I am writing my dissertation proposal, trying desperately to build a literature review about the uses of the internet in today’s classroom. I have struggled from the beginning finding up-to-date sources in printed, easy-to-cite sources such as journals. I am to the point where all I need are some secondary print articles to tie it together, at least the part I’m working on right now, flipped classrooms. Trouble is, the data. I can’t find it.
It is now 6:14 local time, and I have been looking for current data, even in ancdotal form, to support the use of the flipped classroom model since before noon. In six hours of intense internet research, using all of the many tools at my disposal, I found one article. And it was firewalled behind a pay-per-view screen (Thanks, Detroit Free Press). SImilar searches for the past few days have not been any more successful.
But isn’t the flipped classroom the hottest thing going in education today? Aren’t schools all over the country, switching to this model?
And I found zillions of blogs showing how to do it well, how to do it better, and the best ways to flip. I found oodles of teachers who now enjoy teaching because of the flip model, and oodles of accounts from teachers explaining how much their students were learning.
But no one is writing about the results. At least, so few that dredging them up is becoming a chore beyond what it should be. Want 1:1 data? All over the place. Want evidence of learning in online settings, you got it. But the flipped classroom concept, while being easily one of the most talked about and blogged about phenomena in education, one that makes perfect sense to most educators, has an alarmingly emaciated wealth of supporting data.
I believe teachers do not do things in their classrooms long term unless they see success, so I will go on the record saying I believe there is something very positive about this model.
But without some data, without some real evidence of not just the implementation of the model, but sustained success that comes of it, there is cause for concern.
If there is no data to support its success, either the results are being seen as underperforming expectations, or fully committed educators implementing this system may be more rare than thought.
Bloggers love to talk about the flipped classroom because it seems to work. I challenge these pioneers to write some action research or papers to prove it.