Making the flipped classroom work

Making the flipped classroom work

The principle of the flipped classroom — that kids learn the content at home and discuss and work with it in school — is something that many teachers would probably agree with. But there are problems with the “pure” model of flipping the classroom, and so we need to be able to compromise.

The problems of the “pure” model of the flipped classroom

The problems can be summed up by referring to the term “ecological validity”. According to Yolander Williams in Ecological Validity in Psychology: Definition & Explanation,

"Ecological validity refers to the extent to which the findings of a research study are able to be generalized to real-life settings."

In a sense, the flipped classroom isn't constrained by the timetable

When I read about schools that have embraced the flipped classroom model, they don’t sound much like any school I’ve worked in, or even visited. Consider the “pure” model entails:

  1. Teachers record their “lectures”, or source videos that cover the same subject matter.
  2. Pupils then watch these videos at home.
  3. Classroom time is thus freed up for discussion and group work around the subject.

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Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."