Last week I started getting some pushback from the students in my Math 10 classes. I have been running the classes in a flipped manner, where the lecture is replaced by activities and application/practice. I’m sure the students are benefiting from the classroom environment, but it’s not completely obvious to them. As I’ve seen in the past when doing problem based learning, older students don’t always like self-directed learning. In the case of Math 10, I have students that want to be shown how to do something, along with seeing examples, before they even think about trying or struggling with the topic.
I recently got a new contract in Vancouver teaching Math 10 and Math 8. While I feel pretty comfortable with the material in these courses, teaching math has some stark differences from science. Whereas each junior science course is like a fresh start for the students, math isn’t. Each student in math is carrying years of baggage with them by the time they hit secondary school. For Math 10, the baggage is even greater.
I recently had a discussion with a classmate of mine about the Flipped Classroom, and I think my comments are worth sharing. In our discussion, I pointed out a couple of problems I have with the FC, which deal with a few fundamental issues in education. I should start off with saying that I do agree with the idea of moving the long lecture outside of the classroom. Where I disagree with the FC is that the lecture, or its replacement, should be moved home.