Curriculum Capsize: Flipping Your Classroom and How it Can Work Wonders

A flipped classroom is a pedagogical curriculum model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Students view short videos and articles from the curriculum at home before class, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions.

This format allows students to experience their first exposure to the content and learning at their own pace. Then class can be used to focus on the processing part of learning (synthesizing, analyzing, problem-solving, etc.).

In addition, this process assists the teacher to establish an understanding and knowledge baseline of the content, enabling the instructor to cater the content to the audience. Flipping a classroom is an effective and proven model in many educational sectors.

With this in mind, this is why the Aviva Certified Trainers always assign their participants to view videos, read articles or take surveys prior to their professional development workshops.

Once, we were presenting to a group of 85 teachers here in Bogota Colombia and it was our first meeting. The teachers didn’t know us and we didn’t know the teachers. We provided them with a survey outlining popular positive psychology topics that specifically related to education.

First we had the teachers view our introductory video on Aviva Education outlining and describing our curriculum content. Afterwards, we had them answer the following question, “I know a lot about the following.” This question was pertaining to the 9 positive psychology topics: science of happiness, mindfulness, character strengths, mindset, gratitude, resilience, social/emotional intelligence, authentic happiness, and appreciative inquiry.

Here is what we found.


It is clear that the teachers know the most about Gratitude (29.2%) and followed closely by Mindfulness (19.4%). This is priceless information! This school has been implementing Mindfulness techniques for over a year. In fact, last year they had a visit from Thich Nhat Hanh’s group Happy Teachers Change the World. So, this is not their first introduction to Mindfulness. This shows us that they are assimilating and applying the information already presented to them. It was not surprising to us to learn that the teachers were familiar with Gratitude, the Mother of all positive emotions.

But what was interesting to us was the second question to the survey. We wanted to know what they knew the least about. The following graph visually demonstrates that Appreciative Inquiry (25%), Resilience and Grit (13.9%) and Mindset (12.5%).

It is understandable that many teachers wouldn’t have previous knowledge on Appreciative Inquiry. This is a Positive Psychology principal based on asking the “right questions” to elicit a different response. If you ask a teacher, “what is working in your classroom this year?” is different than asking, “how it is going this year?” By asking the right questions, you can guide the teacher to focus on the positive versus the negative.

What was surprising to us was that quite a few teachers were not familiar with Mindset (Carol Dweck), Resilience and Grit (Angela Duckworth). This is good to know because we have tons of evidence based research to support these topics and it will make a huge impact for the teachers personally as well as dramatically shift the classroom dynamics. Once again, it pays to know your classroom! We will be sure to devote more time to exercises, projects, and discussions to these specific modules in the future to enhance the participants learning.