What emerging pedagogy is most appealing?

“This is not my classroom, it’s yours.” This is a sentence I say to my class on the first day of school. One of the very first things I learned in my undergraduate classes is that learning should be student-centered. After all, it is their learning. In my three years of teaching, I have never taught one grade. Because of this, I have never really lectured to the class, especially with core academic areas: reading, writing, and math. I have taught these subjects in learning groups where students are grouped by their ability levels. I have four different centers. During one group, students visit me and I give our objective and instruct them. The other three groups are specific activity centers with different leveled activities for each group. The extra groups for reading have the themes of: vocabulary, phonics/word study, and comprehension. The groups reinforce topics that we have already covered or go over the skills/objectives that we are working on that week. With my teaching style, the emerging pedagogy that is most appealing to me is the flipped classroom.

As an emerging pedagogy, the definition of a flipped classroom hasn’t developed a definitive definition. However, Edudemic (n.d.) has developed a definition. “Flipped learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from group learning space to individual learning space…group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment” (Edudemic, n.d.). The basic idea is that students watch videos or listen to podcasts of lectures that would traditionally be given in class for homework. Students then come to class with questions and engage in a problem that applies what they’ve learned, leading students to be more engaged, have more personalized attention, and work at their own pace. (Educause, 2012). The video from MADDrawProductions (2012) at the end helped me understand flipped classrooms a little bit better.

Further, Saltman (2011) describes the instructional cycle of the flipped classroom in a three step process. The first step is in class exploration. The teacher prepares an activity to activate students’ prior knowledge then students complete an open-ended task or group problem solving task to prepare students for their homework. The second step is exploration at home. At this point, students watch a video at home (made by the teacher or a third-party source) and interact with online media. The third and final step is applying. Students come to class the next day to discuss questions, and the teacher poses an application problem. Students then work collaboratively or independently with the application problem. With the instructional cycle, Saltman (2011) provided examples, which were all in high school classrooms, of how this process works in classroom.

As I continued my research, I noticed most sources focused on the pros of flipped classrooms, touching very briefly on the downsides, so I delved a little deeper. Acedo (2013) lists five pros and five cons to flipped classrooms.

Pros:

  1. Students have more control and input in their learning (students can rewind, fast forward, watch as needed)
  2. Promotes student-centered learning
  3. Lessons and content are more accessible
  4. There is a better access for parents to see what their child is learning
  5. Can be more efficient

Cons:

  1. Create or worsen a digital divide (for those without access to a computer)
  2. Relies on preparation (from teachers) and trust (from students’ participation)
  3. Significant work on the front-end
  4. Not a “test-prep” form of learning, not teaching to the test
  5. Time in front of screens increased (instead of time in front of people)

Acedo (2011) clearly explained the pros and cons of a flipped classroom. After reading the article, I had a better picture of what it might take to create a flipped classroom. Though there are cons, the challenges aren’t insurmountable (Saltman, 2011). Most new ideas in teaching come with challenges, and we have to be willing to look past those challenges to try something new as we ask our students to do.

Bibliography:

Acedo, M. (2013). 10 pros and cons of a flipped classroom. Retrieved June 1, 2015, from http://www.teachthought.com/trends/10-pros-cons-flipped-classroom/

Educause. (2012). Flipped classrooms. 7 Things You Should Know About. Retrieved June 1, 2015, from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7081.pdf

Edudemic. (n.d.). The teacher’s guide to the flipped classroom. Retrieved June 1, 2015, from http://www.edudemic.com/guides/flipped-classrooms-guide/

MADDrawProductions (2012). The flipped classroom. Retrieved June 1, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojiebVw8O0g

Saltman, D. (2011). Flipping for beginners. Harvard Education Letter, 27(6). Retrieved June 1, 2015, from http://hepg.org/hel-home/issues/27_6/helarticle/flipping-for-beginners_517

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11 thoughts on “What emerging pedagogy is most appealing?

  1. I teach secondary, so I was more focused on finding examples for that age group. I do like your idea of having older students creating videos for younger students to help mentor them. That is something I may look into doing this next year because I am going to be going down to 4/5 to teach them math. I may have my Algebra class prepare some movies for them as a project and see how they do, I think it would be fun for them. I have never actually used the flipped classroom model in my room, although I do have all the videos recorded to start so I can focus on finding other videos, assignments, websites, etc. for students to further their understanding. I am going to try it out during the review section this year with my Algebra students and see how they do with it and then maybe incorporate it with my junior high students as well on down with the 4th graders and carry it through their schooling. Sorry I wasn’t much help with examples in the elementary/intermediate setting, Rachel has a good video clip on her blog you might want to look at as well as some good information in her blog if you haven’t read it yet.

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    1. Oh, my bad. I read your about me and saw that you would be teaching fourth and fifth next year. I incorrectly assumed you had already taught those grades as well. 🙂 I do have students (one primarily) who is higher than the others, but also loves making videos. I think it could be a great project for your older students to review things that they have already learned but might need a refresher. My other thought was that students could do video projects over the topics you’ve just covered in class to show they’ve learned the topic. Then you could use those videos later on as instructional videos for the new classes if they need a different perspective.

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  2. Wow, what a thorough post! I really liked you introduction to your students each year, making it clear that the classroom is theirs, not yours. Each year I try to make the classroom “our” but I always notice myself referring to the classroom as ‘my’ room, its one of my biggest pet peeves I have about myself as a teacher! I need to get better at that.

    I also really liked your list of pros and cons for using a flipped classroom, because though the model is innovative, it is not a perfect solution. Your first con is my biggest concern with using digital resources for my students, they have virtually no internet access outside of school. However this could be addressed by presenting videos in class as a center activity. There are solutions and adaptions but it sure does take a lot of work and creativity.

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    1. I also try to establish that it is “our” classroom and then notice I’m saying “my” instead later. Next year I will just turn it over and tell the student’s that it is their classroom. I think that is a great mindset for my students and me.

      I did some research on flipped classrooms for my bachelor’s degree a few years ago and one thing I found that teachers were doing for students without internet access was sending the lesson home on a disk for students to view on their computer. Other teacher’s had it uploaded onto an iPod touch and (with agreement of the parents) sent that home each night for the student. I like your idea of presenting it in class as a center activity. That is also a great idea. It really is all about getting creative!

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      1. It is a great mindset to have! Sometimes I’ll catch myself saying it’s my room, but I stop and correct myself. Really, it is their learning space, and they should know that. The idea of uploading the videos is a great one. At the beginning of last year, my principal purchased refurbished iPads, enough for 1:1 for my students. Each student completed a digital citizenship course. Instead of uploading the videos to an iPod, I could put them on the iPads. I would have both parents and students sign an agreement, like you mentioned, for students to take the iPads home. Thanks for the great suggestion! 🙂

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    2. Thank you! There were really so many thoughts going through my mind as I learned about flipped classrooms. I really like the idea; however, when I started my research, I wasn’t sure how it would work in my classroom. I do believe that it is their classroom, and I often joke about them coming into “my office,” which is my desk area. I already work very hard to make sure learning is student center, mostly by providing learning groups, so it was hard for me to determine where I might put the flipped classroom model in my class. I think subjects like Social Studies and Science would work best.

      Fortunately, all my students the past two years have had internet access in their home or are able to find other locations for internet use (like their mom’s office or the local library). One thing that we have at our school is an after school time where students can work on their homework. This would also allow students who might not have the technology at home to use it at school. Another adaption would be using the video as a center.

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  3. Margaret,

    I like how you tell your students that it is their classroom! It sounds like your classroom is already very much like the Station Rotation model by how you have centers set up with your students rotating through. Would it be a challenge for you to make the videos for homework? Would your students have access to technology outside of school?

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    1. I don’t think making the videos would be my biggest challenge. I think my biggest challenges would be making sure the students completed their homework (of watching the video) and making sure my students who are less independent felt confident with the videos. I think both of these concerns can be addressed. One policy our principal is talking about for next year would be to have students who do not complete their homework to do it after school. This may hinder the in class activity, but we already have students who stay after for a homework program, where they could watch the videos. I also think students might be more willing to do the homework since they know it will be a video instead of a piece of paper. However, currently, I don’t assign much homework. I assign ten sentences for them to correct given on Monday and due on Friday and reading for 20 minutes nightly. That’s about it, so the videos might make more work for some students, but I see that as adaptable.

      As for my other concern of my students who aren’t as independent, I think parents could (hopefully) help facilitate this. All my students do currently have access to technology outside of school. They also know if they are having problems with their technology, they can use it at school. I hope this answers your questions. 🙂

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  4. Margaret, thanks for your clear description for flipped classrooms. I like your pros and cons list and can say that you have taught me more about flipped classrooms. I also run rotations through classes, primarily math and language arts because I have a multiage/grade class.

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    1. I also have a multigrade class. I have found that the groups work best. Plus, it teaches the kids social skills in learning how to work collaboratively, which I think is very important and necessary. It is interesting to watch groups that have two leaders in the group go from arguing to working together. Each student can grow so much over the year. I think the flipped classroom would work best for social studies and science; however, if I had a video for reading/math groups, students could watch the video while I circulated and helped the other learning groups.

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  5. This is the first time that I’ve heard the phrase, “Flipped Technology.” I can see how it would benefit students to take ownership of their learning, and go at their own pace. I work with preschool aged students. I can’t see how flipped technology would benefit them. Last year, I had an eye opener about how much technology is changing our lives. During play time, I had a student who was just standing there. He didn’t want to play or engage in any activities with other students. When I asked him how come he wasn’t playing with the other students, his reply was, “I don’t know how to play. I only know how to play video games.” Thinking about technology in the higher level classes, I could see how it would benefit the students if there are hardly any community resources such as a library or a variety of different venues of businesses or learning places that could engage students to learn. Through technology, they could bring themselves to learn about different living, and learning environments in a different city throughout the state or even in another country.

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