Never have so many eyes been on Havana High School, and Superintendent Patrick M. Twomey knows the pressure is on as the school embraces a new classroom model that threatens all that educators have taken as gospel for decades about how to teach.
Every class at Havana High School, starting this year, will be taught in a flipped classroom, where students watch short recorded lectures outside of school hours when they used to do homework, and do their assignments during class time in the presence of the other students and the teacher.
"The idea behind flipping is to become more of an inquiry-based environment and more of a project-based environment, rather than giving content and spitting content back out," Twomey said. "I think people in general learn by doing, not by being told how to do. The flipped environment quadruples the amount of time students can actually do things with the content."
The model is being tried out in individual classrooms across the nation, including at Pekin Community High School, where it has succeeded in its isolated capacity, but Twomey only knows of one school that has flipped all of its classrooms, and that is in a more urban district in Michigan. For a rural district, this is new ground, and it has drawn notice.