The Flipped Classroom Doesn’t Work


Debbie Nehikhuere

An actual flipped classroom.

By Blake Wood, Staff Writer

Education is essential and when something is as important as education, it’s logical to try to improve and be progressive with teaching techniques. I’m all for trying new strategies in schools to engage the students, but there is no sense in making changes just for the sake of making changes.

The flipped classroom concept is gaining steam in LCISD. For those who don’t know, the flipped classroom is a reversal of the typical teaching method. Instead of lectures during class and assignments, the student watches videos or reads at home and then completes homework type activities in class. This strategy puts the responsibility of learning and teaching on the student rather than on the teacher.

The flipped classroom is difficult for some demographics to handle. For example, students with low reading levels, those without access to technology and English Language Learners have serious issues with this strategy.  When implementing the flipped classroom the expectation is that the student is at least familiar with the information assigned, but there isn’t an easy solution if they aren’t.  If the teacher continues on with the curriculum, the students who haven’t yet mastered the material are left lost, forced to try to learn something new before they understood the previous lesson, setting them back detrimentally.

Teachers will say problems like that are the precise reason why tutorials are offered and I get that. However, tutorials are supposed to be a backup plan for students who don’t understand. Instead they have turned into the only way many students are able to learn, forcing the students to come in on their own time to learn rather than be taught during their school day when they’re supposed to.

As an AP student, the flipped classroom is incredibly frustrating. Most people in advanced classes are going to do well regardless of how they’re taught so any technique used will look effective, but it is not the job of the students to teach themselves, even if they are able to. Let’s be realistic. Can you really expect teenagers to go home and watch a lesson online or read a textbook every night? It’s simply not going to happen, regardless of whether teachers think that it should.

Teachers need to teach the lesson in class and assign homework based on what was taught in class. They are paid to teach, not baby sit the students while they do homework during their class period. The fact that the district and administration have let this happen is an embarrassment. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel and teach the students while they’re in school. It’s just that simple.