Assessment as sharing
In response to last week's post, @Carloper posed some great questions: what "mastery" are we measuring? If kids are learning in a more open environment, why do we insist on assessing them in a closed, traditional way?
Turning again to Aaron Sams, we see that recent iterations of flipped learning incorporate process oriented guided inquiry based learning (POGIL) and promote a meta-cognitive element of "learning about learning." POGIL's roots are in chemistry, but it can be applied to other subjects because it focuses on process skills like collaboration (learning with others) and expressive writing. Since "whole education" is a major focus these days practicing the scientific method in history class would be fantastic. POGIL starts with a piece of information and some guiding questions, and has students use the scientific method to reach a conclusion. The more general the initial piece of information and the more open the guiding questions, the greater breadth and depth the students explore. And remember, this doesn't have to start in the classroom!
You see, flipping isn't another method to deliver content; it's about empowering students in their learning - it's about having students learn from each other and be curious about the world around them. Teachers provide a framework, and have students practice skills like deconstructing complex problems and applying smaller units of information to other problems. As a science teacher, Sams has students use programs like PhET (research-based interactive computer simulations), and Wolfram|Alpha (an online answer engine for computations), and even gives tests where students have open access to the internet - just knowing how to Google isn't enough; one must be able to filter the answers to find what best serves them. It's the skill of knowing to access information when you need it.
I think more teachers should take on the role of researcher, and try out new methods; after all, flipped learning started in a classroom. The learning about learning element should become part of teaching culture; you don't know what you don't know until you question. Of course, this always brings in the argument that students shouldn't be guinea pigs, and that just 2 years of exposure to ineffective teaching can heavily affect student achievement. As researchers, teachers would have the responsibility to evaluate and change their methods as rigorously as they expect change and growth from their students. Seems fair.