In the recent rise of digital learning, “flipped classrooms” have become a controversial subject. This new form of learning inverts the traditional conception of the classroom: instruction is transferred from the classroom to out-of-class (online) tasks such as pre-recorded lectures on the Internet, while class time is devoted to activities that put the knowledge into practice. These classrooms have been touted as learner-based and student-centered models of education. Yet there is still little evidence supporting the effectiveness of the flipped classroom at higher levels of education, especially in the humanities. Taking American studies as an example, I will examine some of the arguments in favor of this model, but also and most importantly some of the challenges facing the application of this new educational model in the humanities. In general, the main concern is that flipped classrooms may undermine student-teacher dialogue, viewing teachers as “moderators” who design learning environments geared to the students. At the same time, home-learning environments may compromise learner autonomy and limit learners’ opportunities for self-organized work and interaction with peers outside class. Ultimately, a critique of the concept of flipped classrooms is also a critique of the egalitarian aspirations of digital pedagogy in general.
Both Germany and the United States have made significant reforms over the last decade to their secondary school systems. This article compares the reforms focused on at-risk secondary school students in both countries and explores emerging trends in achievement and attainment data. The authors conclude that both countries have made significant education reforms and improved the educational results for at-risk students.
American education is a complex topic because a single school can draw upon resources from several different public and private institutions. For example, a student may attend a private high school whose curriculum must meet standards set by the state, some of whose science courses may be financed by federal funds, and whose sports teams may play on local, publicly owned fields. Despite this complexity, however, it is possible to describe the broad contours of American education.
The president of the Institute for Educational Leadership discusses issues and trends in primary and secondary education in the United States. Is our nation’s historic commitment to mass public education appropriate in its current form? What are the prospects of experiments to improve public schooling? (From Society & Values)