Back to Teaching to Empower: Taking Action to Foster Student Agency, Self-Confidence, and Collaboration
We want students to master academic standards, and we want them to be confident, adaptive, and socially responsible. Above all, we want them to find meaning and satisfaction in their lives. Achieving these goals requires a concerted focus on the social-emotional skills that empower students in and beyond the classroom.
In Teaching to Empower, Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone explore what an empowered student looks like in our increasingly diverse contemporary schools and prompt educators to examine their own relationship to empowerment. The book’s evidence-based strategies and authentic examples show you how to foster an inclusive culture of agency, self-confidence, and collaboration that will give each of your students—regardless of race, culture, language, socioeconomic status, abilities, sexuality, or gender—the opportunity, responsibility, and tools to become an active learner, thoughtful community member, and engaged global citizen. Whether you’re a preservice teacher, a classroom novice, or a veteran, you’ll find the practical guidance you’ll need to
- Create inclusive and empowering physical learning spaces.
- Set up self-directed learning and promote positive interdependence.
- Promote student self-reflection.
- Teach the skills of collaboration.
- Foster the self-advocacy that fuels deeper, more autonomous learning.
- Partner more effectively with families and the community to support student empowerment.
(ASCD book, 2020) 7" x 9", 178 pages
Teaching to Empower offers what no other publication in the field does: It recognizes that student agency is critical, it is teachable, and it must be intentionally included in the curriculum and the daily practices of all teachers.
Professor of Education, Molloy College
More than ever, education leaders must reconcile archaic thinking when addressing the needs of students. Zacarian and Silverstone carefully walk us through the notion that the evolution of students demands a new mindset that reflects on historical realities and cultivates courageous innovation to build future empowered minds.
—Lauren S. Ford
Senior Manager, Leadership Development, Houston ISD Educational Learning Center
This timely book will support systems as they shift paradigms toward an assets-based approach when instructing and empowering students. The collection of both research and practical strategies will assist educators as they work to meet the cultural, linguistic, and social-emotional needs of our most vulnerable students.
Professor of Education, Whittier College, and Bilingual Educator Strategic Training Director at the California Association for Bilingual Education
Teaching to Empower is extremely illuminating for anyone seeking sound and liberating pedagogical theories and practices. For those searching for the gained experiences of effective schools all across the country, it is indispensable. Zacarian and Silverstone show that a school can contribute to the development of citizens able to exercise empathy and solidarity. They raise key questions about the finality of schools, confront these with educators’ actual duty, and give extensive examples of good school practices that lead to real change. There is no better time to read this book. It is an invitation to educators to rethink their vocation and their practice to serve a more just country.
—Ana María García Blanco
Executive Director, Instituto Nueva Escuela
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
High-stakes testing and the prioritization of speed of coverage over depth can distract us from connecting to the young people we teach. Teaching to Empower brings us back to the heart of education by giving examples and structures that help support the development of agency and social-emotional well-being in classroom communities.
2019 Montessori Society Living Legacy Award Honoree