Meg & Reverse Teaching: Disrupting the Specialist System
Meg is an Italian Language and Communications teacher who is currently testing a Reverse Teaching approach (aka Flipped Classroom) at a private Italian school in Norway.
Reverse Teaching flips the traditional classroom instruction from the teacher as the “primary disseminator of information” to students learning independently and within their own peer group. Typically, a lesson is conducted in a lecture style and the assignment is designed by the teacher. But the Reverse Teaching classroom becomes a “learner-centered model” where students explore topics in greater detail. Meg utilizes this principle with her students to create learning opportunities to prepare them for the 21st century workplace.
“How do you use the Reverse Teaching method?” MPM
“Reverse teaching is a non-conventional teaching technique I’m currently developing in my language course”, Meg began. The technique encourages students to take control and manage the process of learning independently and within small groups. “While a traditional teaching technique is based on explanation and exercises, the contents of every reverse-taught lesson are presented in a diffused contextual theme”, she said.
Not Fixed on Traditional Learning
Meg’s Reverse Teaching method is not based on a fixed and traditional learning structure, but on the student’s competence and ability to master the material. Meg gives her students a theme such as i.e. greeting and introduction in Italian. The theme is then paired with a phraseological tree with images and/or translation.
“The main focus is on communication and not on grammar like the majority of language courses”, Meg explained. She introduces the keywords and expressions and students practice communicating with each other. “With this method, the learning process is entirely managed by each student who is essentially self-taught and becomes so comfortable with the material they can teach it to others in the group”, Meg said.
And while the students help each other, Meg observes and is available to answer questions. “The given theme is just a start which allows the students to broaden or focus on specific subjects as they like and need, and since it’s peer-to-peer there is no standard performance pressure, and students often succeed.”
“What did you want to be when you grew up?” MPM
“Every single time I was asked that question when I was a child, I used to come up with a huge lot of things, and they always were all different. One day I would love to be a painter or a musician, the day after …a biologist, an architect and a novelist. Everything seemed to tickle my curiosity and desire to learn”,she confessed. Meg enjoyed playing and resolving math games and quizzes, reading science articles, art dossiers, and short stories in foreign languages. “And it’s still the same!”
“What jobs have you done in the past?” MPM
“A lot of different jobs requiring of course a lot of different skills and competences”, Meg remembered. She started working at 15 “with some humble entry-level jobs as a waitress, bread baker and store clerk”. But, she quickly learned she absolutely needed variety and thrived best in composite approaches in her jobs, projects and activities. “It would be way too long to list every single job I did”, she said. But here is some of the positions Meg has held:
Call Centre Assistant
Mobile Phone Sales Manager
Marketing/Advertising Manager in a Media agency
Product Developer in a Chocolate factory
Journalist STEM for an university faculty magazine
IT- Technical Help Desk Assistant
Language Course Leader
“How did you become a member of The Putty Tribe?” MPM
“I read about Emilie’s (Wapnick) book and her Puttylike blog on Flipboard. It was a pretty skeptical and downsizing article by an Italian journalist”, Meg recalled. But, nevertheless, she visited Emilie’s blog that described the traits of MultiPotentialites. This unique way of being wired resonated with Meg immediately. “I took her test and unsurprisingly the result was Congratulations, you’re a Multipotentialite!”, Meg said. Meg found herself apart of a “fantastic community” several days later. “Wonderful, inspiring, and, like-minded people who have impressive backgrounds and a lot of precious expertise to share and to learn from. I tend to be more on the simultaneous side of multipotentiality weaving lots of various threads at the same time”,Meg finished.
“Did anything resonate with you after seeing Emilie’s TED Talk ‘Why some of us don’t have one true calling’?” MPM
“I watched Emilie’s TED Talk…some weeks after joining the Puttytribe and I felt a strong connection…on how she felt wrong and unaccomplished for not being able to stick with anything”, Meg said.
“What does it mean to you to be a MultiPod?” MPM
“To feel energized in having a lot going on! Even if it costs a little struggling and discomfort sometimes”, she said.
“If you required a coach to assist you with planning and executing your projects, how could they assist you?” MPM
Meg doesn’t have a Coach but engages with members of the PuttyTribe on an online ‘Huddle’ where members of the PuttyTribe discuss their projects and support each other in attaining their goals. “It’s helpful enough to have an accountability huddle every 14 days like “the fortnightly” on the PuttyTribe. It inspires and keeps you motivated and staying on track”, she said.
“Is there a piece of music that keeps you motivated and feeling hopeful about your life and passions?” MPM
“How do you explain to someone what a Multipotentialite is?” MPM
“It’s a way of being wired, curious with a strong desire to learn, getting caught in multiple passions and interests to pursue”, she said.
“Can you see a MultiPod/MultiPotentialite Movement growing from the Putty Tribe educating young people to diversify their talents and skills in preparation for 21st century employment?”
“Disruptive Revolution?” MPM
“The ‘disruptive revolution’ I’m talking about is to break the ‘Specialist System’ and let ‘MultiPotentiality’ emerge freely and be accepted all over the world. Because the dirty truth is that the whole world is stuck in this ‘Specialist Mentality’. No one ever again should be worried and/or ashamed for not being able to find a single durable thing to stick with for life. Everyone should acknowledge that it’s not mandatory to choose only one thing… and it’s completely right and fine to have multiple passions, interests, careers and activities to explore”, Meg said.
Specialist oriented system
Norway, like so many countries worldwide has a Specialist oriented system. And when Meg began teaching in kindergartens she questioned the system. Her prior studies in the pedagogical approaches of Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and Steiner made her realize they were “actually a diffused and MultiPotentialite-oriented system.” But, only used in the pre-school phase during the first six years of life as part of a balanced development of the child as a unique multifaceted individual. Then afterwards the curriculum “quickly evolves and/or regresses into a more Specialist oriented approach,” Meg laments.
Meg Integrates considerations
However, Meg looked at these considerations “integrating and combining the best parts and rebranded them in a MultiPod friendly way.” Now Meg has expanded and broadened the pre-school phase system and adapted it to other ages including young people and adults.
Reverse teaching works for Specialists
”The thing I love the most is that the people I teach enjoy seeing themselves in a new MultiPotentialite perspective”, Meg said. They are amazed at how smart they feel and appreciate the many different things they can do all at the same time. And the best discovery of Meg’s Reverse Teaching approach is it works for ‘Specialists’. They too have come to appreciate and cultivate this “innovative and fascinating out-of-the-box approach.” Making Meg proud to say she is disrupting the Specialist system with her Reverse Teaching method.