Flipping Learning

I was recently inspired to create a Flipped Lesson from a youtube clip that was shared on facebook. This 4:04 minute long video from our good friend David Suzuki really challenges economists to think about some factors that are missing from economics equations. It is a powerful video that will evoke all kinds of questions. The following is an activity I created to use the video in a FLIPPED way:


  • Students will be able to critically analyse decisions made on the basis of economics alone
  • Students will understand the implications of deforestation and other resource exploitations, for the impact they have on our planet and our future.
  • Students will develop a strong sense of global stewardship.
  • Other subject specific learning outcomes (related to Economics, Biology, Sociology,…)

A. BEFORE assigning the video to be viewed the teacher might ask students to reflect on the kind of world they want to see generations from now.  They could do this  individually or in groups of 4 on a placemat.  (5 minutes) Then ask students to view the 4 minute video outside of class time (this is the flipped part….they watch a video at home BEFORE you teach the lesson) and give them the instructions below.

B. DURING the video they  watch for “factors that are missing from the equation”.

C. AFTER watching the video, in the followup class, you might ask the students the questions below.  Try to engage students by using cooperative learning structures.  The first 4 questions lend themselves nicely to an Inside/Outside circle, where students have different partners for each question.  Alternatively, students may team up with a shoulder or face partner, or random partner, to answer the questions.  Or they could work in groups of 4 to answer the questions collectively  and then create a group banner as a Call To Action piece in number 5. Be sure to structure the group work enough so that there is mutual support, individual accountability, and equal participation (Kagan, 2009). (15 minutes or more…)

1. What does David Suzuki feel is missing from the equation? (REMEMBERING or UNDERSTANDING type question)

2. What are the externalities he refers to? (REMEMBERING or UNDERSTANDING type question)

3.Do you agree with the comment “Conventional Economics is a form of brain damage”? Explain. (EVALUATING type question)

4. What image(s) in the video moved you the most and why? (EVALUATING type question)

5. Reflect on the following quote from Mahatma Gandi,  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.  Create a personal Call to Action, a personal act that you could undertake to bring about change. (CREATING type question).

The link for the video is: http://www.upworthy.com/forget-everything-you-learned-in-economics-you-were-totally-lied-to?c=ufb1

Feel free to share and revise this lesson activity plan. At the very least, it is an example of how we might use FLIPPED Classroom approaches in meaningful ways.  This video will likely create some lively discussions in Econs classes. Do let me know how it goes.

Enjoy, Arlene

You might check out the Kagan cooperative learning resources at http://www.kaganonline.com


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