Would a Flipped Classroom Work in Junior High School?

To Flip or not to Flip???

To Flip or not to Flip???

I have heard so much about the Flipped Classroom Model that I decided to look into it for future reference. I will say that I’m not completely sold on it, but I think it’s worth looking into. By basic definition a Flipped Classroom is, “A pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. The video lecture is often seen as the key ingredient in the flipped approach, such lectures being either created by the instructor and posted online or selected from an online repository. While a prerecorded lecture could certainly be a podcast or other audio format, the ease with which video can be accessed and viewed today has made it so ubiquitous that the flipped model has come to be identified with it.” – EduCause Active learning and student engagement are terms that are thrown around a lot, but they are the main reasons I’ve been looking into this fairly new idea. That being said, upon delving into this type of model, I’m not sure if it can be used with this age group. I’m also not sure if it’s appropriate or productive to use at a high school level, at least during 9th or 10th Grade. I could be wrong, hence, the reason for this post…

There are glaring issues that are keeping me from attempting this on a large scale. The first being, not everybody has internet access at their house, so assigning activities that have video content becomes problematic. You may be thinking, we live in an information age, so everybody should have access to the internet. Yes, in a Utopian society, we all have access to the internet as well as wifi hotspots. However, all people don’t. Furthermore, this puts a lot of responsibility on kids that are in the age range of 11-14. I know I wasn’t ready or responsible enough to basically teach myself the lesson the night before as well as be prepared to be actively involved in class. However, the more I read about the model the more I think about things that I could do with this model working in my classroom.

At a Junior High age range, one is still in a battle with taking ownership of their own education. To automatically assume, kids will jump at the chance to take ownership of teaching themselves lessons via power point presentations and/or screencast is assuming a lot. There is the other side of the coin that will in fact jump at this opportunity to teach themselves because they learn better in smaller/quieter settings. The question still remains, would flipped classrooms work in Junior High School? I think they can, but I’m not sure if they will on a large scale as they do in higher education. I think I will attempt this on a small scale in a trial and error basis because if you think about it, teachers already flip the class on small scales when they ask students to complete assignments and present for credit as well as using those assignments for discussion starters [i.e., current events for homework – present & submit in class]. Still, the previously mentioned doesn’t fully embrace the concept of flipping classrooms. I’m not particularly sold on assigning a lesson via power point presentation because, again, it becomes problematic for those that don’t have internet access and for those that simply don’t do the work… Continue reading