Reverse Pedagogy

Reverse pedagogy is a pedagogical strategy consisting of concentrating class time in order to carry out practical work by eliminating the time required for the lecture. In reality, it is not the pedagogy that is reversed but more the teaching process. Since students are usually passive during their teacher’s lectures, teachers can view everything when and where it suits them best, through social media channels. All of this implies that students can use their smart phone or electronic tablet to access content published by their teacher in media such as YouTube, Didacti or institutional portals.

In other words, the teacher no longer has to repeat his course from one class to another. In fact, he spends more time with the student discussing, explaining, supporting and guiding learning. He becomes a resource, a guide and an educational strategist.

The lessons are to be viewed during homework and the exercises are to be carried out in class, with the teacher. And these videos or podcasts are accessible, preferably, in a version compatible with portable devices so that students can consult these capsules when they are in transit between school and home.


If you follow American educational news at all, you know exactly what it is. What English speakers call the Flipped Classroom , the Reversed Classroom is a brilliant idea that is starting to be imported into Quebec. Indeed, this pedagogical strategy is better known as reverse pedagogy or flipped classroom .

The strategy was born recently in the United States in 2007 by chance when two young science teachers questioned how to accommodate students who were frequently absent and whose absences negatively influenced academic results. This is how Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams set out to record their lessons in order to publish them so that their students can watch them when they see fit, during their free time, outside of normal school hours. Classes.

The results were astounding as the two teachers noted an unexpected drop in truancy, which reflects a clear increase in interest in the subject. In addition, there was an increase in classroom interactivity and constructive and productive discussions between students. Peer tutoring has imposed itself and student collaboration and cooperation has reached a new threshold.

Faced with this success, the two colleagues continued to create video clips in order to free up most of their task in class to help students in their practical work.

Another success awaited them around the corner. Their video clips have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times by students around the world. We suspect that even teachers have used them since Bergmann and Sams have been invited to give lectures all over the United States in order to promote the pedagogical strategy for which they are credited.

Meanwhile, Salman Khan is conducting a parallel remote tutoring experience via phone and Doodle with one of his cousins ​​based in another US state. Word got out in the family and faced with the difficulties of matching everyone’s schedules, Khan set out to videotape and share it all. The latter, a virtuoso of science and mathematics from the prestigious Harvard University, has therefore built a good number of capsules intended for his cousins ​​in order to help them in their academic difficulties. The results were so convincing that the educator gave up his job in the world of high finance to found the Khan Academy. This company has been in the limelight since it obtained grants from Google ($ 2 million) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($ 1.5 million). Thanks to these grants, a website with all the tools necessary to create and support more than 3300 videos hosted on YouTube, which have attracted more than 82 million views in just a few years!

Back home, it is since 2011 that reverse pedagogy has appeared in the Quebec school landscape. This situation is undoubtedly linked to the omnipresence of technological devices which invade the classrooms where several teachers and administrators are studying the question of the integration of ICT in the school environment. And to this answer, the strategy in question here seems to provide some interesting answers. Two pioneers of the flipped classroom are omnipresent on the Quebec web: Éric Noël, known as Prof Noël , science and mathematics teacher in Saguenay, as well as Samuel Bernard , teacher at the Cégep régional de Lanaudière in Terrebonne.

Different way of teaching or breaking free from conventions

Behind these pedagogical innovations which, by accident, gave birth to reverse pedagogy, there is in fact a real school revolution while the foundations of the traditional pedagogical daily life are shaken. To adopt the principles of reverse pedagogy, we must learn to think differently as a teacher to gradually get rid of the traditional paradigms that have defined our vision of education as pupils, then students, then teacher. And it is not that easy to free yourself from our conceptions and perceptions.

Here are two new paradigms to adopt:

Paradigm 1 : The resource teacher or a further step towards active pedagogy.

The teacher is always a tool for transmitting knowledge. He always will be. However, we have to admit that with the democratization of information, it cannot compete with Google and Wikipedia. It is the knowledge of a professional against that of the whole world. We must therefore accept our new role, which is to educate our students to seek out and consult the right resources thanks to a critical mind. In this regard, a research ethic becomes essential since it is necessary to learn to verify the sources and to cite them adequately. Our students are curious and they carry the knowledge of the world in their pockets. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you settle for the knowledge of your teacher or would you be pushed to know more? In the present century, in the age of the social web, it is quite normal and understandable that the pupils are more informed or cultured than these same pupils of ten or twenty years ago. However, we have to admit that they are certainly less educated to use this same knowledge and less competent to use it in daily life. So, in a sense, that’s the end of the knowledge monopoly.

This therefore implies that it is no longer necessary to build lessons around a strategy of lectures. And this for two reasons. First, for a student, why would it be relevant to listen to a teacher’s presentation when almost everything he says can be found on the internet and this content is accessible when and when way he wishes? In addition, if he has questions, all he has to do is text his classmate or ask a question on Facebook where his community of friends will answer him immediately. Hence the relevance of modifying its pedagogical strategies to promote more active learning, where the student is encouraged to invest and undertake a real process.

In short, exit the Sage on stage and long live the Guide on the side, to use the American expression of the flipped classroom . In the flipped classroom, we are listening and acting rather than valuing the theoretical oral presentation. We teach students to learn to learn. It is the teaching of pure and simple metacognition.

Paradigm 2 : Work in a network and not in silos.

Let’s be honest and say it out loud. Teachers tend to work in silos. The notion of protectionism is unfortunately omnipresent in the world of education. It is as if some teachers jealously protect a state secret. The reasons for this decline are certainly numerous and probably all as good as each other, but we too often find that two teachers who teach the same subject at the same level do not have the same requirements, the same learning situations or the same evaluation grids.

However, we are currently in the air of sharing and this is not applicable only between colleagues from the same institution and the same level. The educational community must mobilize more to establish networks for sharing ideas and strategies. From the outset, a teacher is a professional with an innate sense of curiosity and exploration. Why not satisfy this curiosity in order to explore the practices of his other Quebec, European or North American colleagues?

Currently, Twitter is a great sharing tool that fits well into the life of a busy, busy teacher on all sides. Twitter is concise and universal. No artifice. Facebook and its many groups are also in demand. There are professional groups that are also led by educational advisers who recognize the importance of networking. The success of the Network for the Development of Skills through the Integration of Technologies, better known by the acronym RÉCIT, is an excellent example of the importance of networking in the world of education.

Faced with the need to change our teaching practices, it seems necessary, even essential, to look elsewhere! What is happening? What are the results ? How can I import this into my environment based on my teaching style? Often it is adaptations of what is done elsewhere that have the most success.

The importance of participating in these one-off seminars and training sessions is essential and leads to a great openness to the educational world in addition to broadening the perspectives of our professional development. If we often take the allegory of the doctor who does not renew, it certainly has just as much meaning in the teacher who always teaches in the same way and who does not renew himself!

At a more pragmatic level, in the classroom, the training program of the École québécoise clearly emphasizes the competence of “learning to work in a team”. Reverse pedagogy is part of cooperative education where students are called upon to exchange and discuss together in order to build their knowledge and verify it with their colleagues. What emerges naturally from these learning situations is the establishment of peer tutoring measures which are, implicitly and indirectly, supervised by the teacher. In other words, the students help each other and share their discoveries and their understanding of various situations brought up by the teacher.

This new working atmosphere allows different educational experiments giving free rein to the teacher’s creativity. The latitude thus obtained can allow the latter to push the experience to other levels which have no limits but his imagination. But above all, what is interesting is that the teaching part now largely removed from class time, this frees up time for a more personalized pedagogy, therefore, better differentiated.

Paradigm 3 : Review the organization of IT and material resources

Computer and material resources in schools are inseparable from educational progress. These resources must be accessible and open in terms of attitude and vision. Impossible to work in isolation since, advocating a collaborative and cooperative approach, it works jointly with the pedagogy department. While it is always possible for the pedagogical aspect to be approached separately from that of IT, the reverse is not possible. At least, not in a school registered in the contemporaneity of the 21st century.

Material and computer resources are the cornerstone of current pedagogy. In many ways, they facilitate openness to the world and offer new possibilities for collaboration for both teachers and students. It is therefore essential, even vital, to put these resources at the service of pedagogy. And to do this, it is imperative that the tools intended for teaching use are user-friendly and easy to use. Especially when it comes to computing resources. Already, when leaving, several teachers are reluctant to integrate ICT in the classroom, if the transition has to be difficult or bumpy with the tools at their disposal, many teachers will not persevere in their updating of strategies. education.

Pedagogy implies the valuation of a certain exercise of professional creativity in the teacher. However, to be creative, we must work, as much as possible, with the tools that we prefer, that we favor. The imposition of certain IT tools or services in the performance of duties is distressing. The fact of imposing various blockings on the use of a website or other, becomes, in the long run, demotivating and… castrating! Blocking Hotmail, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. is often more complicated for tech-savvy teachers than it is for the students themselves! Especially now that they have their smartphones in their pockets and they can go to these sites anytime. But when a teacher wants to use one of these sites for educational purposes, it is unpleasant to have to stand down in front of the technician’s office to request an exemption from the blocking rules for certain sites. Several teachers, who consider themselves to be at the forefront of technopedagogy, believe that they are always begging for new tools or resources to meet their ICT needs. Although everyone recognizes that there are budgetary limits to be respected, it is absolutely necessary to nurture these teachers who are, in many respects, models for their peers within the community. If they do it with pleasure, it will certainly influence colleagues to take the plunge! feel that they are always begging for new tools or resources in order to meet their ICT needs. Although everyone recognizes that there are budgetary limits to be respected, it is absolutely necessary to nurture these teachers who are, in many respects, models for their peers within the community. If they do it with pleasure, it will certainly influence colleagues to take the plunge! feel that they are always begging for new tools or resources in order to meet their ICT needs. Although everyone recognizes that there are budgetary limits to be respected, it is absolutely necessary to nurture these teachers who are, in many respects, models for their peers within the community. If they do it with pleasure, it will certainly influence colleagues to take the plunge!

Also, a new trend for schools is the famous BYOD: Bring your own device or bring your own device. Authorizing smartphones in the classroom solves part of the problem when we wonder which tool to favor in the classroom. IPad? Android tablet? MS Surface? IPhone or Galaxy? As in any commercial establishment or not, there are budgetary rules to be respected. And the purchase of computer equipment is not cheap. Forecasting these expenses is one thing, but seeing this obsolete investment after a year is another. At the rate things are going, Apple releases two new iPads a year. There is something to make schools cautious about the adoption of this technology. The first iPad was released in May 2010 and this device is no longer supported by iOS 6! In short, computer devices nowadays have a very (too) limited lifespan.

This is therefore an inexpensive and very tendentious alternative, because schools are taking advantage of the “fashion” of the mobility of electronic devices in order to invite them to their walls. However, this implies that these same establishments offer a completely free and accessible Internet network to its student clientele. Along with this openness, it is important that students understand that the school does not offer technical support services for the plethora of mobile devices that exist on the market. Moreover, this frees the technical team of educational institutions while the burden of technical support and device updates falls directly on the user. Awesome, isn’t it?

But what is most interesting about the BYOD model is definitely finally teaching students how to use their device in an educational way. They know its social applications, but very can use it wisely. So how can these devices become productive tools instead of becoming tools to extend an individual’s personality? Seeing daily the close relationship that young people have with their smartphones, it is indeed disturbing to realize how this device outrageously furnishes their existence. It’s time to teach students how to use a personal device and turn it into a professional tool when needed.

Reverse pedagogy is dependent on new technologies. Taking the turn inevitably means taking a technological shift in order to make various resources available to teachers and students. One does not go without the other.

In terms of material resources, some classes must be rearranged. In addition to the possibility of placing computer equipment there, it is a question of disposing of the physical environment differently in order to promote collaboration. How to place the tables? The chairs ? The teacher’s office? Some teachers come to class simply with … a chair that they move as they go. Exit the teacher’s office!

Different way to learn

Whether we like it or not, the school population has changed greatly in recent years. It has probably changed more in recent years than in the previous two decades. These students learn differently. And like in any market, we have to adapt to our customers and offer services that catch their attention. If education has often escaped this mercantile logic, the fact remains that it is necessary to import a few creeds. In fact, our community is probably the only one that has hardly ever had to worry about adapting to its customers and even, which pushes its customers to adapt to its practices in an almost tyrannical way. Possibly this is one of the reasons for the high dropout rate in the West, including in Quebec, which shamefully exceeds 30%.

Reverse pedagogy breaks with this observation and this pernicious trend in order to personalize the educational interventions of teachers in the classroom, on a daily basis. Also, there is a strong emphasis on the need to learn in order to learn, not the simplistic goal of simply passing the exam. It becomes enjoyable to learn for the pupils because they recognize the relevance and the significance at the base of their involvement in the learning process. When we go to meet knowledge, the adventure leads us to always want to know more since we are an active and integral part of this adventure. When we are the subjects of a teacher who unboxes his share of knowledge and it reaches our intellect turnkey, we develop a sad habit of passivity towards our own educational process. Sad observation, certainly, but so omnipresent in our classes …

Some myths to debunk

  • The replacement of the teacher by the computer or devaluation of the teaching profession

Teachers’ fears of being replaced by technology are widespread. Rather, it is the maximization of the teacher’s resource that is at the center of reverse pedagogy. Nothing can replace the teacher in the classroom for quality education. It is wrong, if not crazy, to believe otherwise.

  • Reverse pedagogy is filming yourself teaching

Reverse pedagogy is not just the use of video in an educational context. Rather, it is the reorganization of class time and the strategies that are deployed there that is the cornerstone of this strategy. The video clips of the masterful content are in fact the consequence of this reorganization. Reverse pedagogy is also suitable for consulting websites or reading documents prior to the course. The important thing, at the risk of repeating, is to free up time in class so that the teacher intervenes actively with active students.

  • Lack of autonomy and sense of responsibility among students

We often hear that students are not independent and mature enough to assume their responsibility as learners and thus play a central role. From this perspective, how can they be made more autonomous if we continue to strengthen the relationship of dependence they maintain towards the teacher in their class? Autonomy is not innate, but rather is acquired through different educational situations. It is therefore the responsibility of each school player, including parents, to ensure the creation of conditions for the development of this essential human ability in life in society. As for the teacher, working in reverse pedagogy and acting as guide and compass, it creates a climate conducive to the development of initiative and autonomy so that the pupil plays preponderant in his learning and in the construction of his knowledge and his personal culture. That said, the student becomes autonomous since he no longer needs the teacher to feed and stimulate him. He succeeds alone and knows how to free himself from the contribution of others in his own life.

Needless to say that building the self-esteem of young people is greatly favored because they are provided with the winning conditions for their own success. The teacher provides the conditions, but the student realizes them. Thus, a successful student is one who achieves himself.

  • You have to make high quality video clips

While it is important that the audio capture is of good quality and that the voice rate is slowed down, it is not necessary to make video clips that will be finalists at the Academy Awards. In fact, what matters is that the student recognizes his teacher and that he is familiar with the teaching style of the latter. For the rest, the content is much more important than the container.

Release the pressure of teaching perfectionism. Your colleague may have more computer skills to use more advanced screencasting programs. But be aware that there are plenty of user-friendly and intuitive resources on the market, many of which are completely free.

So, the flipped classroom is the advent of collaboration in class, made possible thanks to the reorganization of class time given the evacuation of the masterful aspect now available on video for viewing by the students on their own personal time. . With this in mind, the teacher breaks away from his traditional role of distributing masterful lessons and passing on the material to  become a collaborating agent in the form of guide and guide for academic and educational discussion.

Whatever the arguments of the detractors of the pedagogical strategy in question, the fact remains that the inverted classroom is a break with the traditional model. And that’s exactly what the world of education currently needs: dynamism, openness, collaboration and above all, innovation!

But beware. Reverse pedagogy is not a panacea. It is a giant leap in a more active pedagogy. In the long term, doing only reverse pedagogy brings us back to the same problem as now, in traditional pedagogy. It can get boring.

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