Our Approach to Teaching and Learning

In its mission to develop urban leaders for global impact, the Empowerment Network is based on ideals located inside of the Empowerment Framework. The framework has three foundations: 1) in how to define achievement; 2) in how to structure practice; and 3) in how to position students and content.

  • Based on the framework, we define achievement as pluralistic. 

Three-P (3P) Achievement encapsulates production, prosperity and the promotion of personal growth (for self and for others).  Such pluralism contrasts from traditional interpretations of achievement as one dimensional. It also demands that we use a more inclusive model of both summative and formative assessments to capture student growth and student needs.

  • Based on the framework, we structure practice to build multiple literacies. 

Both traditional and critical literacies are necessary for 3P achievement!  These literacies are all based on increasing students’ power in three ways:  building power, sharing power and resisting (oppressive) power.  In all, there are seven principles that guide our learning objectives.

  • Based on the framework, we believe that all instruction must encompass a student-power pedagogy.

The pedagogy of student power embraces four teaching mandates: 1) students must have some influence, independence and control in the learning process; 2) learning objectives must be concrete, concise and measurable (putting the tools of power in plain view); 3) learning objectives must also be contextually relevant (putting the tools of power within reach of students); and 4) learning activities must support a problem posing purpose where students can put learning into action (as tools of power) in order to immediately improve and transform their individual and collective conditions.

A detailed explanation of the Empowerment Framework is located in the following two sources:

·         Dye, A. (2012). Empowerment starts here: Seven principles to empowering urban youth. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

·         Dye, A. Y. (2014).  The phenomenon of student powerlessness and student achievement: An instrumental multi-case student on the practices of three teachers identified as successfully serving low-income African American students (Doctoral Dissertation). Capella University.  Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.

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