.  One may debate the balance in a child's life who goes from school to tutoring, to music, to sports, and so on.  Regardless of the debate on balance, the over-scheduled child is not home to complete the required instructional components of a Flipped Classroom.  What level of pressure are we adding to these students who now are not prepared for the following day's school due to the over structured and over scheduled lifestyle they find themselves immersed in?

Before completely changing instructional practice, teachers must know their students and know the impact on creating expectations that instruction take place outside of the classroom.

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