Flipped: it’s Newton, but its’ not Einstein

I just got done with a webinar on the flipped classroom.  I appreciated the dialogue.  I am confident that the people in the webinar are each tremendous educators.  While I don’t see the flipped classroom as where instruction ought to be heading, I can appreciate the goal of the flippers to create time in their classes to do more exploration and inquiry.  Yet, my notion of the very best of teaching is that the inquiry and exploration generates content delivery rather than keeping content delivery prepackaged.  I even believe that deep down the founders of the “flipped model” believe this too.  Consider this quote from their website:

We have found that subjects where students have to follow a set of specific instructions is the best use of podcasts. balancing chemical equations, doing stoichiometric calculations. What we have also noted is that really tough conceptual topics like quantum mechanics and atomic theory have not worked as well. Next year we may just do these live in the class…

Stoichiometry doesn’t have to be understood as specific instructions.  It is likely better understood conceptually.  If we believe authentic learning is conceptual (as opposed to algorithmic), even the biggest flip promoters recognize that they “may just do these live in class…”.  Nothing can replace the idiosyncratic, dynamic and contextual exchange between teacher and student.  Nothing.  Moving the unidirectional dissemination of information (aka: lecture) to a different time slot doesn’t make it interactive.

This entry was posted in Education Reform, Science Education, Teacher Actions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Flipped: it’s Newton, but its’ not Einstein

  1. Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist says:

    I really liked your example of the flipped classroom in the webinar. Making available resources, in this case a video, for the students to watch and then making use of a backchannel to inform the class is a great flipped classroom.


  2. jerridkruse says:

    A key point in my example was that the video was of phenomena, not of explanation. Leave the explanation generation for class when you can guide students. I’d also repeat the phenomena in class if you can safely.


  3. Pingback: Lecturing, Screencasting, Flipped Classrooms « Shifting Phases

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