Chapter 6: Engage Versus Empower

Chapter Synopsis:

Often schools talk about “engagement”, but are we setting a low bar for our students? In this chapter, I discuss the importance of realizing that we live in a time that the same standard of “engagement”, in a world where what we do with what we know matters most, is not as important as focusing on “empowerment”.  Would you rather be engaged or empowered as an educator? Students would want the same.

Further Reading/Exploration:

Gary Stager: The Best Makerspace is Between Your Ears
George Couros: School vs. Learning
Bill Ferriter: Should We Be Engaging or Empowering Learners?

*New  Jackie Gerstein –  Learner Empowerment

Further Viewing:

Seth Godin: Stop Stealing Dreams (Accompanying Free PDF)

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do we create learning opportunities and experiences for students and staff that focus on empowerment, as opposed to engagement?
  2. What new statements would you create with the “School vs. Learning” image? Are they on one side of the spectrum or are these statements closer to the middle?
  3. How do we create classrooms and schools where students and voices are not only heard, but needed?
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