Should Schools Adopt Flipped Classrooms?

Ayush Gaikwad

Over the past decade, people have argued that the traditional model of classroom instruction is not effective and efficient enough for students and have advocated for a new model of classroom learning: flipped classrooms. But should schools really stray away from the traditional model of learning that has been in use for so long? A flipped classroom is a recent modification to teaching and a type of blended learning, where teachers have students complete readings, watch online lectures, or carry out research at home to emphasize working on live problem-solving, activities, and group work more during class time. However, there are many misconceptions that people have about flipped classrooms. Some people fear that a student would be spending too much time in front of a computer screen at home, that online videos replace the teacher, or that there is no enforced structure. An ideal flipped classroom is where teachers can have student’s homework take form in either a video, article, a book, a powerpoint, or a combination of these. Teacher’s recording video lessons may take up a lot of time, but the main reason and benefit for this reversed homework is that if students are familiar with the material, they can be well prepared in class for discussion and activities. Schools should start flipping classrooms to engage students more, help teachers, and benefit the learning experience overall for students. 

One of the main benefits of flipped classrooms is that it increases student engagement. It increases student-teacher interaction, and also increases student-student interaction. During class time in a flipped classroom, students can ask more questions to teachers as they are working or can work with students on problems/group work. Students can have a deep understanding of the topic beforehand and would be ready to work, which does not waste valuable class time with a teacher. It would allow them to have more time to ask questions because the classroom environment is more open and interactive as students are not just listening to a teacher lecture. Class time that is free of lectures allows for extended classroom discussion and exercises. A quote from the article “Benefits of Flipped Classrooms” further supports this idea by stating flipping classrooms “allow students to engage with concepts, learning materials, and peers in the classroom.”, which is further supported in a 2015 study from Clark High School that demonstrated positive student perceptions of flipped classrooms. According to the study, “students remarked that flipped instruction encouraged active engagement and led to increased participation” (Gelgoot), which supports that class time was better used by the teacher and that the students were also motivated to engage more. One of the main benefits of flipping classrooms was that students reported that the greatest strength of the flipped classroom was the ability to review lessons to master material. Mastering content is the most important part of learning, and flipping classrooms allows for students to master their content before moving on to the next lesson. The last significant part of the study was that students found that there was increased time for group work and collaboration with peers and the teacher compared to their traditional classes (Gelgoot).

An additional benefit of flipped classrooms is that it also helps busy students. The flexibility of flipped classrooms allows for students to work ahead if they choose because they know they might miss school due to extracurriculars. Students nowadays have to manage tougher academics, jobs, and extracurriculars. Implementing flipped classrooms allows for lessons to be at the students hands, so they can manage their time effectively on their schedule. If a student knows that they might miss school because of a competition or an event, they can work ahead to cover the days they might miss so that when they come back they do not have to catch up with the missed lessons on top of the material they get when they would return. Flipping classrooms overall increases flexibility among academics, jobs, and extracurriculars. 

The last main benefit of flipped classrooms is its overall learning experience for students. One of the struggles in today’s classrooms is accommodating a vast range of students who learn differently from one another or have different academic abilities than others. An online video lecture for students to watch at home is very effective as they can understand the topic when they want, when they are able to focus best, and at their own pace. A quote from Melissa DeJong, a teacher at Roosevelt High School in South Dakota, wrote that she “finally realized that this is what I need in order to be able to create 25 copies of myself … which would allow kids the freedom to speed up, or slow down, as needed”. The use of videos that students can control and learn on their own is very effective as learning something new is usually challenging to students. Melissa DeJong also stated her frustration with the normal model of learning, and felt this way because of her students feeling unprepared during quizzes and then would just move on regardless of performance, but due to flipped classrooms Melissa DeJong is able to use classroom time more effectively because she can address more questions and review. 

To sum up, schools should adapt flipped classrooms because of their effective and efficient benefits. Schools adapting the flipped classroom model can allow students to become more motivated and engaged because the classroom would be more open and directed toward the student. Increased interactive classrooms allow teachers to have more time to help their students one on one, and also increase student-student interaction, which is always beneficial to students to increase communication skills. Flipping classrooms will also allow very busy students to stay on top of their classes because they can have the flexibility of working ahead. As a society, we should start advocating to implement this model of learning to help more students learn more effectively and to overall help both the students and teachers.