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Leaders of Their Own Learning Helps Teachers Reimagine Their Classrooms

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    April Hattori

The publication this month of Expeditionary Learning’s new book, Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools Through Student-Engaged Assessment, brings a powerful new resource to teachers looking to reimagine their classrooms.   

The book features eight practices that involve students in understanding and investing in their own growth. These practices change the primary role of assessment from evaluating and ranking students to motivating them to learn. Each chapter provides strong models of teacher and student work that can be used to develop student engaged assessment practices and provoke conversations about what good teaching looks like.  Practical tools – case studies, protocols and a companion DVD of classroom videos – help teachers put these strategies to work in their classrooms. 

Steve Mahoney, principal of the Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, MA describes the power of the student-engaged assessment practices in his school. “Student-engaged assessment practices are at the core of our school’s success. Our graduates—100 percent of whom are accepted to college every year—are better prepared for college and life with the skills and attitudes they developed because of the strategies described in Leaders of Their Own Learning.Any teacher or school leader committed to every student being successful should read this book.”

Leaders of Their Own Learning is anchoring a new set of professional development offerings from Expeditionary Learning. At a recent Expeditionary Learning Institute on Assessment in Daily Instruction, educators and administrators from across the country used Leaders of Their Own Learning to set the foundation for building a culture of engagement and achievement in their schools.

"The book will assist my students to become leaders of their own learning, but it also assists me, the educator, in being a learner, constantly refining my practice on behalf of my crew's education," said Kachine Kulick, 6th grade teacher at Explore Elementary in Thornton, Colorado.

In March, Expeditionary Learning will launch two new opportunities for teachers to explore these practices more deeply.  Up to 75 participants will be able to attend a two-day institute focused on the practices in Leaders of Their Own Learning, facilitated by Ron Berger, the book’s author, as well as Cyndi Gueswel, Director of Program Resources and Colleen Broderick, Director of Online Learning.  To receive more information on registration for the institute, please email your name, school name, and email address to Laura Maruca,

Also, we will soon announce how teachers can sign up for a new online book club organized around the book.  To receive a notice when registration for the online book club is available, please send your name, school name, and email address to Colleen Broderick,

To learn more about Leaders of Their Own Learning, visit our Publications page.