The Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is a new method of teaching that is turning that is turning the traditional classroom on its head. Every day, thousands of teachers deliver the exact same lesson in class to millions of students. Every night, millions of students sit over the exact same homework, trying to solve it. The flipped classroom is turning this upside down. Traditionally, students listen to lectures and take tests in class, and read text books and work on problem sets at home. In flip teaching, students first study the topic by themselves, typically using video lessons, and then apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work in class.

Modern schools who flipped their classrooms report many benefits. One, it allows all students to learn at their own pace, as videos could be watched over and over again. Secondly, it’s more efficient, as more students enter the classroom prepared to contribute. Three, it enriches the classroom, as more time could be spent on group work and projects. Fourthly, doing homework in class allows students to help each other, which benefits both the advanced and less advanced learners.

Flipping also brings changes for teachers. Traditionally, teachers engage most with the confident students who ask questions. Flipping allows teachers to target the students who really need help, instead of just those who are confident. Also, instead of instructing from the front, teachers guide on the side. This allows them to work closely with individuals or small groups. Teachers that are not great presenters can use third party videos to explain the concepts and focus on methods on teaching that suit their style. Once video lectures are made available online, teachers do not need to give the same lecture over and over again. Again, they gain more time to focus on the needs of their class.

Many scholars also argue that the flipped classroom model promotes equal learning opportunities, as all kids get the same attention when doing their homework.  Currently, kids with caring parents, older siblings at home or expensive private tutors have a clear advantage over those who do not.

This is a piece by the Ghana Society for Education Technology, an education membership organization as well as an accredited continuous professional development provider in Ghana. GSET is the premier professional educational technology associate in Africa. We work with the Ghanaian education community with the aim of accelerating the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation in education.

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