I had an absolutely inspiring meeting with the Vice Principal of Blessed mother Teresa Secondary School, Mike Wetzel. As we sat and chatted it became abundantly clear that we both held very similar views in our interpretation of differentiated instruction. The biggest question that came out of the conversation was not so much about the instructional piece but so much more about how our students learn.
In some models of the flipped class, students are actually given prescribed material to study at home before they engage in the classroom discussion, but it is this very practice that encroaches on the potential richness of self-directed learning. When a student is given a general topic to research, the process in which they discover new information is actually the most invaluable piece to a teacher’s understanding of their students’ learning tendencies. For example, one may ask their students to find material relating to lung cancer, and the variance of research may be anywhere from a collection of videos, online books, texts, comics etc.
Our conversation could have gone for hours more, but we left each other in anticipation of our next steps. Teachers and classrooms have been selected – planning meetings to follow.