At the Crossroads of Transformative Learning and SoTL: The Flipped Classroom in Teacher Education

At the Crossroads of Transformative Learning and SoTL: The Flipped Classroom in Teacher Education

Rachel C. Plews (Haute école pédagogique du canton de Vaud, Switzerland) and Moira Laffranchini Ngoenha (Haute école pédagogique du canton de Vaud, Switzerland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2212-7.ch011
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This chapter explores the ongoing collaboration between an educational developer and a faculty member at a university of teacher education in Switzerland as an inquiry into one's teaching practice to improve the implementation of the flipped classroom approach. Through the lens of transformative learning theory, the chapter examines how SoTL can serve as faculty enrichment in addition to an approach for systematic reflection on practice. Special attention is paid to the role of the educational developer as a mentor throughout the inquiry. The chapter concludes with practical strategies for developing a productive SoTL relationship between educational developers and faculty member, as well as visibility across an institution.
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The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is a form of inquiry “in student learning that informs and enhances teaching practice, and therefore improves student learning” (Fanghanel, 2013, p.59). As a form of professional development, SoTL aims to engage faculty members in discussions about their inquiries with the potential to better understand their teaching and student learning in higher education. When thinking about pedagogical innovation, SoTL can be a useful methodology to monitor and evaluate the changes initiated as the process involves cycles of reflection and experimentation. The flipped classroom presents itself as one of these pedagogical innovations as faculty members are challenged to think differently about the time and spaces used for learning to make students more active in their learning, resulting in more profound knowledge (Farmer, 2018). Pedagogical innovations are a catalyst to launch the discussion on SoTL, as these innovations serve to challenge previously held views and assumptions through the literature and research into one's practice.

At the University of Teacher Education of the Canton of Vaud, one of the primary roles of the Center for Teaching Support is to promote and support the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning throughout the institution. The faculty development team is in place to collaborate at different levels - to open the discussions about the significance of inquiry into one's teaching practice, to assist with the development of the inquiry, to accompany the faculty member throughout the inquiry, and to help promote exchange around the inquiry. At the start of the work together, the faculty developer and the faculty member work together to define the objectives of the work together, as well as the roles of each involved, which can evolve as the project does.

This chapter aims to explore a practical example of this collaboration between an educational developer and a faculty member engaging in a SoTL initiative on the flipped classroom approach. The chapter begins with an integrative literature review of three domains – the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, transformative learning theory, and pedagogical innovation/the flipped classroom. Next, an illustrative example of collaborative SoTL activity is shared from both the perspectives of the educational developer and the faculty member. This example is aligned with the theory of transformative learning. Finally, the chapter concludes with practical recommendations for fostering successful SoTL collaborations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

SoTL: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; an inquiry into one's own teaching practice to improve one's teaching. Transformative Learning: “Learning that transforms problematic frames of reference—sets of fixed assumptions and expectations (habits of mind, meaning perspectives, mindsets)—to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective, and emotionally able to change” ( Mezirow, 2003 , p. 58).

Jigsaw Classroom: Term used by Aronson (1978) AU23: The in-text citation "Aronson (1978)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. to explain a method of teaching and learning where small groups of students work together on one aspect of a topic, and then teach it to the rest of the group, who have studied different aspects of the same topic.

Flipped Classroom: A pedagogical approach focused on student-centered learning where students engage in knowledge-transfer activities outside of the classroom, and then actively integrate and assimilate their learning collectively inside the classroom.

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