The Flipped Classroom is an instructional strategy that reverses the traditional method of teaching and learning. In particular, the teaching and instructional component of lessons are provided outside the classroom (i.e. after school hours), and ‘homework’ and other related learning activities are completed at school with teacher assistance. Typically speaking, in a flipped classroom, students ‘learn the basics’ pertaining to key subject or lesson at home (often through online lectures) while they learn the ‘application’ components during class.
Clintondale Highschool (USA) was one of the first high schools to embrace the flipped learning model. Prior to 2011, Clintondale was constantly amongst the state’s worst 5% performing schools across a multitude of measures. After years of underachievement and high failure rates, Principal Greg Green felt that something drastic was needed. Inspired by the work of Salman Khan, he led the effort to transform his entire school into adopting a flipped classroom model.
The results were remarkable; failure rate dropped from 30 to 10 percent, graduation rates rose above 90 percent and attendance rose from as low as 63% percent to 80%.

It was a resounding success.

Why does it work?

There are lots of theories and reasons as to why flipped classroom learning is an effective model of instruction and learning.

A simple explanation is perhaps due to an increase in the amount of time students spend learning. Assuming that most students do the ‘pre-work’ component at home, perhaps students are more likely to spend greater time on the ‘homework’ or ‘application’ components due to having their teacher’s assistance and being more energised during the day.

However, perhaps factors other than the simple explanation of ‘time spent on learning’ can shed more light on to why this approach is so effective.

So I ask the question…

What does the flipped classroom model teach us about learning?

I’d love to understand your thoughts.