Flipped Classrooms: A Flop for Most Learners
A flipped classroom is all the rage in many schools throughout America- schools that are both online and in person. In a flipped classroom, students are expected to watch a video of the lesson and then use class time to work on the assignments with the support of a teacher.
Many online schools actually ONLY use the videos and do not even have the live teacher interaction at all. Sheesh.
When students are intrinsically motivated and when learning comes easily, a flipped classroom with video instruction can work, and it can work beautifully.
However, it is with a broken heart that I share with you that any learner with a unique, special need flounders in a flipped model. (Gifted learners are coming to us burned out from these boring flipped models, guys. I hate to say this, but it's true.)
A video cannot replace live instruction. I repeat: a video cannot replace live instruction.
Live instruction provides opportunities for teachers to gauge their audience through expressions, posture, proximity, verbal interaction, and engagement.
Students aren't machines, and we aren't preparing them well with a conveyor belt style of education. Learners are beautiful and unique.
Learning together in a live setting- in person or online- is a beauty that cannot fade. The mentor / mentee learning relationship is forever a classic, meaningful style.
The fewer number of students in a live classroom, the better. Teachers need to be able to read the room during their live instruction, and cramming 30 students into a Zoom session while expecting learners to stay on task is silly. It's a slippery slope and all too easy to minimize that screen and dive into Minecraft.
So, what do we do?
Engaging live instruction- in person or online.
Small class sizes- in every learning setting.
And more teachers! Teachers, we love and need you now more than ever.
Parents, if your students are learning in a room or if your students are learning on Zoom, be sure to seek live teaching. Video after video as a replacement for instruction is a recipe for boredom and a lack of interactive, lasting learning.