Flipped Classrooms for Indian Education


Flipped Classroom
Taken / Pixabay

I never let School Interfere with my Education- Mark Twain

For centuries, nonconformist thinkers have had distaste towards state designed schooling systems. My interactions with educationists from several countries, some far more advanced and developed than India, showed me that they too had a poor opinion of the way the formal education system is practiced in their countries. How many times have you realized that your child will seldom discuss what they learned at school, but will want to share their learning very eagerly which they picked up from a television show, or a mobile app, a YouTube video, or a story book they read?

Learning is a 3-step process – Transmission, Assimilation and Dissemination. Transmission happens in a classroom and from the teacher, which is often uniform, irrespective of the way the child learns best. Some individuals learn better with visuals, some with texts, while some via constructive discussions.

When the teacher assigns homework to students, which are exercises to practice what they learned in the classroom, the objective is to help them assimilate the transmission. Most often, the dissemination does not happen in the schools, which is the most important phase in grasping and retaining the knowledge. Dissemination would include debates and opinion sharing on a particular subject without necessarily proving which side is right or wrong.

A growing problem in Indian education is the disproportionate teacher-to-student ratio and the one-size-fits-all method of education. While private and expensive schools can charge more fees to ensure fewer students for every teacher, this may not be possible with schools that are trying to provide affordable education.

Flipped Classrooms appear to be a possible solution to most of these lingering issues.

As per University of Queensland[1], “The flipped classroom describes a reversal of traditional teaching where students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, usually via reading or lecture videos, and then class time is used to do the harder work of assimilating that knowledge through strategies such as problem-solving, discussion or debates.”

The Indian School of Business (ISB), was one of the first management institutes in the country to introduce the “flipped classroom” to teach students a course on entrepreneurial decision-making in its flagship postgraduate management program last year, and is set to expand the use of this active learning methodology.

The challenge lies in adopting the correct technology resources in implementing flipped classrooms. This will require not just the transmission technology, but also a monitoring system for Assimilation and Dissemination. If this resource can also capture the traditional grading systems it can bring this methodology into mainstream education and make it more acceptable. As of now, this space has a tremendous opportunity for a forward looking #edtech startup. Creatist is one such tool that can help in creating a flipped classroom. The transmission can also be executed via free content libraries like Khan Academy, Coursera, Udemy, SimpliLearn (paid).

Although Tertiary education systems, being more independent when compared to secondary education systems, have started implementing flipped classrooms, it will be a real benefit in the secondary education landscape when implemented properly and via consent and directions from the education boards. Introduction of this technique one subject at a time can also be considered a safe practice. It is time to start thinking in a whole new direction, rather than just emphasizing on the content and design of the curriculum. Let not the Indian students fall behind others in inventing new things for this planet.

DISCLAIMER: Author has no commercial interest with any of the mentioned product or company.

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Flipped Classrooms for Indian Education

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