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Flipped Coop

Students do research and online instruction at home and in synchronous space it's about working with the their teams on authentic learning.

Photo of Cheryl  James-Ward
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Teacher
  • CEO and principal

Tell us about your idea

First a little about e3

e3 Civic High is an innovative public high school with an award-winning counseling team (recipient of top award in the state in March 2020 for the highest percentage of seniors completing FAFSA and 4-year university applications) and campus located in the San Diego Central downtown library. We are passionate about engaging, educating, and empowering scholars such that they become college and career competitive.  At e3, we are finding new ways to engage and challenge our scholars through personalized methods as they develop solutions to real-world problems using the Design Thinking (DT) process. In just the last two months, our students have taken first place and received high recognition in numerous events, including the nationally-renowned Project Invent, Design for San Diego (D4SD - a combined DT effort with the city of San Diego and University of California San Diego), Pactful (a competition through University of San Diego), and E-Suite (an event sponsored by local startup companies in San Diego). Our entire student body also participated in a virtual DT exhibition night on May 1st where they presented solutions to achieving some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The idea

1. In order to promote a healthy society, individuals must socialize in healthy and authentic ways. Kids also need to socialize for their emotional wellbeing. We also want to promote a sense of giving back or the notion that we must always leave a positive footprint. 

2. There's an old saying that up to third grade, we are teaching students how to read, and after third grade kids are reading to learn, so in high school (which is what we're submitting this for), we need to provide authentic group learning experiences with individual group member responsibilities (cooperative groups).

3. Teachers need to motivate and engage kids so that they enjoy learning; they need to move to true learning facilitators, working one-on-one with individual students or groups. 

4. We need to flip the learning so that at home students do the learning and research, guided by their teachers’ supports, checklists, and rubrics. When students are in the educational synchronous space, they are working with their teams to discuss real, authentic problems and solutions. For this to work, we need to revisit and redevelop/refine both flipped learning and cooperative groups for the virtual world. The Design Thinking process can also be used as a beacon for our authentic learning experiences with community partners. 

5. Teachers need to plan for their authentic group projects and provide timely ongoing feedback, both in writing and verbally by bouncing into different groups during synchronous time via breakout rooms like those in Zoom. 

6. The goal would be for students to spend the bulk, if not all, of their synchronous time learning by doing and by contributing to the progress of their groups and to the larger society. 

7. What will this require:

a. School wide development of community partnerships for 1) semester or year long internships, and 2) the development of career pathways and design thinking projects.

 b.Transitioning of teachers to learning facilitators. This means guiding students through an intentional practice so that the students have a more authentic learning experience and voice.

 c.Coordinating and development of problem based learning and less teacher leading is needed.

 d. Allowing and promoting students to use different technologies for research and communication.

 e. Developing a true sense of partnership in learning and seeing students as both teachers and learners.

 f. Trusting and empowering kids to lead. 

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Teachers being the stage on the stage and the expectation that students should follow, listen and learn because they "should".

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I'm the CEO and principal at e3 Civic High. One of my dean's brought this to our attention on Friday. We appreciate opportunities to reflect and nudges to grow, that's why we accepted the challenge. I've been a principal and supervisor of schools in Long Beach Unified, a professor at San Diego State focused on 21st century education, and a software engineer for NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. Thanks for the question.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

e3 is located in the heart of downtown San Diego in a new state of the art library. We occupy two floors. The design of e3 meets the LEAD certification standards. Most of our students come from low income households and will be the first in their families (barring older siblings) to attend four year universities. Our kids are amazingly resilient, creative, compassionate and kind hearted.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Davon Baker

I think we submitted similar ideas, but you may have described it better (perhaps because of your educator background). I like this!