Like many neologisms and methodologies in contemporary education, ‘Flip Teaching’ is tricky to accomplish and is best understood by example. Doug’s 7-8 science class offers a good case study. In premise, the method is rooted in the notion that students learn needed content of a particular subject matter so as to teach it to one another, and thereby to the teacher. The teacher, in effect, becomes a student as the students, while assuming the role of instructor, determine how to accurately and effectively convey the needed information. When done well, the results afford high engagement, enjoyment, and comprehensive understanding, since a good teacher needs to understand not only what they’re saying but also the audience with whom they’re interacting. The more indistinguishable the roles, the better the results. Case in point: at the moment, the Alders are learning about the composition of human and animal cells. And, currently, they’re in the process of deciding, per individual, both a specific portion of cell structure that they will teach to their classmates, and how they will go about doing so. To help them in the research and design process, Doug’s teaching has been a mélange of direct instruction, Socratic questioning, reflection, and feedback and acting, the latter involving the students assuming roles representative of the subject matter in question. They began with a short video on specific scientists, for instance, during which they took notes on key aspects within the bios while knowing that they would be called on to act out their notes. Doug paused the video at intervals, pulled ping-pong balls with kids’ names on them out of a bucket, and assigned roles, while the students donned wigs and acted out their notes. They then offered each other critical feedback on the clarity and accuracy of their portrayals, made small adjustments, and added to their notes. During class, therefore, Isaac Newton fought Robert Hooke (in this case with plastic swords) to signify the actual, famous confrontation between the two scientists in 1686 over who had actually originated the idea of universal gravitation. A subsequent lesson involved the use of infographics, and, since Doug informed them that their eventual teaching lessons will need to involve an infographic, the students spent a class period assessing examples, pulling apart their various ingredients, and conceptualizing what may become their own. As they did so, Doug helped them to acquire a deeper understanding of cell structure. “What do you see, here, in the graphic layout of the animal cell? What was different than the last one of the plant cell?” To answer such queries, the students needed to refer each other to specific content within the graphics, try out terms such as ‘prokaryotic’ and ‘eukaryotic,’ offer insights, receive feedback, and make amendments. Fittingly, the room itself became an imagined analogue for a cell, the walls functioning as cell walls within a plant cell, as differently useable than the door, which represented phospholipids and proteins in an animal cell. Students likewise performed the actions in question: differently than the “spaghetti of DNA” strewn about the interior of a single-cell organism, as Doug explained it, the relative complexity of an animal cell requires a more efficient organization. “Look at Violet’s desk and how she organizes her stuff. Notice how efficient she is compared to other piles in the room. What could she do if she changed seats?” Violet did so, and the students noted the relative ease by which she carried her belongings from one place to another. In essence, they assumed the perspective of the subject matter so as to eventually envision the perspective of their audience. Doug has practiced such methods throughout the year (and in year’s past), so his lessons tend toward an organic composition of overlaying student questions, gestures, jokes, and deductions. It’s a leveling process whereby he assumes the role of guide in helping them toward their own conclusions. They envision not a future test, or what exactly it is that Doug wants as their end result, but instead something new that they’ll create, and why. “Should our infographic be done on paper, or via computer?”, to which, of course, Doug replied, “I don’t know. I’ll let you figure that out.” Such decision means that Doug cannot know the eventual solutions that the kids will generate; if he did, they wouldn’t really be teaching him anything. Instead, he needs to allow a qualified ambiguity, and to be comfortable with it. Doing so affords his students their own, unique means of clarifying their outcomes. He shows them how to accomplish their own ambitions, rather than telling them what his outcomes should be.