Pearson used the occasion of the annual conference of the Association of Educational Services Agencies to announce a new partnership with the Flipped Learning Network that will offer education professionals interested in experimenting with the "flipped learning" teaching model a training course to make the switch easier and more productive.
The popularity of flipped learning is growing not just around the country, but also around the world, as more instructors are discovering that turning the traditional teaching paradigm on its head improves academic outcomes and increases student engagement. The core technique that underlies the flipped learning approach is having students view lectures typically delivered in the classroom at home over the internet instead. Class time is then used to go deeper into the material, to ask and to answer questions about it and to engage in hands-on activities that promote problem-solving skills and allow for deeper understanding of the subject being taught.
Flipped Learning Network's Executive Director Kari M. Arfstrom said, "Our partnership will allow us to bring together highly skilled trainers from both Pearson and the Flipped Learning Network to personalize professional development training for thousands of teachers so they can seamlessly make the transition to our flipped learning. Just as students have different learning styles, so do educators, and this blended learning course will address multiple methods of implementing flipped learning."
According to a survey of educators involved in flipped learning experiments conducted by the FLN in June 2012, together with ClassroomWindow, 67% of the respondents said that they noticed a marked improvement in test scores among their students. An even more impressive 80% said that there was a notable uptick in enthusiasm about learning among their pupils since switching away from the traditional teaching methods.
Kids aren't the only ones embracing flipped learning with enthusiasm. 88% percent of educators themselves reported an improvement in their level of job satisfaction with the advent of the new instructional approach. Of those, nearly half felt that their job satisfaction had "significantly improved."
Pearson Executive Vice President Stefan Kohler said, "The demand for Flipped Learning is really exploding in the US. Through the pioneering work of Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, the Flipped Learning Network has developed a tremendously effective model and we have collaborated with them to create a professional development program that can be easily customized for teachers anywhere. We are committed to working side-by-side with teachers and districts that are embracing this non-traditional way of engaging our students."
Educators who wish to take part in the new course will attend several face-to-face sessions and participate in online learning activities. In total, they will receive 16 hours of instruction that will provide them with implementation ideas and include tips on how to avoid common mistakes. Attendees will also have an opportunity to collaborate and share with their peers, working together to determine how to use the classroom time more productively, and even figure out how lesson plans used in traditional classes could be converted for use in a flipped classroom environment.