Lesson Types

Will these types of lessons (blended learning, flipped classroom and collaborative learning) have a place in your teaching practice? Explain your response.

I think these types of lessons, and any other lessons that focus on a student-centred approach and strive for effective life-long learning, will definitely have a place in my teaching practice.

As Mary-Beth Hertz (2012)  writes in her critique on the flipped classroom model: “As long as learning remains the focus, and as long as educators are constantly reflecting and asking themselves if what they are doing is truly something different or just a different way of doing the same things they’ve always done, there is hope that some of (John) Dewey’s philosophies will again permeate our schools. We just need to remember that flipping is only the beginning.”

Flipped learning is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects or discussions.

Jon Bergmann (2016), the “Flipped Learning Evangelist & Change Agent” dispels some of the myths surrounding the model he founded. For instance, he argues that the flipped classroom is not a synonym for online videos. When most people hear about the flipped class all they think about are the videos. It is the interaction and the meaningful learning activities that occur during the face-to-face time that is most important.”

And from what I have read of the global initiative on his impressive website (http://jonbergmann.com), I think that with an investment in time by teachers, schools and families, “identifying the right technology, the right technology providers and securing the necessary technical training” and careful application, it could be a fantastic way to learn and teach.

Blended learning also relies on technology, and embraces the way forward for ICT. Advocates of this form of learning argue that it is “not simple technology integration”.

Some online courses may look like the same “sit and get” structure with added multimedia attempting to hide quality, so the NACOL has excellent standards that explain and can help evaluate not only rigorous courses, but also rigorous and effective online instruction. “As more and more teachers are asked to teach in blended and online environments, it is critical that they’re provided professional development and targets allowing them to teach this way effectively. Parallel to that, the courses must draw on effective pedagogical models and not replicate ineffective learning environments that don’t meet the needs of all learners.”

While it is clear that online and blended learning is becoming a norm for educators, it is also critical that we embrace this learning model with a demand for quality and innovation. We cannot replicate a broken system, and there are many challenges we need to overcome if we’re going to ensure that we do not.

Collaborative learning is a must at school and in life in general! So many skills, in particular 21st century skills, are learnt while working together, and not just social skills.

Working as a team depends on the individual’s efforts, interpretations and communication. Edutopia’s Matt Davis (2012) visits the elite College Preparatory School in Oakland, California and writes about how a focus on collaborative learning leads to successful education.

“When you look at the learning strategies the school embraces and you ask the faculty and students what has made the most positive difference for them, what you see and hear are not freighted with dollar signs. What you see and hear are the age-old power and impact of collaborative learning, where three boys, sharing strings and chalk, are bent over the blacktop surveying triangles, as the father of geometry, Euclid, might have directed them to do more than 2000 years ago.”

The collaborative learning style here empowers and enables a student’s resilience … “how do you look to your neighbor as a resource, how do you test your own theories, how do you understand if you’re on the right track or the wrong track” which are all great individual skills we need, and which should be taught and fostered at school.




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