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The Flipped Classroom: A Student’s Perspective

Kaitie and Jon Bergmann

This post is being cross-published on the Pearson Education Blog

We know how critical the dialogue between the teacher and the student is, and how easily communication can be a breakthrough or a breakdown in the success for the students. The relationship between how the educator conducts class time and homework is a complicated algorithm, depending on precision and reasoning.  I’ve had a blog on flipped learning for quite some time, but recently I asked guest bloggers to offer a range of different voices.  One voice we don’t often hear from is the student perspective so I asked my daughter, who often co-presents with me, to write a blog from her perspective. Below is her unique take on flipped learning.

What is flipped learning, you may ask?  It is where learning is personalized to the student and students takes ownership of their learning. Thus it makes perfect sense to bring in the student perspective to keep the flipped conversation going.  So I’d like to introduce my daughter, Kaitie Bergmann. Have a look at what she has to say…


“I found my years in a flipped class environment to be more to me than just a chemistry class. I learned so much more than chemical equations and plate tectonics. I learned how to learn. While I was a student at the Woodland Park High School, in Colorado, I took two flipped classes. I was in honors freshman earth & space science and then my sophomore year I took flipped chemistry. I’m lucky to have a sense of both the flipped and traditional classrooms to see how much I have taken from the experience.
For the first time ever I had the ability to “pause the teacher” while watching the lectures online. Working on my own timetable allowed me to explore learning styles and techniques, and to hone in on the way that I learn best. The tailorability of the flipped classroom was cool as well because I saw my peers learning in their own style (for example, watching the videos at two times the speed when they got it, or  conversely watching the videos multiple times) and excelling in the class.

One of the coolest things that came out of the flipped-mastery classroom for me was the ability to step up and take responsibility for my own learning at a pace that worked for me. I got to choose when to listen to a lecture, decide what was the best use of my class time, such conducting a lab, doing a worksheet, asking for help, or working in a small group, and then work towards the weekly stated goals.
Another reason I enjoy the flipped class so much is the stress-free environment it creates. I cannot remember a time when I was stressed out about my flipped chemistry classes. I most definitely have been stressed about other classes that are not taught in the flipped classroom model, and I looked forward to my flipped class. I always knew I could get the help I needed, take the tests multiple times, and I knew what I needed to complete and learn by the end of the week. I see so many students in high school who stress way to much and I think that the flipped classroom can be part of the answer to that overload of homework-related stress.
The bottom line is that I learned in the flipped classroom. And that learning that occurred helped me get through many classes in high school, simply by learning how to learn. I hope that you enjoyed hearing from a student as much as I enjoyed sharing.  I’m going to send this back over to my dad for his final thoughts.”

And there you have it.  Students of every grade level and all subject areas are energized by the concept of flipped learning. I recently presented a webinar called  Engaging Struggling Students in a Flipped Classroom along with Aaron Sams, co-author of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. To learn more about what it means to make the shift to a flipped classroom visit this video from a few year’s back for a closer look at Woodland Park High School.

-Jon (educator, author and flipped learning pioneer) and Kaitie Bergmann (high school senior) continue to present on the roles of teacher and student in a flipped classroom and will be speaking in Iceland this spring.  Continue the conversation at the Flipped Learning Network Ning, a free Community of Learning with over 11,000 members taking on Flipped Learning. Also a new blended learning course for educators will debut in April. Read more now.


8 Responses to The Flipped Classroom: A Student’s Perspective

  1. I am now 70 years old. Right from my K-4 I have been using independent study techniques including my PhD at IIT, Kharagpur (INDIA)except at K10.I was not knowing those days the term Flipped Classroom. Very less interaction with faculty and no luxury of Internet! We used call it as “bunking the classes” or “common Off”!! To me for university education why shoud there be Time-Table? Why the bell should ring after every hour? The grown up students, age more than 14 yeras, need to take their own notes, interact with faculty only for a very limited hours for 90% study can be done by student himself who needs face to face iteraction for 10% only. I strongly believe that Flipped Classroom provides this opportunity in the age of ICT. It leads to personalized education. Student learns anywhere, anytime at his own speed and potential. It is a great concept. In the ancient Indian Gurukul system such and similar components were embedded. Therefore Bhima was the best wrestler and also the best chef, Arjuna was the best warrior and the best dancer.

  2. [...] The Flipped Classroom: A Student’s Perspective [...]

  3. Does one student’s experience, in this case that of a gifted student, equate to other students’? We need to be careful not to generalize. Flipping will work for the motivated, independent learner, but plenty of students will not watch a video at home or pause the video when needed to review material. Wish it weren’t so, but speak to the average high school student or gather data from a large heterogeneous sample before reaching conclusions about the flipped classroom. In addition, a host of intervening variables such as the materials in the flipped session and the teaching styles of the online instructor and classroom instructor need to be considered. We need more data and research still on this concept. This is also a concept if poorly implemented could be detrimental to student learning. We need research to also show what happens when the flipped model is poorly implemented. We also need to consider the digital divide, socio-economic differences, and learning style theory.

    • jbergmann says:

      Any teaching methodology is only as good as the teacher implementing it.  I have seen the flipped model implemented poorly and it has not helped the students.  I think we must realize that teaching is at is core a human endevor, an thus will work when we have dedicated teachers to implement it. 

      That said:  And yes–Kaitie is a gifted, motivated student so this worked well with her.  That siad andI have also seent flipped learning work with less motivated students.  There is a growing body of research that is showing the efficacy of flipped learning.  Check out my research tab on the website.

      And…The digital divide:  Check out my blog post on the topic:  http://flipped-learning.com/?p=1041 

      Thanks for your input

  4. [...] The Flipped Classroom: A Student’s Perspective [...]

  5. [...] The Flipped Classroom: A Student’s Perspective | Flipped Learning [...]

  6. [...] As a future educator, I am intrigued by the concept of flipped classrooms. This week I was introduced to the education blog Flipped Learning: Turning Learning on Its Head (flipped-learning.com).  The blog’s writer, Jon Bergmann, is a teacher and educational coach who has helped to pioneer the Flipped Class Movement. Through text, radio segments, and videos, Bergmann shares his thoughts on reimagining what 21st Century classrooms can look like and how students can be engaged in learning that is relevant to their interests as well as to the demands of the world beyond the school’s walls. He also shares additional perspectives from guest writers who describe their experiences with flipped classrooms as teachers and as students. [...]

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