The Flipped Classroom
Keeping Students Engaged
School is an environment that often becomes regimented and very structured. It most cases, this can become very repetitive for students, as well as for the teachers. As a Junior in high school, there have been courses throughout my academic career that have been uninteresting and boring to me and my peers, not because of the material that we were learning, but how we were learning it. This year, I have had the pleasure to experience learning in new ways.
One of my new experiences has been taking a course entitled, Law and Litigation. This class serves as an introduction to the litigation process and the courtroom procedure for students who are interested. In addition, it is a great precursor to explore the law field. For students that are interested in studying law in college and eventually attend law school, the class is a great learning tool. One of my favorite things about the course is its sheer unpredictability, excitement, and daily atmosphere of competition.
The course is in no way repetitive, it engages the students and makes us eager to go to class everyday. Recently, we have begun to venture away from the textbook and engage with in activities that have us putting our knowledge and practice of the test material into actual jury trials. The teacher, serves as the judge in the trial, and invites fellow students from outside the class, as well as, other teachers to come in and serve as the jury. During class time, the students are broken up into two groups. Each group normally is composed of a team which includes two lawyers and three witnesses. Before the trial, the lawyer teams are given ample time to prepare the witnesses, to rehearse statements, and to practice in front of the teacher. This is a great learning experience because as students, we are exposed to the entire process of prepping for a trial. We are using our actual class time to engage in hands on and realistic learning.
When the trial date comes around, it is go time. While the witnesses show up in regular school uniform, the lawyers are expected to show up in strict courtroom attire. The teacher as the judge, takes on a completely unbiased viewpoint. The teachers and students from other classes show up as the jury and watch the trial from beginning to end. The end result is indicative of the students’ hard work and true understanding of what they studied and learned from the traditional teaching experiences, in addition to, each other as partners in learning.
In all, I feel as if classrooms all over the country should adopt some unique experiences that engage their students. Opportunities like these should be afforded to all students more and more, as we are moving toward a more student centered learning environment. In my Law and Litigation class, I have noticed that by being in a more stimulating environment, it makes me strive to do my best everyday. I also think that it is important that students search for their calling and to explore all of their interests.
By Jordan Lyon