Michael Moore-Jones, a student at Scots College, nails it:
“I’m a massive fan of the Khan Academy. I use it daily to learn content for a large number of my subjects. And I completely buy into the Khan Academy goal of “flipping the classroom” – ie. letting people learn the content of the subject from video lectures at home, then doing “homework” in class where they can engage with the teacher and get help. A lot of students I know are trying to take it into their own hands and use this method, but they then have teachers re-teaching them things and not letting them do their homework in class. To effectively work, schools will have to buy into it as well.”
It’s great to see students take control of their learning, and how I envy the students of today. But how can we help students make this change?
We need to make sure, of course, that schools and homes have the necessary infrastructure (decent internet) and that students and teachers have the the computers and other tools they need. There are programs in place to get much of this.
But Michael raises the toughest point of all – how do we help teachers change decades, centuries even, of tradition?
The answer is that this will come student by student, teacher by teacher, school by school.
With large businesses it can be very effective to trigger transformational change by starting small, helping one or two teams achieve great success, and then letting the process and results spread. I’ve been part of and helped lead change using this approach. It’s much harder, though you might get more press, to mandate change from above and try to force behaviour change.
Real change happens only when we want it, and the motivation that comes from seeing your fellow students, teachers or schools achieve astonishing results. Those results will eventually spread to the next classroom, the next school and throughout the country and world.
Some schools will be incubators, encouraging and welcoming change, and delivering those astonishing results more quickly. Students will want to attend those schools, and the best teachers will want to teach there.
It’s time to move on. It’s time to flip education – who is first? What about it Scots?