Debate Magazine

The Fisch Flip (from the Archives)

By Stevemiranda

I came across a great article by Daniel Pink the The Guardian about a concept he called “The Fisch Flip.”

It’s named after a middle school math teacher named Karl Fisch, who upended the typical way we think about teaching: he videotaped his lectures, uploaded them to YouTube, and assigned them as homework. Then, he has students do what used to be the homework—practice problems—in class where he can walk around and give students one-on-one help.

There’s more. Pink explains how Seth Godin proposed a Fisch Flip for the book publishing industry: publishers launch a new book by releasing a cheap paperback, and then introduce a pricey hardcover once it catches on.

Or what if the movie studio released a film on DVD, let word of mouth spread, then invite the early adopters to watch it on the big screen as a communal experience?

Here’s another: one software company has decided to throw a huge party for employees on their first day on the job, rather than waiting for a going-away party on their last day.

This is just a start. The most forward thinking people in business are refusing to accept the rules of the previous generation. They’re challenging every assumption, and sometimes completely flipping the script.

The most forward thinking folks in education are doing the same thing. Here’s a notion I’m stealing from PSCS founder Andy Smallman: The old way of thinking is, “If kids do well in school, then they’ll be happy”; the new way is, “If kids are happy, then they’ll do well in school.”

It’s a radical notion, but this is the kind of thinking that’s driving innovation in all kinds of industries.

(Join the discussion at www.facebook.com/reeducate. Get updates at www.twitter.com/reeducate.)


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