I have recently been reading books by Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers and Tipping Point. I ran across a TED talk he did in 2004 talking about Spaghetti sauce. He tells a story of Howard Moskowitz who convinced Spaghetti Sauce maker Prego to make lots of different varieties of spaghetti sauce instead of just one. Prior to Howard Moskowitz, most food manufacturers were looking for the ONE recipe, which people would like. For example: the ONE Pepsi, and the ONE spaghetti sauce. Howard’s contention was that instead of giving people one variety, a better way was to create many different varieties. When Prego took his advice, they made over $600,000,000.
So what does this have to do with Flipped Learning? The key take-away from Howard’s research is that each person in America has individual preferences with regard to spaghetti sauce. Instead of a one size fits all, we need rather, lots of choices, a menu, so that all eaters needs can be met.
One of the key ingredients of a successful flipped learning environment is that it personalizes the learning for EACH individual learner. Not every student learns best by hearing a live lecture. Not every student learns best by watching my videos. Some students learn best by simply reading. Some learn best by kinesthetically interacting with the content. Others learn best by careful research and study.
Each learner is different and we need to honor each student’s learning preferences and needs. I envision a class where students have CHOICE in how they learn. Flipped Learning allows for this granular personalizing of the classroom. If we get away from the one-size-fits-all approach, we can meet the needs of EACH learner.
To watch Malcolm Gladwell’s TED talk, I have included it below.