It was back to school for me [Ed] as I settled into a classroom – a shiny, modern Biology laboratory to be exact – to experience a flipped classroom in action. All around me, Year 12 students sat down quietly, opened their laptops and began engaging with worksheets handed out by the teacher, Paul Jennison, for the day’s Biology lesson.
I say ‘lesson’ – the students had already watched a PowerPoint and/or video presentation on the material, as their homework. The students will explain why, in their own words.
‘Mr Jennison pre-records the lesson, which we watch at home. We then focus on worksheets in the classroom,’ said Freya Hansen. ‘It is a much more efficient use of time,’ said Amelia Cant. ‘Instead of taking up a lesson with presentations, we can get a better understanding of the topic in the classroom by “doing”, instead of just listening to the teacher. By listening to the PowerPoint at home, we have time to think through the concept and to focus on specific questions or aspects that we don’t understand.’
Roger Miyumo (seen in the background of the images) likes the freedom aspect of flipped classrooms. ‘You can work at your own pace,’ he said. ‘You can learn in a style that is specific to you and that works best for you. I watch the video and can then research independently some of the key points raised. I prefer this style of learning and enjoy coming into a flipped classroom rather than one where the teacher speaks and we all sit listening. I find I can use the classroom time efficiently. I am actively learning so it is hard to not pay attention! I think this form is teaching is more beneficial for me.’
The full article appears in the Winter 2016 Edition of Pax et Bonum.