'Flipped' classrooms are better for students, teacher says
Published Wednesday, August 26, 2015 9:41AM EDT
The "flipped" classroom concept encourages students to work together, while giving them more time to discuss concepts with their teachers, an Ontario educator says.
In the "flipped" model, students watch online instructional videos at home, and then complete traditional "homework" at school. They also participate in teacher-led discussions about the online lessons in class.
The strategy, first proposed in the 1990s, has recently been gaining popularity at mainstream schools across Canada.
"It frees up in-class time to be used more for individualized support as well as group work," English teacher Derrick Schellenberg told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday.
Schellenberg teaches high school students at Sir William Mulock Secondary School in Newmarket, Ont.
"I think the students adapt pretty quickly," he said.
"Parents and guardians have been supportive, just as the (York Region District) school board and our administration. They see the benefits in terms of having that teacher there in the form of a video at home accessible to the students 24/7."
He said he also uses tools online that allow teachers to ask questions, and encourage students to make connections to other topics, so they can be sure that students understand the lessons.
"Of course, what happens the next day is they come into class and immediately we go over that material and they have an opportunity to reinforce what they know."
Schellenberg said he's seen an improvement in students' work since making the "flip."
"The level of deep detail and the complexity of thought as a result are much higher in the products that they're creating," he said.
"I think we've raised the bar in terms of our expectations so the quality of the product is impressive in terms of what they're capable of."
He added that students are spending more time figuring lessons out together, saying that he's noticed the model is more conducive to team work.
"I find that there's a greater sense of community in terms of our classrooms. They are working together, and better than me sometimes is students helping students."