Archives for category: Flipped classroom – personal reactions

This student (video: Flipped classrooms aren’t teaching) makes an important point about the damage flipped classrooms do to the teacher-student relationship.

Progressive educators believe in “horizontal” classes as opposed to “vertical,” hierarchical classes. Inside a horizontal class, everyone is a “learner,” and the teacher is just a guide on the side. As a result, the teacher-student relationship is weakened while the peer relationship is strengthened.

It’s ironic because districts like ours spend a small fortune to reduce class size, but our administrators, aided and abetted by parents on the board, use reduced class size to grow the distance between teacher & student instead of shrinking it.

The smaller the class, the easier it is to put all students in groups. Inside larger classes, the noise level alone makes small-group work untenable.

So we pay for small class size, but we get peer editing, learning stations, & flipped classrooms.

Flipped classrooms are especially beloved by progressive educators/constructivists because they move the teacher to video, and you can’t form a relationship with a video. Inside a flipped classroom, eye contact happens primarily between students, not between teacher & students. 

And see:
Teachers singing about becoming guides on the side
The choice

One of our local high schools started the flipped classroom strategy and both students and parents pretty much rebelled. I was asked to tutor former students taking Algebra 2 who had been outstanding “real” Algebra 1 students. I actually encourage my students to hang out on Khan’s site but only because many of his lessons are interesting and can serve as an excellent supplement. An important part of teaching and learning math is the interaction among students with their peers and teacher WHILE learning is occurring, not a day after the fact. And that even assumes that quality learning occurred while watching videos with no opportunity for questions. The guide on the side folks have been trying to separate me from my students for the past forty years. They accuse you of being the sage on the stage because you dare attempt to teach. If flipped classrooms are being pushed by educrats and colleges of education, beware.

Vern Williams is something of a legend in ‘instructivist’ circles. He teaches algebra to gifted 8th grade students, served on President Bush’s National Mathematics Advisory Board, and was I believe the sole classroom teacher involved in writing the Common Core math standards. (Common Core State Standards Initiative K-12 Standards Development Teams)

Three of his articles in the Times:

All posts on flipped classrooms

Steve Nesbitt · Top Commenter commenting on Flipped Classroom Post

I have two apprehensions concerning the flipped classroom. As a skilled instructor presents material, he does not merely recite information in an identical format to each of his classes nor do so in an exclusively one-way communication. He is constantly observing his students – the glazed stares of some, their facial expressions and their body language – and he allows his students the opportunity to interject pertinent questions. He is not merely a purveyor of knowledge, but a receptor of stimuli, all of which he allows to guide and modify his presentation in real time to facilitate understanding, adapting this presentation to the students’ responses to it and from class to class. The flipped classroom would seem to rob the instructor of this ability while simultaneously robbing the students of time beyond the school walls during which they could be enriching their lives and refreshing their spirits with non-academic experiences. I appreciate the five to seven-minute video limitation mentioned above, but fear that such brevity will not be the rule for many instructors.

November 3, 2013 at 11:51pm

AND SEE:
Why educationists want to flip the classroom

Why Minimally Guided Teaching Techniques Do Not Work:
A Reply to Commentaries

Chloe McCune (no direct link)

I am an AP student who is living through this “experiment” and I have yet to encounter one of my peers who actually likes this system. While they may tout wonderful ideas like doing “learning activities” in reality its just busywork. Few times are we ever given lecture videos and when they are given they rarely help us understand the information. Students cant ask the teacher questions and we never have chat rooms with our peers or teachers for help. We are left reading everything from outdated and poorly written textbooks, teachimg ourselves the material and finding that when the test comes around we know nothing about the topic. Watch out Bergman and Sams… you made thousands of teengagers rather unhappy.

October 7, 2013 at 1:11am

Sharon Curran Preston · Manager, Service Delivery at Facebook (no direct link)

As a parent of a 16 year old boy who has a flipped math class I can tell you first hand that the flipped classroom is horrible. Why actually teach when you can record a video once and then sit at your desk for the rest of the year and blame the kids who aren’t asking you enough questions during the “classwork” time in class? Or better yet, tell them to ask their equally lost peers. My very social son sits in class and talks to his buddies for the entire period while the teacher helps one, yes one, of his classmates. How the hell is this teaching? Yes it is my son’s fault for not “applying” himself but come on people. What do you expect of high school kids?! If you leave them in an unstructured environment all year they aren’t going to learn anything. The flipped classroom is a joke.

February 20 at 12:19pm

AND SEE:
Email from an NYU student on his experience with a flipped classroom
The digital natives are restless (Tweets from the front)
Tweets from high school students in flipped classrooms
“Our goal”
Wrong track
Flipped classrooms (and more) in IUFSD

Although too late for [David Nielsen’s] article I do regret that we never had the chance to discuss the “flipped classroom.”

I agree with all of your issues with the flipped classroom so I will add a few that I hope are not too repetitive. I’ll use your method clusters. I have just two: watching and classroom.

I’ll use your method clusters. I have just two: watching and classroom.

Watching:

  • As you said, watching a powerpoint presentation online, by yourself, is awful and poses a few issues.
  • You mentioned attention–I never watched a powerpoint straight through, full screen. Typically I’d start that way with good intentions. Then take out my phone and text. Pause the video to do something else. Or most often I would let it play in the background while I was on Facebook (so I didn’t actually see any of the slides).
  • The most troubling perhaps is that I often didn’t watch them when I was supposed to. I’m not sure if there is a method or technology for enforcing viewership on the high school level, but more often than not I simply did not watch any of the lectures until the midterm or the final. I then crammed by not actually listening to the videos and only reading the slides and fast forwarding to the next slide. So for many “lectures” I never actually listened to a lesson.

In class:

  • The next question I have is what do you actually do as a professor or teacher with that “extra” class time. I find group work grossly inefficient. One person does it and everyone copies. Or you finish early and wait for other groups. Or everyone just takes their time and talks about other things. Any way it is spanned it isn’t really efficient. So I think a lot more thought has to be put into what actual activities are going to be done in class.
  • If the answer to that is that students will have more time to ask questions like you said, then I will say that no student asks questions a day or days after watching a lecture. Maybe in the moment you had a question while watching, but you’ve either forgotten it or just don’t feel like asking once you get to class.

I hope that helps in some way. I certainly didn’t have a good experience with the flipped classroom and I think I had a professor who was well intentioned and actually executed the technical parts fantastically and it still was not good. That is another question in itself (I had a lot of teachers in high school who couldn’t work the television in the classroom or put on a presentation in class, so is there the skill to actually prepare what are essentially movies?)

AND SEE:
Tweets from high school students in flipped classrooms
Buying technology – business v. schools
Response to administrator technology memo
John D on flipped classrooms and board policy
Wrong track
“Our goal”
The digital natives are restless
Flipped classrooms (and more) in IUFSD
Email from an NYU student on his experience in a flipped classroom

Tweets from the front

AND SEE:
Buying technology – business v. schools
Response to administrator technology memo
John D on flipped classrooms and board policy
Wrong track
“Our goal”
The digital natives are restless
Flipped classrooms (and more) in IUFSD
Email from an NYU student on his experience in a flipped classroom