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Cultivate Independent, Critical Thinking Through the Power of Student Collaboration

Instructional Empowerment’s model of instruction cultivates students as independent, critical thinkers instead of dependent, compliant learners. Our experts have extensive experience coaching teachers and schools to redesign instructional systems around our student-led model. We see rapid improvements in student behavior and achievement as students experience more rigorous and engaging classroom instruction.

Students become active learners as they work in teams, collaborate, and peer coach while engaged in rigorous, standards-based tasks.

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A Model That Motivates Students to Become Equal Partners in Learning

Traditional models of instruction and instructional frameworks create a teacher-centered environment with passive and compliant students.

Our model of instruction builds students’ agency through structures that develop their ability to self-direct their own learning. Students become independent, critical thinkers.

Teachers who implement our model watch as their students learn more deeply, exhibit more positive behaviors, and require less support from their teacher.

Our model is about more than engagement–it’s about deeper learning and student empowerment!

What Is a Model of Instruction?

A model of instruction is traditionally defined as a framework for the way teachers plan lessons and the instructional strategies that teachers use to deliver lessons. We are redefining a model of instruction to include the role of students and the strategies students use as well. A model of instruction creates the classroom learning environment and ultimately shapes the learning culture of the school. We believe a model of instruction should be intentionally designed and implemented to create deeper learning and a student-centered culture.

Our Model of Instruction Is Right for Your School ...

If you want to …

Accelerate learning and re-engage students
Strengthen Tier 1 core instruction and rely less on Tier 2 and 3 interventions
Create classroom systems and structures that align to a shared instructional vision
Empower teachers with the tools to plan and monitor rigorous academic learning tasks
Empower students to become self-motivated learners who take ownership of their behavior and learning
Prepare students to thrive in the new economy with the skills for upward mobility

Talk to Deana About Adopting the Model

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Immediate Implementation With Classroom Resource Pack

As a companion to our professional development, we provide durable, high-quality classroom resource packs of student and teacher resources that help you quickly establish new classroom routines.

We focus on helping teachers build instructional systems for student-led learning rather than using a collection of quick-fix, disconnected engagement strategies.

Students learn to rely on their resources and peers instead of being dependent on the teacher, and they build the capacity to access high levels of academic rigor that they may never have experienced before.

Works With Any Program, Any Curriculum, Any Subject, Any Grade Level

Our model of instruction is not a program, but it can be implemented alongside any program, with any curriculum, with any evaluation model, and in all subjects and grade levels K-12.

Expert Coaching and Support

We provide professional development, resources, and expert coaching to support implementation of our model of instruction.

Practical Professional Development

During our training sessions, teachers learn in teams, experience the model of instruction for themselves, so they can then replicate it with their own students with the help of our resources and coaching. We also offer online learning as additional support and growth for the times our consultants are not onsite.

Go at Your Own Pace – Schoolwide or With Smaller Teacher Groups

You determine the size and pace of your implementation. The more classrooms that implement the model of instruction, the greater the impact on student academic performance and behavior in your school. Our model of instruction can be implemented in just a few classrooms with a small group of willing “pilot” teachers (what we call a coalition of the willing), or it can be implemented schoolwide. Our model of instruction professional development can be offered as a series to build and enhance the skills of both teachers and students, so you can choose the desired pace.

“The model of instruction is allowing our students to take more ownership of their learning and build a deeper understanding of the content. Our teachers are really embracing the academic teaming structures which is allowing them to shift more responsibility to the students and it’s really impacting their learning for the better.”

Sara Garcia
Principal, Shaw Elementary School, Tampa, FL

Our Social Mission Drives Our Model of Instruction

This work matters to us. Our social mission is to end generational poverty and eliminate racial achievement gaps through transformed core instruction.

We are so serious about our social mission that we founded our own independent Applied Research Center.

Our research center verifies our model of instruction for deeper learning using the most exacting federal research standards. We ensure our methods work in every school and every classroom in all the different communities that our partner schools serve.

Listen to a district’s experience of adopting our model of instruction. Video Credit: School District U-46, IL.

Strengthen Tier 1 Core Instruction

We guide you through the process of transforming the instructional systems in your classroom from traditional teacher-directed models to our empowering student-led model of instruction.

Our protocols give teachers the tools to engage their students to share their thinking, respectfully challenge the thinking of their peers, and elevate their learning in teams.

The power behind our model is creating a learning environment that develops motivated learners, which alleviates teachers from having to constantly direct student behavior and learning.

Our professional development, resources, and coaching help teachers release more and more autonomy to students within Tier 1 core instructional systems. Students are empowered to take on roles with real responsibilities within their team structures and grow their academic agency.

“The conditions are put in place with systems. Teachers understand what they’re doing, and students understand what they’re learning.”

Nicole Medich
Director of School Learning – School Turnaround, South Bend Community Corporation, IN
Listen to a group of students transitioning from dependence on the teacher to independent, critical thinking.

Talk to Deana About Adopting the Model

Empower Teachers and
Re-Energize the Classroom

Our model of instruction for deeper learning is an investment in teachers’ professional skills as they develop expertise in aligning learning targets to academic tasks, implementing team-based classroom structures, and monitoring student learning in real time.

Teachers who engage in our model of instruction report a significant increase in professional satisfaction and happiness. They are often in awe that their students are “learning without them,” meaning that their students have become self-motivated learners within their teams and take on more responsibility for their own and their peers’ learning success.

We are happy to see teachers who have previously experienced fatigue and burnout experience a sense of renewal and energy as teaching becomes more joyful through our model of instruction.

“I have not heard a single student say ‘I can’t’ in my classroom.”

Josefina Gonzalez
4th Grade English, Language, Arts, and Reading (ELAR) and Multi-Classroom Leader (MCL), Jane Long Elementary, Midland, TX

“The coalition grows naturally from within as teachers see and hear about the successes of their peers.”

Kristin Andrews
Instructional Coach, Colerain High School, Cincinnati, OH

Accelerate Achievement With an Evidence-Proven Model

Focusing on a model of instruction for deeper learning is a powerful point of leverage for school and district leaders as they work toward ambitious goals for raising student achievement and ensuring every student graduates with the skills they need for a successful future.

Our Applied Research Center has studied how to activate students’ intrinsic motivation and create the classroom conditions for students to engage in their learning in an authentic and meaningful way.

Schools that implemented our model of instruction – as part of our comprehensive school advancement services – have experienced the following results:

“They progress from ‘sage on the stage’ to the students taking responsibility. You can see how it’s changed the whole atmosphere of the school. It gives everyone a sense of pride. It has made us better, more effective teachers and leaders.”

Rhonda Hamilton
Principal, Arthur Elementary School, Oklahoma City, OK

“Students are confident in their voice as they collaborate more and more. Teachers are more confident in their practice and ability to change lives. Campus administrators and coaches are more confident in their ability to be effective in instructional empowerment.”

Javier Aguilera
Principal, De Zavala Elementary School, Midland, TX

Students Develop the Skills to Fulfill Their Life Goals and Dreams

Our model of instruction for deeper learning combines academic rigor and standards with life skills development. As students take an active role in their own learning process, collaborate with peers, and thrive as independent, critical thinkers, they develop agency and other life skills such as decision making, problem solving, and effective communication. These skills increase their chances of succeeding beyond school and achieving upward mobility.

Time and again we have observed students who were once shy and non-participating become active communicators and valuable contributors to their teams. Students who once expressed challenging behaviors due to boredom and feeling overcontrolled now flourish as leaders in their teams. Students who already experienced academic success are challenged to deepen their learning and social skills. Students from all backgrounds benefit from a more enriched learning experience where students create, innovate, and debate.

“Helping someone else learn really makes me happy. It helps me with my leadership. I actually take most of the responsibility because it’s my life and control, it’s what I can do in the future.”

High School Student
Palm Beach County School District, FL

“I was very shy in 3rd grade. I didn’t get what was going on and everything was just really confusing, but now that teaming came into this school, I’ve been more confident in my work, and I’ve been making more progress than I was in 3rd grade.”

4th Grade Elementary Student
Putnam County School District, FL

Creating a Culture of Rigor

When we think about rigor in a classroom, we often associate it with a rigorous task, but rigor is so much more than a task. With our model of instruction, rigor truly becomes the culture of the classroom with students taking responsibility for their own learning.

In a culture of academic rigor, students engage in productive struggle and deepen their learning. Our model of instruction provides the structures and support for teachers to facilitate this process in their classrooms.

Why Teachers Thrive

Why Students Thrive