View Full Version : NYT article: Flipped Schools

10-09-2013, 01:57 PM
This article isn't about homeschooling, but it sounds like a very promising idea:

Turning Education Upside Down (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/turning-education-upside-down/?hp&_r=0)

Several schools, inspired by one high school outside Detroit, have "flipped" the way students are taught: instruction happens via videos that students watch at home while practice and projects are done at school.

Kudos to the principal in the Detroit school that had the chutzpah to try something different instead of sticking by the traditional model. It gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, public education can be saved.

10-09-2013, 02:41 PM
I think this is one of Sal Khan's things, too, right? I think it's a great idea. I mean, put the parents in charge of overseeing that kids watch finite lectures and do reading and put the teachers in charge of overseeing practice and projects that spiral out of control.

10-09-2013, 02:53 PM
It totally makes sense, doesn't it? How many blogs and editorials and articles have been written by parents who have had enough of their kids excessive (and pointless) homework and projects that kids are unable to complete without heavy parent involvement? And it does give teachers the opportunity to present the material in a creative and well-organized way, without the disruptions of 30 kids in the room.

The schools that are trying this are high schools, I believe. I wonder if it would work for middle school, too.

10-09-2013, 03:46 PM
Also by high school, i was about the only kid in my classes whose parents could help at all with homework, and I lived in a really good school district. Support while doing the work seems like the biggest part of teaching

10-09-2013, 04:42 PM
My daughter's math teacher does this on a very small scale (just a few times so far this school year). DD has to watch a video, usually only 3-5 minutes long, and take notes. That's it. She has not had any math "homework" of the traditional variety, and she's in gifted math, 7th grade.

10-09-2013, 05:34 PM
A young friend of ours had a flipped math class for his grade 9 math last year. The school collected strong students for the pilot. He gave it mixed reviews. He didn't have a chance to move ahead in math as quickly as he had hoped. Students would watch the lectures online through a school portal - there were tech issues. The lectures weren't always great so his parents (very involved) would find alternate materials at home to supplement his learning. The inability to ask for clarification during the lecture was a stumbling point for some of the lessons (ie when the kids got to class, not all of them were able to articulate their confusion as well as they might have in a real time class lecture situation)
Homework was done in class. The in-class taking-up part of homework often ended up turning into lectures to clarify the lessons, which is great for the kids that need it but truly (painfully) redundant for the kids who grasped the material the night before.

I think the idea is fabulous if it allows for kids to own their own learning, but there are issues that need to be worked out, some teacher training that needs to happen and the school system needs to figure out how they will manage kids who can go through the material more quickly. Will it let them go wider? deeper? do different class work? I think Math is something that needs relatively consistent use/refreshment and so if a kid can get through 4 or 5 years of high school math classes in a year, where does that leave them for the rest of their high school career. It's not a panacea and still relies on parental support.

10-09-2013, 07:27 PM
I don't think this would work for elementary school, but I think it would be perfect for middle school and up.

10-20-2013, 01:36 PM
This is also very popular in higher ed with faculty who are trying to get rid of the "sage on the stage." I've tried it with my own teaching--I'll have students watch a video of an explanation I give on how to use a database or something, then use the class time for hands-on. That's what they really need the help with.

I strongly strongly doubt that this will catch on large scale, though. Schools are eliminating homework and I think lots of parents will push back at the idea of their kids watching videos, blah blah blah. But for those who would actually do it, I think it's a fab idea. Done well, I can attest that this works wonderfully and really does make a better use of student and teacher time. Furthermore, it makes teaching to a wide variety of abilities easier. Students who've already heard my lecture aren't immediately bored and tuned out. They are able to use our class time working and they can't procrastinate. It takes motivated students and creative faculty to work. So, yeah...

10-23-2013, 07:26 PM
Here's another installment (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/in-flipped-classrooms-a-method-for-mastery/?hp) about "flipped" classrooms from the same columnist, talking about how this method allows students to work at their own pace and requires them to achieve mastery before moving on.