In a New York Times piece, Tina Rosenberg discusses a unconventional approach to teaching called “Flipping” the classroom. This technique has actually been around for decades, but is gaining momentum in education circles. It basically involves changing the typical dynamic of lectures and homework:
In a flipped classroom, teachers make videos of their lectures introducing new concepts and assign them as homework. That frees up precious class time to work directly with students on projects, exercises or problem sets — the stuff that students would traditionally do at home. Now instead, of struggling alone, students can do the most important work with a teacher or peers who can help.
Could a workplace apply the same method? In most offices there are meetings (lectures) and solitary work (homework). In other words, we use meetings to distribute information and report results and the rest of the time alone in cubicles or offices writing, crunching numbers, making phone calls, coding, etc.
The workplace isn’t an educational environment (at least that’s not its primary purpose), but wouldn’t meeting time be better spent on solving problems rather than reporting? Should people spend time around a table discussing ideas rather than just listening to a presentation? After all, our ability to share presentations digitally is far greater than it ever has been. Should folks read or watch and come to meetings prepared to debate, talk, solve problems, and move forward?
It might be difficult to flip an entire workplace, but meetings are a good place to start. It may take work to get everyone to commit to the process (in other words, everyone has to do their homework) but everyone may find meetings a more active, positive use of time.
Read the whole piece here: Link
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