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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Touting the Flipped Classroom

Another GREAT followup piece from Robert Talbert about (and in support of) the "flipped classroom." Though I'm not a teacher, I've formed some notions about flipped teaching from reading so much on it along the way, and Robert excellently parallels my own thoughts here:


It's a longish piece with too many good points to try to summarize (but it is largely about patiently working through certain "conflicting" aspects of flipped learning), so try to find time to read it yourself if flipped learning is pertinent to you.
Early on he writes, "my first experience with running a flipped classroom was characterized by conflict. So was the second experience (same class, subsequent year). And even today I still get a nontrivial amount of pushback from students in a flipped classroom setting, usually for the same reasons," and then proceeds to explain how to overcome this.

What I will say is that I relate very closely to the intransigence Robert describes of some students who actually prefer memorization over deeper more abstract learning and discussion (and it's nice to see I wasn't alone in that preference). Young minds are like sponges -- youth is a great time for simply sucking up facts and figures to the mind's delight. I remember well wanting teachers to just give 'me the facts' -- tell me, for example, the Pythagorean theorem and let me apply it, but don't bore me with wearisome details of its proof or how it came about… as a youngster, I viewed proof and explanation as minutiae that just got in the way of learning the real stuff, and I didn't have the time or need for it. Boy, was I wrong!….

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