You are on page 1of 8

1

Running Head: THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

Introduction
My name is Megan Grayburn and I am a graduate student at the University of West
Georgia. I have a bachelors degree in elementary education and a masters degree in middle
grades education. Currently, I am pursuing a specialists degree in instructional technology. As
technology is continually growing in prevalence, it is critical to integrate it into daily instruction.
My passion in education is teaching mathematics, particularly in the upper elementary
and middle school levels. Math can be seen in every facet of the world and teaching students to
uncover the logic and numbers around them is very rewarding. Particularly in math, it is easy to
avoid the use of technology to enhance and enrich instruction, as the math itself will never
change. As teachers it is important to not only provide appropriate strategies in the content, but
also to utilize the technology resources we have to meet the students where they are most
comfortable. Incorporating technology into math lessons cannot only assist the with instruction,
but can also ease anxieties that students often experience when learning new concepts.
Goals
Teachers and researchers are continually in search of new instructional strategies to
improve student achievement in the classroom. As a math teacher, it is difficult to see students
struggle on a regular basis, and I am always looking for new methods to try to assist these
students. When students are able to learn at their own pace, there is a better chance of student
success. In the typical direct instruction classroom, however, the pace of instruction is guided by
the majority, which is often too slow for some, and too fast for others. When provided with a
self-paced instructional guide, students have the potential to learn at the pace that is best for
them, giving them more opportunity for higher achievement.

THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

An additional issue in education today is the proper implementation of technology.


Schools are being crammed with technology, but teachers are often not using it to the highest
potential. The purpose of this technology is to increase achievement for students, but research
has not yet demonstrated any change. Christensen et al (2011) discuss the presence of computers
in schools for three decades, yet classrooms look largely the same as the did before the
computer revolution, and the teaching and learning processes are similar to what they were in the
days before computers. In order for technology to make an impact, teachers must make drastic
changes to instructional methods to allow technology to make its mark.
The purpose of this proposal is to combine the desire for increased student achievement
in math with a classroom appropriately infused with technology. Utilizing Georgia Common
Core math standards, I will enhance and enrich instruction with a flipped classroom
environment, allowing students to work at their own pace to guide understanding.
Research Question
Does flipped classroom instruction increase math achievement in 5th grade students?
Definition of Variables and Hypothesis
The independent variable in this study is the introduction of flipped classroom
instruction. The flipped classroom inverts the typical cycle of content acquisition and
application so that students gain necessary knowledge before class, and instructors guide
students to actively and interactively clarify and apply that knowledge during class (Center for
Teaching and Learning, n.d.). The dependent variable in this study is math achievement or
success. The hypothesis of this study is that students instructed in a flipped classroom model
will be more successful in the math classroom.

THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

Literature Review
The traditional use of the lecture has been widely rejected in education, and teachers and
researchers continually seek new methods of instruction. Goodwin and Miller (2013) state while
lectures can be effective, the problem with lectures is often a matter of pacing. With
classrooms that cover a wide span of understanding, the lecture may be the perfect pace for
some, but boring or frustrating to others. A recent innovation called the flipped classroom seeks
to use the strengths of the traditional lecture and use them with self-paced instruction. The
Flipped Learning Network (2014) defines the flipped classroom as learning that occurs when
direct instruction is moved from the group teaching space to the individual learning
environment. Often the flipped classroom involves the use of teacher created video lessons, but
the incorporation of technology is not the aim of the flipped classroom. Sams and Bergmann
(2013) argue that the purpose of this instructional strategy is determining how to best use your
in-class time with students. This review examines the history of the flipped classroom, what the
flipped classroom is and it not, and the benefits of utilizing a flipped classroom.
History of the Flipped Classroom
Though the inclusion of technology is a fairly recent aspect of instruction in schools, the
idea of the flipped classroom is not new to education. Lage et al (2000) describe the inverted
classroom as an environment where eventsthathavetraditionallytakenplaceinsidethe
classroomnowtakeplaceoutsidetheclassroomandviceversa.Withtheinvertedclassroom,
studentsareprovidedwithallnecessaryresources,beitnotes,textbooks,ortechnologyaids,and
areexpectedtousethemtobepreparedforclassdiscussions.Thisinstructionaltoolchangesthe
roleoftheteachertoafacilitator,puttingstudentsinchargeoftheirownlearning.Priortothe

THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

readyaccessoftechnology,theinvertedclassroomwasnoteasytoimplement,butallowedfor
classtimetobemoreproductiveingainingstudentunderstanding.
In 2007, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, two high school chemistry teachers,
struggled to find the necessary time to reteach concepts to students who were absent from class.
In an attempt to keep these students informed on missed instruction, they plunked down $50,
bought software that allowed them to record and annotate lessons, and posted them online
(Tucker, 2012). Though their focus was on students who were absent, Bergmann and Sams
noted that all of their students were taking advantage of the additional resource to review in-class
instruction. This revelation encouraged them to restructure their use of instructional time.
Today,theflippedclassroomisontheriseacrossAmerica.In2012,theFlipped
LearningNetworkcitedmembership on its social media site rose from 2,500 teachers in 2011 to
9,000 teachers in 2012 (Goodwin and Miller, 2013). Unfortunately, as this is a newer concept
to the world of education, there is no hard evidence to argue for or against the flipped classroom.
Though there is no scientific evidence, many survey results show a positive impact on the
learning environment. Goodwin and Miller (2013) cite a survey by the Flipped Learning
Network of 453 teachers using the flipped classroom model. Of this sample, 67 percent reported
increased assessment scores, 80 percent reported an improvement in student attitudes, and 99
percent planned to flip their classroom in the following school year. Though this single survey
cannot be used as factual evidence of the success of the flipped classroom, it demonstrates the
potential of this learning model.

THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

What the Flipped Classroom Is and What the Flipped Classroom is Not
In utilizing the flipped classroom, it is critical to have an understanding of the appropriate
means to which it is implemented. Haselwood (2015) explains the flipped classroom is about
puttingstudentsinchargeoftheirlearningprocessandallowingthemtowrestlewithideasand
topicsbeforecomingbacktoclasswiththeirownspecificquestionsandseekguidancefromthe
teacher.Whenteachersprovidestudentswithresourcestolearn,thestudentsarethen
empoweredwiththeopportunitytogaintheirownunderstanding.
Atrulyflippedclassroominvertsthestandardinstructionmodelinawaythatthelearning
takesplaceoutoftheclassroomandthepracticetakesplaceintheclassroom.Teachersmust
expressexpectationsforstudentsinordertogainthemostfromthisstrategy.Asthisisa
methodverydifferentfromthestandarddirectinstructionmodel,teachersmustspend a
considerable amount of time at the beginning of the year training the students to view our
videos effectively (Bergmann and Sams, 2012). Studentslearntoviewandusethematerials
andresourcesprovidedbytheteacherasinstructed,pausingvideosasneededtoensure
understanding.Inordertobepreparedforclassthenextday,studentsareexpectedtotakenotes
andwritedownanyquestionstheymayhaveregardingtheconcepttheyviewed.
Theteachersrolefortheinclassportionistofacilitateadiscussionbasedonstudent
understandingandstudentquestions.Instructionisstructuredtobeginwithdiscussionoverthe
lessontheyviewed,answeringquestions,andsolidifyingunderstanding.Studentsarethenable
tocompleteinclassassignmentsregardingthetopicathand.Hasselwood(2015)explainsthat
thismodeltakesthe lowest levels of Blooms Taxonomy and puts it outside of the school day,

THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

allowing in-class instruction to utilize higher order thinking. Therefore, activities can dig deeper
to ensure student understanding.
Teachers who successfully implement the flipped classroom in their instruction agree that
it's not the instructional videos on their own, but how they are integrated into an overall
approach (Tucker, 2012). Though students are able to learn content in a self-paced manner, this
does not mean that the teacher uses a completely hands-off approach with the students. Teachers
must not end instruction with the video, but understand that this is where instruction begins.
Bergmann and Sams (2012) describe the teacher in a tutorial role, rather than the presenter of
knowledge. This model allows teachers significantly more time to assist students who need more
instruction in a more one-on-one fashion.
Benefits of the Utilization of the Flipped Classroom
One of the added benefits is the better appropriation of face time. Instructional time is
completely reconstructed with instruction occurring for homework, allowing for more guided
and independent practice in the classroom. When teachers are freed from delivering whole-class
instructionthe teacher can deliver targeted instruction to students one-on-one or in small
groups, help those who struggle, and challenge those who have mastered the content (Sams and
Bergmann, 2013). In this model, students are provided with more work time where they can ask
questions, instead of frustrating work time at home on a concept that is only slightly understood.
Additionally, this model allows teachers to get to know students so much better and quicker
than in a traditional lecture-style classroom (Hasselwood, 2015). When class time is dedicated
to assisting individual students rather than lecturing an entire class, the teacher can have a better
understanding of the abilities of each student in the class.

THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

Another benefit is the ability of students to learn at the pace appropriate for their personal
understanding. In direct instruction, all students must receive the lesson at the same pace,
despite understanding or confusion. When students view videos in the flipped classroom,
students are able and encouraged to pause and re-watch the lessons to better understand and
answer questions. Additionally, the inverted classroom allows the teacher to place an entire
yearworth of lectures online, enabling students to accelerate through the curriculum if they are
ready (Goodwin and Miller, 2013). This self-paced instruction allows students to view content
as little or as much as necessary and move through concepts as each student reaches mastery.
Last, in the flipped classroom, students are more fully engaged in daily instruction.
When teachers lecture, it is easier for students to lose focus, as students are not being spoken to
individually. In the flipped classroom however, the individual student is viewing the content as
if he or she is the only student with the teacher. Students must remain engaged in the lesson, and
are better able to do this with the self-paced aspect of this strategy. Additionally, students today
are accustomed to turning to the web and social media for information and interaction
(Goodwin and Miller, 2013). The utilization of technology as the sole resource for instruction,
teachers are incorporating natural strengths to engage students in the lesson.
In order to make significant gains in education, the format must be fundamentally
changed, and that change begins with the teacher. Bergmann and Sams (2014) state, Teachers
need to be the change agents in education. Though there is no scientific evidence to promote or
discourage the flipped classroom in education, as this transformational strategy incorporates
technology in a self-paced format, there is reason to believe research will find it to be an
instructional tool to increase achievement in all subjects. When correctly implemented, both
teachers and students have the potential to benefit from the flipped classroom.

THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM

References
Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class
Every Day. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2014). Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement. Eugene,
OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
Christensen, C., Horn, M., & Johnson, C. (2011). Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation
Will Change the Way the World Learns. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Flipping a Class (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2015, from https://ctl.utexas.edu.
Goodwin, B, & Miller, K. (2013, March). Research Says Evidence On Flipped Classrooms Is
Still Coming In. Educational Leadership, Volume 70 (Issue 6), pp 78-80.
Haselwood, S. (2015, May 7). What, Why, and How to Flip Your Classroom. Retrieved June
18, 2015, from https://www.edsurge.com.
Lage, M.J., Platt, G.J., & Treglia, M. (2000). Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating an
Inclusive Learning Environment. Journal of Economic Education, pp 30-43.
Sams, A., & Bergmann, J. (2013, March). Flip Your Students Learning. Educational
Leadership, Volume 70 (Issue 6), pp 15-20.
Tucker, B. (2012). The Flipped Classroom: Online Instruction at Home Frees Class Time for
Learning. Education Next, Volume 12 (Issue 1), pp 82-83.