While the mind immediately jumps to math-based content in connection to the flipped classroom, with some imagination the social studies classroom can be enhanced by using a flipped classroom model. In this article, Tom Driscoll, an experienced teacher, clearly outlines how he has flipped his social studies classroom. He has found it beneficial since students do not learn only in the “classroom,” and modern education systems should reflect this fact. In his classroom, he attempts to structure the room with designated for group direct instruction, collaboration, and individual work. The progressed is measured while students demonstrate mastery of a series of objectives for each uint. This allows student’s flexibility of choice and may even allow students to develop their own learning tasks. Students generally work at their own pace through their unit’s objectives, and large group direct instruction is limited to only the most important circumstances.
A typically day in this flipped classroom, this teacher begins with a large group setting activity or warm up, a brief lecture, tutorial, or guided discussion. Then students work in their individual or collaboration areas to engage in their learning tasks, finished by a reflection period. The reflection period is especially important for students to describe their accomplishments and gauge their effort and efficiency. This builds student’s metacognitive skills and helps them become self-regulated learners. Metacognition is just one of the many 21st-century skills that this form of a flipped classroom prunes. Most of the units incorporated Literacy and Writing standards, which all work to improve communication and time management skills that are transferable beyond the classroom.
I plan on incorporating technology and the flipped classroom in my future class because of the autonomy the student is given in their education. Rather than using lectures, students will have more opportunities to learn according to their learning styles and demonstrate mastery in a variety of ways. I will also be able to add support by explaining a difficult concept in a variety of ways and scaffold the lessons easily, with each student spending time on level-appropriate content. For students who finish early, they will have the time to work on projects that catch their interest, such as 20-Time. Since 2011, Tom Driscoll has been incorporating and honing his skills in a flipped social studies classroom and written this intriguing article, demonstrating the possibilities to help our students in more ways than just content!