To Flip Or Not To Flip – One Teachers Journey

Flipped Learning – An Introduction

fc1The flipped classroom is a model, in which teachers post videos online in lieu of lessons in the classroom. Content is delivered at home instead of traditional homework and students spend class time actively working on tasks to assimilate learning.

Contrary to popular belief, despite Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams publishing ‘Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day’ in 2012 popularising the model of the flipped classroom, they are not the pioneers in the area of the flipped classroom.

The concept of delivering content at home to free up time in class, had been a vision of Bakers since the early nineteen eighties. When learning management systems (software which allows training courses to be delivered online) came into effect in 1995, Baker began to put the notes for lectures online. In this was the students would access the information before class, freeing up class time to as Baker describes ‘clarify, expand, apply and practice’ (Baker 2011, 1). Baker’s students described the learning as ‘more personalised, the cooperative groups fostered critical thinking, and the online resources provided students with more control over their learning’. Baker (2011) explains that he had also presented the concept of, what he called “The Classroom Flip” at a variety of conferences during the late nineteen nineties.

The following observations were noted when I reflected on the children’s learning in a recent study:

Before the Flip

The more able children engaged with their learning, they asked questions, gave answers. While the less able children where more passive and did not engage or volunteer a contribution.

After the Flip

The more able children are able to move on at their own pace, they can spend more time working on project based inquiry. The less able children are able to pause, rewind and re-watch content. Both groups have become more self directed in their learning.


Before the Flip

Children had to move onto the next concept/topic as per a planned time schedule, even if they had not grasped the concept/topic being covered.

After the Flip

Children can stick with a concept/topic until they understand it fully and are ready to move on.


Before the Flip

Task based homework was not always complete, the tasks at the end of a worksheet could be unfinished due to the complexity level.

After the Flip

Homework is always complete and the more complex tasks are done in school with peer and teacher support.


Before the Flip

Children who missed a lot of school due to illness or absenteeism fell behind.

After the Flip

Same children are now able to access the content at home at any time. This has also been a valuable lesson in time management.


Before the Flip

Children gave up and did not attempt everything if they felt they could not complete a task.

After the Flip

Children don’t give up as easily, they attempt everything and have learned to seek support as required.


Before the Flip

Limited opportunity for children to reflect, comment or give feedback on their learning.

After the Flip

Children are given the opportunity to reflect upon their learning every day. When practiced their thinking becomes more profound.


Before the Flip

Children had limited to no knowledge of the type of learners they were.

After the Flip

Children can identify their own learning styles and are able to identify what they need to do to understand or learn something.


What Next?

The flipped classroom has huge potential for further development in the field of educational research. One path that has great potential for research is the connection between using the flipped classroom and the development of English in households where English is a second language for parents and children. This model gives them the opportunity to learn alongside their children, rather than struggling to help them with task based homework. My recommendation would be that teachers move in the direction of professional development in this area. The pedagogy itself has great potential and could benefit students when it comes to higher order thinking, collaborative skills, co-operative work, peer instruction, self-directed learning, etc, however the model may seem daunting to teachers who may not feel they have the technological skills for preparing such lessons. This however need not be the case, the flipped classroom need not involve the use of a learning management system or video technology. A teacher could simply start with sending the introduction of information on a topic home as homework and flip to using class time to work on said information, in which ever form that may take, project based, task based, etc.

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Posted on February 23, 2015, in Curriculum, Digital, Ed Tech, Gaeilge, Literacy, Numeracy, Policy, Practice, Presentation, Research, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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