Learning backwards is more effective

The sensation of novelty that produces any stimulus tends to disappear after 10 minutes. With that idea in mind, Jon Bergmann ( Chicago , 1964), recognized in 2002 by the White House as the best teacher of US math and science, broke with traditional teaching methodology. He left to base their classes in a speech not to bore your students and launched the so – called Flipped Classroom .

Beginning in 2007, chemistry students at Colorado’s Woodland Park Institute began to consume the theory at home – with short videos made by Bergmann himself – and to devote class time to solving doubts, researching or working on projects.

The main advantage of Flipped Classroom, according to Bergmann, is that it is more effective because the teacher adapts to the different rates of learning and no student is left behind. “In a traditional classroom, the teacher tells an information that for some will be very easy to process and for others not. Then they go home to do the homework and those who have parents with knowledge of the subject, always win. This method allows each student to receive what he needs in class “, explains Bergmann. The revolution of this pedagogical method is not to take for granted that all students are going to advance at the same speed. “It’s a commitment to personalization and a crusade against standardization,” says Bergmann.

Since 2012, Bergmann and his colleague Aaron Sams, also a professor of secondary schools, published the best seller Flip Your Classroom , the methodology has been replicated around the world and although no official data, currently more than 20 universities are investigating the advantages of its application, according to the web Flipped Global Initiative . The strongest conclusions from some of these studies are that students are more active in class, teachers are more motivated and, in some cases, students perform better on exams.

This method is not new. In the 1970s the American pedagogue Benjamin Bloom considered it wrong to devote most of his class time to listening to a lesson and leaving the most creative home. According to this theorist, it is precisely that part of learning that is the most complicated and requires a specialized guide, in this case, the teacher. Later, in 1990 Eric Mazur , Dean of Applied Physics at Harvard University , also bet against the monologue of the teacher and the passive student and coined the term peer instruction (in Spanish, peer learning), to defend a more interactive formula in the classroom.

But Flipped Classroom is the nomenclature that appears today in the listings associated with educational innovation and new methodologies. “The best thing about this pedagogical model is that it improves the teacher-student relationship”, defends Bergmann. Divide the students into groups, put them to work on the content visualized at home, to debate and to create while the teacher solves doubts and makes them of guide, that the point that multiplies the number of interactions and allows the students who are ahead Explain the rest and, at the same time, strengthen the knowledge. “When teachers are not standing in front of their students simply talking and can move around the class, the relationship changes completely.” According to a survey in 2012 to 453 secondary school teachers in the United States who had used Flipped, 80% reported an improvement in the attitude of students and 99% said they would use the next course.

“Students are autonomous, are responsible for their learning always with the help of the teacher. That activates them, makes them involved , “adds Bergmann, father of three children and advisor TED Education , network talks on educational innovation. Self-learning occurs when children learn to take their own notes while watching videos at home, but the teacher must teach them to do it and spend about three weeks there. In the wed Flipped Global Initiative can be followed online courses in which Bergmann shows you how.

Raul Santiago, professor of didactics of the University of La Rioja , is the main driver of Flipped Classroom is Spain. In 2012, it launched a research project to find formulas that improve the learning of its Teaching students and gave with this method. He created the web theflippedclassroom.es in which more than 80 Spanish teachers of primary, secondary and university have published more than a thousand entries about their experiences in the classroom, advice and tools. This network brings together researchers from universities such as the Complutense of Madrid, the University of Vigo or UNED, among others.

In his research Flipped Classroom Is an effective teaching model ?, published in 2015, they referred to a survey of 186 Spanish students of primary, middle and high schools in 10 different autonomous communities that had followed the inverted during class, At least, a semester. About 85% of the students said that this method gave them more possibilities to choose the type of material that best suited their learning and also to work at their own pace. Almost 90% of them stressed that they had increased their chances of participating in problem solving and improved their critical thinking. Over 90% said that learning was more active.

For Raúl Santiago, the most complicated thing to put into practice is the change of mentality that requires on the part of the teacher. “Their role changes, they no longer have the upper hand. The class no longer revolves around their explanation, and in addition they are accustomed to that their words are replicated in the examination “.

Leticia Serna has been a primary school teacher at Escola Escolapias Carabanchel for 11 years. The last two happened to Flipped. “The school refuses to go behind. Applying new methodologies is to keep pace with society, “he explains. The main drawback of the lecture class, he says, is that it does not reach everyone. “Now they have an hour to ask me what they want, it’s a barrage of worries. The advantage is that they are more motivated, think more and make more decisions, “practices that are more aligned with their future work.

Serna was formed through an online course offered by the National Institute of Educational Technologies (INTEF) under the Ministry of Education . In the school where he works, along with another 11 in different autonomous regions, they are adopting the Flipped thanks to the advice of MT Group , the only company of Spanish educational innovation within the Flipped Learning Network, which has already trained more than 1,500 teachers Since 2013.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.