Creating a culture that is student centric & student regulated.
The Flip Class “renovates” the classroom mindset by removing pre-conceived notions (old baggage) of what students “should” be doing at school (sitting in rows, taking notes, filling in worksheets). This change is not a static, one time application; rather it is a dynamic and evolving process for both the learner and teacher. This process allows for a shift from the pre-conceived notion many students have that traditional school activities ARE learning ones (because they have done them in school) to selecting and using strategies that meet the needs of the learner (giving everyone in the learning environment a “new set of glasses” to differentiate “school activities” from learning ones). These pre-conceived ideas about learning are especially pervasive and prevalent amongst high school students and in high functioning students (they know how school works but this does mean they know how learning works and this makes them very uncomfortable as they have the most to lose).
Classroom culture matters.
Classroom culture is no longer “flavoured” by the specific content or by the teacher persona but by the learners (with teacher as a learner as well). Authentic learning “tastes” new and may be a flavour that not everyone will like or enjoy after the first taste. For example, the first time you eat Indian food, you might not like it! Becoming comfortable with deep learning is a process that happens slowly over a period of time and is not a one-time application. It is not: “Today we will learn how to learn, and OK all done!” Students, over a period of time become accustomed to the new “flavour” and feel of learning (like when you get used to a new food or a new exercise routine). Students in a supported, safe and interactive environment, become familiar and comfortable with what learning looks like, feels like, sounds like, rather than: “Biology class is where I take notes all day and fill out worksheets”, or “Biology class is when I zone out and imagine my weekend plans.”
Learning about learning, is similar to learning a language, it happens best when you are fully immersed in a new and stimulating environment (like travelling to France to learn French) but at the same time requires you to feel safe and comfortable (like a home stay while in France).
Flip class is a dynamic transition that is simultaneously deeply immersive but at the same time allows for gradual development of learning skills for the student (they become a self- regulating learners rather than teacher or externally regulated).
This fully immersive nature of the flipped classroom provides impetus for change (i.e. when you go to foreign country you must at least try to learn the new language). The change appears less like “work” and prevents slipping back into old habits and patterns of how we “do school.” People (teens and teachers alike) very seldom choose to change when an easier, more comfortable and tried and true pattern is readily available.
Creates a growth medium in which other learning strategies can grow and thrive.
If you plant seeds in the wrong type of soil or in the wrong climatic conditions they do not grow. Planting UBD, PBL or Inquiry into a traditional classroom dynamic is a top down approach; “we will do this to student and they will learn.” Rather the Flip Class develops a student mindset that is open, whereby learning strategies can grow and emerge from the learner when appropriate and sustainable. Over time learners can become inquiry driven, over time learners can identify and work to solve problems, over time students can appreciate and understand why seeing the big picture will help guide their learning.
Creates an environment that focuses on the learning rather than on the content.
The Flipped Classroom provides daily opportunities for students to find entry points into the content for themselves, as it is about their learning and the learning is emergent, authentic and owned by learner.
For flipped classroom to succeed it necessitates the creation a community of learners (for teachers and students) rather than a chain of command.
“If we want real change, lasting change, if we want back the power, the pride, the soaring achievement that is an exceptional public education, then the revolution begins with us.”
2012 National Teacher of the Year