The Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is turning education on its head. In the past, teachers have been giving same lectures year after year to each new cycle of students. Then at home, these students would be doing those same homework problems, and struggling through various concepts without help or guidance. The flipped classroom aims at remedying this problem.

A flipped classroom works as follows: Students “learn” the material by watching a pre-recorded lecture by their teacher or a related video on YouTube at home. This allows students to learn at their own pace and leisure. Then during class the next day, students apply their knowledge and work through problems under the guidance of the teacher. There are many benefits to this flipped scheme. In addition to students learning at their own pace, learning becomes much more efficient in the classroom as they are prepared to engage with the material. This means that students can work on assignments and group projects in the classroom, and whenever they run into problems, the teacher is immediately there to help.

The flipped classroom also brings changes to teachers. Traditionally, the classroom favours confident, intelligent students, as the teachers would engage with these students more during lectures. Students who don’t learn as quickly during lectures don’t attempt to engage with teachers, either because they are embarrassed by not knowing the material or they’re so lost that they don’t even know what they’re confused about. In the flipped model, the students who have the weakest grasp of the material will ultimately engage more with the teacher. In addition, the students who have mastered the material can help students who are struggling. This method also benefits teachers who are not strong at giving lectures. Instead, they can tailor teaching strategies that suit their teaching style such as project work, leading class discussions or experiments.

In short, teachers don’t have to give the same lectures year after year, but instead focus their class time on the needs of the students. The flipped classroom promotes equal learning opportunities for all students. Currently students are not getting the help they need at home. Whether it’s a parent who is always working, an older sibling who isn’t willing to help, or parents unable to afford a private tutor, a flipped classroom promotes equity in learning.