Go ahead and postpone the conversation about the backlash against the flipped classroom model. Supporters and skeptics alike — and even the researchers behind a seemingly critical new report — say the discussion continues to be positive. Or is it?
Flipping the classroom — the practice of giving students access to lectures before they come to class and using class time for more engaging activities — hasn’t been nearly as divisive as many other ed tech trends, such as massive open online courses or outsourcing digital services. So when USA Today last week reported on an experiment at Harvey Mudd College that had failed to improve student outcomes, it provided a rare contrast.
InsideHigherEd says that “Some students “said they felt the flipped classroom had a heavier workload,” and professors “had to spend considerably more time making and editing … videos and crafting engaging, hands-on sessions for their classes.” A comparison between the flipped classrooms and their traditional counterparts found “no demonstrable difference” in student outcomes. The researchers, the newspaper wrote, “have bad news for advocates of the trend: it might not make any difference.”
“The study could have fit into a growing body of research calling the science behind flipping the classroom into question. Days later, however, the researchers behind the study said their results and words had been misinterpreted.
Yes, the article did point out that the results were preliminary — twice in one sentence, even — but the headline (“ ‘Flipped classrooms’ may not have any impact on learning”) and hook drew too many conclusions about a study that is set to continue for another three years, they said. Continue reading “Flipping about flipping”
It’s no secret that this summer’s movie season hasn’t been strong on women. It’s been mentioned on Vulture. NPR did a story about it. The New York Times covered it. Even Fox News ran a piece about it.
Yet Jodi Foster has a leading role in the new action movie Elysium, reports Ms Magazine. “How’d she score it? Foster makes a point of having her agent specifically seek out leading-man scripts that can be flipped. Her role in Elysium was originally written for a man.
“More actresses might want to do the same, because the Movie Insider database of films in development and pre-production contains films in which there really is no reason that the main character can’t be a woman.
“A third installment of Night at the Museum is in the works, for example, but Ben Stiller is not yet signed on to reprise his role. In the first movie of the series, much of the plot and humor relies on the fact that the main character is new on the job–in fact, one could argue that deviating from this set-up is why Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian grossed only half of what the original did in its opening weekend. The film’s subtitle, Brother From Another Mother (seriously), indicates that Night at the Museum 3 will return to its previously successful formula and introduce a brother to Stiller’s character who has taken over for him at the museum.
“Other than the dated and possibly offensive reference in the title, not much would have to change to make the new character a sister. After all, the job of the watchman is essentially that of caretaker, which is a job women do every day. The style of the film does require an actor capable of the kind of comedy for which Stiller is known, but there’s no dearth of female comedic geniuses around these days. The role could be played hilariously by Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig or Sarah Silverman, to name a few. Continue reading “Jodi’s gender flipping”