My son started high school this year and among other things the process has caused me to reflect on some current ideas in education I have not paid much attention to….one of these is the “flipped” classroom, which is the way at least one of his teachers runs class.
The idea behind the flipped classroom in case you, like me, are a late adopter, is that the “lecture” happens at home instead of in school (the flip) and class is more activity-based. This means my son watches video lectures of science content in the evenings for homework. There are some benefits to this. The content he sees is rich in many ways–it’s a lecture supported by images and graphics and footage of whatever they are talking about–eukaryotic cells, say. And the lectures are well prepared by a professional scientist so they are engaging and rich in facts, and he doesn’t mind listening. But there are also some downsides- foremost among them is that they never read in or for science class. Homework used to be regular reading from a text book and that does not seem to have flipped to anywhere–the classroom or any place else.
I asked my son about this the other night because it concerns me. You have to get a lot of your information in the sciences directly from texts in college, and scientific writing is a distinct genre with its own style. It requires practice. So in short, I think it’s really really important to both read and be able to read the literature of the discipline in the sciences.
Anyway my son’s response to, “Do you ever read for science? from the textbook, say?” was, “Well, we have a textbook.” There’s also new research coming out that suggests that students learn less from online presentations of information, and that because it comes easily, it goes easily.
Anyway, I’d be interested to hear from some folks who know flipping. How do you address or think about the potential lack of reading in flipped classrooms?Are there things you do to ensure that flipped classrooms still include regular reading? And do you worry about lower absorption of content via online presentations?
Just wondering. Thanks for your thoughts.