Exploring the use of flipped classrooms in secondary school chemistry classes
Dermott, Kelsey Lynn
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Previous research has suggested that the flipped classroom is effective for higher education students, however, limited research has been conducted for secondary school students. The purpose of this study was to investigate attitudes, benefits, challenges and learning performance of secondary students studying grade 11 chemistry. Fifty grade 11 chemistry students (21 male, 29 female) between 16 - 17 years old participated in this study. The data collection tools used included Likert survey questions, open-ended questions, pre- and post-tests, and focus group data. Attitudes, benefits and challenges regarding the flipped classroom were clustered into five themes: the learning environment in the classroom after watching the videos at home, understanding concepts presented, availability of resources, the effectiveness of learning strategies used, and the quality of videos. Overall, the attitude and benefits data indicated that most students were positive about the learning environment, thought they understood the concepts addressed, agreed that resources were readily available and rated the learning strategies highly. Students also had positive attitudes towards the videos used, enjoying the ability to control the pace and review the videos when desired. Some students expressed challenges with the learning environment, including the teaching methods used, the fast pace and environment, difficulty understanding the material and wanting more the lessons to be more effective and engaging. Student learning on knowledge and application questions increased significantly using the flipped classroom approach. The results of this study suggest that the flipped classroom approach to teaching is more complex than expected and educators must be flexible in their teaching practice to meet the needs of their students.