Teaching models undergo continuous transformation. Times have changed since teachers occupied a leading role in the classroom, and we now have a more participatory system where educators guide learning. They walk alongside students to support and help them throughout the process.
However, it is not only the roles of teachers and students that have changed, but also the spaces and ways in which we learn. Thanks to the generalisation of technology and the internet, knowledge is universal and can travel to and from anywhere in the world. This is where a trend takes shape: the flipped classroom. This methodology is already used at several centres from the Best Schools in Spain network. It is an educational model that takes theoretical learning outside of the classroom and uses class time, alongside the teacher’s experience, to promote and work on different processes. The classroom therefore becomes a space for debating, solving problems and putting knowledge into practise.
Teachers act as mentors or guides, and students are the ones that debate and work on reaching final conclusions in the classroom. Students are given a list of topics in advance and prepare by themselves them at home. This frees up time in class to encourage students to participate and play an active role in their learning through questions, discussions and activities.
The classroom becomes a place to practise, share opinions, interact, delve deeper or answer any questions. They become spaces for innovation and creativity, and are the origin of ideas and projects. Students learn at home and practise in class.
Active and participatory learning
Learning is much more participatory and increases student engagement, as they work on theory at home and put it into practise in the classroom with the help of their teacher and classmates. At the same time, students interact with their teachers in a more specific, direct and personalised manner.
The student is the protagonist of his or her training, which allows adaptation to the different learning rhythms of each student and stimulates his or her effort in the classroom.
Traditionally, students had to consolidate what they had learnt with homework. Thanks to this model, students consolidate what they have learnt with the guidance of their teacher and the help of their peers. This makes it possible to incorporate active methodologies into the classroom that give students a leading role in their education, which in turn enables teachers to adapt to each child’s pace of learning and stimulates their efforts in the classroom.
In the flipped classroom, teachers fulfil the role of researcher, content creator and learning mediator, while students take on responsibility for their own learning and do so autonomously. This new model, which is used in the Best Schools in Spain and has changed the roles of those involved in the teaching and learning process, is here to stay due to the numerous benefits:
- It turns the classroom into an active working space, removing the passive reception typical of the traditional model.
- It develops students’ creativity and critical thinking and encourages them to be autonomous.
- Theory-based contents are more accessible because students have them in advance and can use them whenever they need.
- It gives students the chance to look at the contents created or provided by the teacher over and over again.
- It promotes student-focused learning, while also creating a collaborative learning environment in the classroom.
- It enables more personalised learning, adapted to the pace of each student.
- Students are more motivated and engaged with their own learning.
- Deeper learning is achieved.
- Students are less stressed and it is easier to follow the rules.
- Teachers have more freedom so they can work more efficiently.
- It lets teachers spend more time on supporting diversity.
- Teachers can share information with students and families, in addition to the entire educational community.
- This model removes the traditional concept of homework as students have to carry out different tasks.
- It gets families involved right from the beginning of the learning process.