Flipping School, Man

Kiersten Hacker, Staff Writer

A new school year, new classes, new friends, but also new ways of learning. Flipped classrooms have been in existence since the 1990s and recently made their way to Farmingdale High School, with many teachers breaking tradition and doing the opposite of the norm.

There are many different ways teachers present their upside down classrooms. Teachers will assign videos, textbook readings, or other work to serve as a lecture at home with some type of follow-up questions guaranteeing the basic concept is understood. The next day, students come in with their acquired knowledge and now can have more time with the teacher to ask questions or participate in more hands-on activities that require them to think and apply the information from the assignment. This provides extra motivation to the students to do their work at home, rather than just get the homework answers from a group chat of kids. Understanding that all students learn at different paces, proponents of flipped classrooms feel it is beneficial because those who tend to learn slower can go back and rewatch videos and those who grasp information quickly can move on. Not only can it help with pacing and creating a hands-on, visual environment, but it allows teachers to bring their creativity to the classroom, giving them the liberty to run their class as they please, which leads to a more efficient learning experience, according to FHS physics teacher Mrs.Whitaker. Although still new concept in our school, many studies (such as “Turning Education Upside Down” by Tina Rosenberg) have been done proving the success of flipped instruction, inspiring many of our own teachers to flip theirs.

However, new ideas always sound good on paper or in the mind, but when put into place, these ideas do not always achieve the desired goal. Students could become more distant, viewing the flipped classroom as simply an online class. As much as the students need to trust the teachers, the teachers now have to place more trust in students that they will actually watch the videos or do the home lecture assignments, all while hoping they retain the information instead of carelessly breezing through it. The positive and negative feedback is all a part of the uncharted territory that needs to be taken into consideration when commencing on a new, non-traditional style of education.