No, I’m not complaining about churches or trying to buy and then sell churches for a
prophet profit. Actually I’m talking about a little development in education called the “Flipped Classroom” and why it might be relevant for churches today.
What Is The Flipped Classroom?
The “flipped classroom” is the idea that instead of learning about a topic in class and then practising the topic at home (for example, at school your teacher explains how to do long division and at home you answer problems on long division) students learn about a topic at home (via a cleaver and sometimes interactive video) and then practice the new learned technique in class.
This, in theory, means that a student can slow the video down or re watch a video clip to make sure that they have understood a lesson. The they have access to the teacher in class to help them out with any questions they still have.
Is It Important?
Some advocates say this is going to change the world and education as we know it! The slowest students can learn at their own pace, the faster students can also get on with using the knowledge quicker. Everyone’s a winner! On top of that we can now use class time for students to collaborate and learn important team work skills as well.
Critics say that actually this isn’t all that new, teachers could do it with books. Also, learning by receiving information isn’t the best way to learn anyway.
However it may be, it is a huge change from previous methods of learning.
How could this be applied to churches?
Imagine that instead of coming to church, listening to a sermon for [insert your churches sermon length] ending with a few questions which no one talks about (except maybe a brief mention over coffee), the congregation listened to the sermon before coming (it could even be a famous preachers sermon or the pastor could record one). Once they turn up to the meeting, everyone discussed the implications for themselves, prayed for each other and perhaps, even, left the church building and put their ideas into action.
A small group would be another great setting for flipped learning. The members could watch a sermon or short message before hand and then share what they thought about it when they all meet up. It might also mean that instead of rushing the study, missing out on another aspect of the small group because of the time it takes to really look deeply into God’s word, people would save the time listening and reading the passage (and listen to a great delivery rather than the monotone readings that can occur.)
The flipped classroom has definietly raised questions about how schools teach students so maybe it’s time we started to ask those questions in churches. Is Flipping the Church service a better way for people to listen to sermons? What could that time be used for in a church service? And more questions.
Have you “flipped” a church activity before? How did it go?