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New UAE workweek: Many schools to adopt flipped learning model

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As the new UAE workweek rule takes effect in January 2022, many schools around the UAE are reintroducing the flipped learning approach.

Schools, like the rest of the country, will go to a four-and-a-half-day workweek, with half-days on Saturday, Sunday, and Friday marking the new weekend.

Because of the way the week is already arranged in most schools in the UAE, it is not a half-learning day’s loss, according to school leaders.

Education institutions are just tweaking teaching techniques to find some more time in order to maintain the same learning week.

“Flipped learning is not a new concept and has not emerged because of the pandemic or the modified working week coming into effect in January 2022,” says Simon Herbert, Head of School and CEO of GEMS International School – Al Khail. Any change in school timetables, however, necessitates a focus on the most effective delivery of teaching and learning.

“Flipped learning is a good model to use since it prevents important teaching time from being wasted on material essentials that could easily be covered at home in preparation for the courses.” This can be done through video clips, reading texts, or visiting websites, and the instructor can swiftly assess whether this work has been completed before offering stretch, scaffolding, and challenge to all students during the next face-to-face lesson. It’s a good example to focus on at any moment, and it’s another arrow in the teacher’s quiver,” Herbert says.

Flipped learning is a teaching style that encourages teachers to prioritize active learning during class time by giving lecture materials and presentations to students to view at home or outside of class.

Educators point out that, while this is being implemented with increased vigor, most schools have been using this technique for some time, not just in response to the present changes.

“We have been employing the flipped learning concept across all classes,” says Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal of Credence High School. This learning paradigm is used by teachers in the classroom as a teaching approach. Learning is flipped in the flipped classroom concept. Students can complete the lower level of cognitive work based on what they know/understand/have been allocated before class. As a result, when they arrive in class, professors engage students in higher cognitive levels of peer learning.”

“This flipped learning is notably useful for differentiation to benefit all levels of learners,” she continues. Students can pause, rewind, and learn at their own pace in this environment. It also promotes collaborative learning by increasing the amount of time students spend with their teachers. Finally, flipping allows teachers to gain a deeper understanding of their students.”

According to the principals, this strategy also supports students in better preparing them to acquire new knowledge by allowing them to spend more time in class deepening their understanding and applying what they’ve learned in diverse scenarios.

“A flipped style of learning has been consistently adopted by the best institutions,” says Nav Iqbal, Principal, and CEO of GEMS Metropole School – Motor City. In our school, this method will remain a significant tactic. During the 2020 lockdown, schools discovered that pupils may learn efficiently at home. As a school, project-based learning at home aids in the development of a student’s comprehension and allows them to apply their skills in a real-world setting. This is another important strategy that we will employ more frequently in the future.”

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