Why Do We Need Flipped Learning for Teacher Education?

The Flipped Instruction Model can Play a Motivating and Satisfying Role in Teaching Teachers

Ken Robinson, the author of the book named Out of Our Minds, stated that we face many common challenges in education, business and cultural sector and these challenges occur because there is little coordination between these sectors. Moreover, according to his experiences, business leaders complain that education isn’t producing thoughtful, creative and self-confident people they need; people who are literate, numerate, who can analyze information and ideas; who can generate new ideas of their own and help to implement them; who can communicate clearly and work well with other people.

I believe education is still inadequate to produce people for occupational or social needs. In my opinion, the reason of this is the education system that we hold on for centuries. For centuries, the education system was designed to be teacher-centered. As you see in the following visual depiction of a lecture from the 14th century, we can still say that most of our classrooms have the same structure except the height of the lectern. 

laurentius_de_voltolina_001(a visual depiction of a lecture from the 14th century by Laurentius de Voltolina )

I show this depiction to our pre-service teachers at the beginning of every new term and tell them that they must have different skills and perspectives from people that have lived before them. We must not have one single student who is a 21st teacher who never state an idea or participate in a discussion. Teachers of 21st century are the ones who will produce the people Ken Robinson mentions.

What is the core idea for teacher education?

John Dewey, who is also known as an educational reformer, was invited to Turkey in 1924 to investigate education system for 2 months. He gave a report, published in 1939, about how to design the system and educate people chosen to be a teacher for a newborn country.

In his report, he stated “Teacher education programs need to be designed according to two main purposes. First, these programs should educate teachers in subject matter. Second, these programs should enable these teachers to transfer their knowledge into practice and this should be simultaneously. Teachers need to be educated in terms of enhancing welfare of environment around him and social needs.”

(Note: One of the best example what John Dewey imaged according to his suggestions in his report was Village Institutes in Turkey. Village Institutes were a group of schools founded according to the law dated 17 April 1940 in order to train the teachers.)

So, the core idea for teacher education that is mentioned by John Dewey in 1924 and Ken Robinson in 2011 is that we need to educate teachers in order to meet the needs of the society. This can be come true if we graduate students not just with knowledge but also teach them how to use it.

Flipped learning has a powerful potential for teacher education

Faculties of education have various departments, which graduate teachers in various fields. In Turkey, one of these departments is Computer Education and Instructional Technologies (CEIT). Pre-service teachers in CEIT take courses about fields as technical (programming, hardware, software etc.), pedagogical (educational approaches, instructional design, special teaching methods etc.) and general knowledge (scientific research methods, project management, information ethics etc.) The graduates of CEIT become information technologies teachers. So, it is important that the pre-service teachers learn technology use in classrooms and various instructional approaches. Almost all of the departments have the similar content which are mostly theoretic. Flipped learning let us to change this and our students get an opportunity to not just learn the theoretical content but also practice their knowledge in class time.

Let the preservice teachers experience all the content the course has

They experienced many Web 2.0 tools that they can use for different types of content. They discussed 21st century student skills, designed local school systems for different regions, discovered various Web 2.0 tools they could use with different teaching methods, designed technology integration projects for schools which have different budgets, discussed the use of mobile technologies in learning, experienced virtual and augmented reality and discussed how to use it in learning, gamified their teaching and learning processes and learned different formative and summative assessment techniques.

Flipped learning enabled students to gain lots of experiences and to see how to use their knowledge in action. We conducted a study after our flipped experience and the results showed us that 85 of 86 students wanted the flipped learning to be applied in teacher education program! They were more motivated, more satisfied, more productive and more active than before.   


Robinson, K. (2011). Out of our minds: Learning to be creative. John Wiley & Sons.

Dewey, J. (1939). Türkiye maarifi hakkında rapor. Retrieved from https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/develop/owa/e_yayin.eser_bilgi_q?ptip=DIGER%20YAYINLAR&pdemirbas=197000571

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