Traditional Vs. Flipped Education Explained

At a time when traditional patterns of teaching are literally being “flipped” into a type of blended instruction at high schools and colleges nationwide, there is no hard data that flip teaching is better than traditional learning. In fact, the National Education Association stated on its website that “the jury is still out” when it comes to comparing the merits of traditional vs. flipped education theories. The thesis or argument for creating a flipped classroom — in which high school and other students focus their attention on watching computer generated lectures and do homework in the classroom instead of at home — is that students today need to be challenged.

The thesis statement for flip teaching also views teachers as better suited to offer one-on-one personalized instruction over traditional classroom lecturing.

Flipping the classroom in the digital age
Another aspect of flip teaching vs. traditional classroom methods is linked to tradition and testing data, states a report on the merits of traditional patterns of teaching on the National Education Association website. The report warns that many students may not be able to take advantage of the “radical” flip teaching methods that are being introduced at thousands of classrooms nationwide. In fact, there is criticism that flip teaching is actually creating a “backwards classroom” because this mode of reverse instruction does not have enough hard data behind it to simply dump traditional methods of teaching.

Because computer-aided classroom instruction allows teachers to find other things to do in the classroom, the proponents of flipped teaching say “you can’t allow computers and not allow this modern pattern of teaching in our schools.” Still, there are many teachers who are pushing back because they do not feel their new role as flipped teachers is better than what they have been doing for years, decades and even during entire teaching careers. According to a teacher posting views online about the emergence of flipped teaching, he does not want to be a flipping “coach in the classroom,” because he feels lecturing is still relevant.

Proponents of flipped teaching
While the National Education Association may be divided on the merits of traditional vs. flipped teaching methods, there is a clear indication from the federal government that something needs to change in America’s classrooms if students are to excel and be competitive in today’s complex world of technology. Thus, the traditional teaching method of giving students textbook assignments — which they must research and complete as homework and outside of the classroom — runs counter to flipped teaching methods.

For example, in a flip teaching environment, a student is ask to review an assignment by themselves; while also using a computer lab to view various video lessons either online or reviewed by their classroom teacher. In turn, the student must use the knowledge from self-study to solve problems, while a teacher takes on the role of a hands-on tutor. The teacher has a new role in the flipped classroom because this form of “differentiated instruction” relies more on technology than just the teacher’s experience teaching a subject.

Role reversal for traditional teachers
Because the flipped method of teaching impacts traditional teachers directly and completely, there is a view that tomorrow’s teachers will most likely be more like teacher tutors in the classroom than the current role as the classroom ring-aster. While the opinions are mixed about what pattern of teaching is best, the fact is flipped teaching methods are here to stay, explained a longtime teacher commenting online.

Overall, the popular views about flipped teaching methods are linked to such things as freeing up teachers to do other things in the classroom, more free class time for students to ask questions and solve problems and numerous benefits for both advanced and struggling students.

Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education and technology. In this article, he discusses the notion of Flipped education and how it compares and contrasts with a traditional learning experience. He aims to encourage further education with an masters degree in law.

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