Flip 2.0: BackFlipped Learning

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Flip 2.0: BackFlipped Learning

“Flipping” a classroom is wonderful slang; as soon as we learn what it means, the image sticks. Flipping 1.0 is about having students do work outside the classroom that they can do without a teacher present to free class time for personal interaction, questions, discussion, and the kind of face-to-face help that teachers can provide. Flipping is revolutionizing learning in many classrooms, all to the good. But I have always been a bit queasy that we see flipped classrooms as an end when it is only a step on the path.

UnknownLet’s really flip learning; let’s call this Flip 2.0. Better yet, let’s call this BackFlipped Learning because we are going “back” to Dewey and the other giants of the Progressive Era who taught us that it is student ownership of learning that leads to engagement and, ultimately, academic success. BackFlipping the learning experience (learning no longer takes place just in the classroom) means reversing the control and ownership of learning from the teacher to the student.

As I posted last week, people like Bo Adams, Jill Gough and many others are focusing in on the transfer of learning control from teachers to students, of re-mapping our industrial-aged pedagogy to enable teachers as lead-learners and co-learners with their students, not preachers to their students. Flipping 1.0 is one of the really important arrows in our quiver to re-map our pedagogy, but it is still just an arrow.  Great teachers help their students to gather a full quiver of arrows: resources, skills, content knowledge, judgment, insight, curiosity, and creativity. Our goal as educators should always be on the archer, the student, helping them learn about how and when they should let those arrows fly.  BackFlipping is a re-set of the relationship between student, teacher, and knowledge that states it is up to the student, not the teacher, to shoot those arrows. As I wrote in The Falconer: “Resources and abilities are like the arrows in a quiver; the ability and willingness to ask questions are like a long bow.  Without the bow, the arrows are just a lot of wood, feathers, and sharp little points.”  Without the responsibility to know and the freedom to choose when and where to shoot the arrows, the archer is just another mechanical soldier launching pieces of wood into the sky.

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By | 2013-04-13T15:43:27+00:00 April 13th, 2013|Innovation in Education, Uncategorized|6 Comments

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  1. Angel Kytle April 15, 2013 at 12:20 am - Reply

    I so appreciate your ruminations here, and I especially like the thrust to “back” flip to Dewey. It is so true that we educators need to center ourselves again on the principles that Dewey so beautifully asserted and lived so many years ago. I especially like that this thrust goes back to something rather than gives us the next “fad” in education. That’s why I. like you, dislike the term 21st century skills. Those skills and concepts are timeless.
    To use another analogy, what we all seem to be talking about in different ways is a recalibration of our compass. We are re-aligning our compass’ due North. Be it due North to Dewey, due North to learning by doing, or due North to students, the message is the same. I look at flipping the classroom as a beginning iteration of concentrating classroom time on teacher-student relationships and interaction as well as student engagement and action rather than passivity. Let’s move beyond this first iteration to all of the exciting iterations to come!

  2. boadams1 April 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Grant, your post reminded me of Shelley Wright’s profound writing on the same topic: http://shelleywright.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/the-flip-end-of-a-love-affair/

    • glichtman April 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks; really good. I missed that in getting behind in my blog reading!

  3. […] “Flipping” a classroom is wonderful slang; as soon as we learn what it means, the image sticks. Flipping 1.0 is about having students do work outside the classroom that they can do without a teache…  […]

  4. Will Richardson April 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Agreed. My problem with flipped classrooms or flipped learning has always been that we want kids to flip OUR learning or OUR content. You want to do the old system better, then flipping can help. You want to do something radically different in terms of student learning, you need a lot more than that.

    • glichtman April 15, 2013 at 11:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Will. I know this is in line with what you have been shouting for some time (and I just finished your book, so it is fresh in my mind). I fear when we have something that allows us to check the box, when in fact it was just a mini-step on the path. Looking forward to hearing you and meeting you in Memphis in June.

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