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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Less Us, More Them!

I had the privilege of listening to Gary Stager online at the TEDX NY this weekend.  He is an engaging speaker and he finished his talk with four words:  Less Us, More Them.

Profound words:  Words we educators need to heed.  Too often we as educators spend too much time “teaching” and don’t allow enough time in our classes for LEARNINING.  Our students need t ime,support and coaches, not lecturers, expositors, and experts.  In this globally connected world, students need to see us guiding their learning, but not scripting everything in their lives.

In our upcoming book on the Flipped Classroom, Aaron Sams and I talk about how we had to give up the control of the learning to our students.  This was hard for us, but when students are in charge of their own learning, they actually learn.  We even went as far as telling our readers (we shall see if this makes it into the book once the editors get at it) that control freaks need not apply.  What we meant is that the Flipped Classroom by its very nature is chaotic and those teachers who want total control of their classes won’t be very successful.  We argue however, students WILL, and DO learn better when they are given the control.

Thanks again Gary for your sage words.  You said in four words what I believe about education.


  1. Awesome work on the Flipped Classroom Model! Thanks for your excellent articles. I have created an overview page in my blog about your model.

  2. Agree with you Shan... Really work is awesome...
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  3. Excellent Article
    What I believe is that in the Flipped Learning model, there is a deliberate shift from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered approach, where in-class time is meant for exploring topics in greater depth and creating richer learning opportunities.Flipped classrooms allow for a variety of learning modes; educators often physically rearrange their learning space to accommodate the lesson or unit, which might involve group work, independent study, research, performance, and evaluation. They create Flexible Environments in which students choose when and where they learn.Students move from being the product of teaching to the center of learning, where they are actively involved in knowledge formation through opportunities to participate in and evaluate their learning in a manner that is personally meaningful. Students can theoretically pace their learning by reviewing content outside the group learning space, and teachers can maximize the use of face-to-face classroom interactions to check for and ensure student understanding and synthesis of the material.Flipped educators accept that the in-class time will be somewhat chaotic and noisy, as compared with the quiet typical of a well-behaved class during a lecture. Furthermore, educators who flip their classes are flexible in their expectations of student timelines for learning and how students are assessed. Educators build appropriate assessments systems that objectively measure understanding in a way that is meaningful for students and the teacher.
    I am a researcher at and we are working on a similar study.Would love to read more from you.