Monday, August 20, 2012
For those of you who haven't seen Moneyball, it's a baseball movie. I'm not a big baseball fan, in general, but I am a sucker for a good sports movie with a happy ending. In short, it's about the Oakland A's, and how statistics became a huge part of baseball recruitment. The main character in the movie (Billy Beane) takes a risk on a very unorthodox way of recruiting/scouting baseball players. He and his assistant decide to use all sorts of statistics that end up giving each player a percentage. Using numbers allowed the scouts to overcome the bias that used to surround baseball scouting (his swing is too ugly, etc.)
In the movie, Billy Beane takes all kinds of pounding from the press, his coaching staff, the media, etc. He really goes out on a limb to try something new because he knew that the same old recruiting methods wouldn't work in Oakland because they had a significantly smaller budget than most other teams (like the Yankees, for example).
As I watched, I began to notice a lot of similarities between education and baseball. Our schools are still running on a very old philosophy. Students should sit in rows, listen (not speak), and memorize what the teacher says...okay, hopefully that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Children today are not the same as the children of 50 years ago. What worked then doesn't work now. This is not new information...people are well aware of this problem, and yet nothing is changing! Why? Because change is hard.
Back to the movie, this new way of thinking about baseball was a huge change...no one thought it would work. This was only 10 years ago! Now look at the game. Statistics plays a huge role in the scouting and recruiting of baseball players. Because Billy Beane took a risk & tried something different, he changed the face of baseball.
This is what I think is starting to happen with the flipped classroom movement. Teachers realize that the same old methods aren't cutting it. When I first heard about the flipped classroom I was at a point of being highly frustrated with the system. To me, flipped classroom was the answer. Am I perfect at it yet? Nope. Will I ever be perfect at it? Nope. And I think that's what makes it work. It's an ever changing method of teaching that is completely tailored to the teacher & students using it.
Similar to the movie, there is a lot of press surrounding the flipped classroom. Thankfully, most of it is positive. However, all this publicity leads to misunderstanding. Many people who hear about the flipped classroom think it's all about the videos.
Say it with me now...it's not about the videos! It's about being able to reach kids where they are, and take them farther than they ever dreamed.