Graphic based on the cover of the book, Peer Power, with a Twisted Sister lyric on it.

“Oh, we’re not going to take it. No, we ain’t gonna take it. We’re not gonna take it anymore…” Sarah Stevens calls us to hear Twisted Sister’s anthem as we think about how we want to empower students to be true #PeerPower revolutionaries.

Readers will take real tips that can be used in their classrooms immediately challenging the current paradigm.

Since most school systems are set up for compliance rather than empowerment or real achievement, we have to do a better job partnering with our students so they understand what they are learning, why they are learning it and how they will know and be able to explain their own success.

Using the gradual release of control model, students begin to make their own meaning and teachers provide humanizing experiences that empower our kids. Even children in grades three to five can be a part of this process and it’s time we include them in it all.

Throughout the chapter, Stevens promotes clear pathways for student ownership in clearly outlined steps that help teachers of all levels put students in the driver’s seat. First she considers learning targets and goals, unpacking standards to help develop learning progressions which will enable better informed instructional choices and then developing key markers of success.

From there students and teachers are encourage to design and co-construct transferrable tasks and public goal setting. This is a great way to keep ourselves accountable as we do this important work.

This chapter, as well as the others in Peer Power: Unite, Learn and Prosper, Activate an Assessment Revolution provides ample examples, inspiring ideas and practical methods for successfully implementing a more student-centered approach to learning. Shouldn’t kids have a part in everything they learn, not just when they’re at home? This is the answer to bringing engagement and interest back to the school day and not leave it relegated to YouTube once the 3 o’clock bell rings.

How do you ensure all students are empowered in your classrooms? Please share.

*Want hands on help with this work in your school, check out our Empowered Learner Pathway.