Student-Centered Approaches

Student-Centered Approaches


When I first heard about flipping the classroom I thought it was such an ingenious idea. It seemed like a win-win situation for both the teacher and the students. The teacher can spend more time in active discussions with the students on a subject (less time lecturing) and the students can deepen their learning, feed off each other and most importantly…be less bored during class time. Then I came across this article which gives a different perspective on flipping the classroom. Possibly even against it? She goes as far as to say “I would never resurrect it”.

I have to admit, I was worried if I kept reading the article my enthusiasm for flipping the classroom would be shattered. However, the more I read on, the more I could start to appreciate the writers’ points. It turns out that if our intent is for the students to take charge of their own learning,  an entirely flipped classroom in itself may not achieve those results or as what happened with this writer your flipped classroom may fade away over time as your students take it upon themselves to do their own research and end up with a truly student-centered class!

In flipped classrooms where the teacher provides videos/lectures to watch at home, this isn’t changing much. Students are still being provided with lectures it is just in the form of homework instead. Although this still comes with benefits (they can rewind, re-watch as necessary and come to class prepared to discuss the subject), it can still be taken further to allow the students to ‘own’ their learning. We can also let students decide how they want to learn, do their own research and show us how they have learned the material.

I think there is something to the writers’ perspective, the thought that comes to my mind is that ‘we learn the best by teaching others’, and how we retain information better when we do this. This is exactly what the student is doing by showing the teacher how they learned something. Teaching the teacher, which is totally backwards and in my eyes is still technically a ‘flip’ after all.



One thought on “Student-Centered Approaches

  1. In reading this over I see how I FLIP the classroom. I am always getting students to tell me how they have done something or to explain it in their own words. I will have the students try to figure something out on their own, then describe to the rest of the class what knowledge they have found.I have noticed in doing this that other students kind of have the “aha” moment as the other student(s) are talking. Sometimes they learn better when the words are put into their own language sorta speak. We have to remember that “if the student can’t learn the way we teach then maybe we need to teach the way they learn”.


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