Let’s break it down…
Marshall Rosemberg uses the term compassion in his book “Non-violent communication” understood as the “profound impulse of common humanity that exists in human beings when we communicate without violence” (p. 17). The Dalai Lama also invites us to develop compassion in our lives to experience higher levels of tranquility and peace. He actually says: “… we can strive gradually to become more compassionate, that is we can develop both genuine sympathy for others’ suffering and the will to help remove their pain. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase” (para. 7).
For that reason, I understand flipped learning as a compassionate teaching methodology where love is at the center of the process and it is evident through the 4 pillars. Love for learning (for students, in the creation of a learning culture; and for teachers in becoming a professional educator ), love for teaching (through a flexible environment and intentional content), love for students (in understanding they are human beings with difficulties, trauma, family issues, unfulfilled needs, and many lacks); love for knowledge (in the intentional selection of content and the multiplicity of resources and modes of learning). Love is everywhere when we flip. If that sounds to corny, you can’t stop reading now. But, if you understand that by investing more time in planning and creating amazing lessons for your students, you are loving them more, you are loving your profession and you are enriching your life, please, keep reading.
We flip our classes for our students. If we flip our class, we do it because we realize our students are capable of doing many more things than just listen to us and we want to offer them more challenging and personalized learning experiences. We flip because we realize that to develop 21st-century skills and competences in our students, they have to “get their hands dirty” and be the ones on task. We realize those words King said in 1993 and that got stuck with the flipped model from the start: “we have to be the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage” in the classroom. We flip our classes because we believe in constructivism and we believe in the power of socialization to get our students to learn by experiencing the world and constructing meaning by themselves. We also believe that passively listening to a teacher does a disservice to our current active, curious and insatiable students. We are competing with social media and video games for their attention, and we can’t do that by just talking to them. We have to know better.
Architects are able to think of gorgeous structures and do whatever it takes to see them materialized (even if they have to convince the engineer in the construction site to mold metal into an oval shape). So, that’s why I conceive teachers as architects in the flipped environment. We think up activities that might not be orthodox, or that might place parents on the edge. We invite students to get out of their comfort zone and be part of the real world during our class periods. As the HyperDoc girls say, “we need to be designers, not assigners” (Landis, Hilton, Highfill, 2016). When we flip our class, the magic that happens in our classrooms has been previously planned and orchestrated. In a flipped class, anything is left to chance.
So, flipped learning is a compassionate teaching methodology where students are placed at the center of the learning process and teachers are architects of authentic meaningful, and intentional learning experiences for both spaces of learning (in and out of the classroom).
Highfill, L., Hilton, K., & Landis, S. (2016). The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps. EdTechTeam Press
Lama, D. (2019). Compassion and the individual. Retrieved from https://www.dalailama.com/messages/compassion-and-human-values/compassion
Rosemberg, M. (2006). Comunicación no violenta: un lenguaje de vida. Buenos Aires. Gran Aldea Editores