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Fierce Teaching

Fierce Teaching
Purpose, Passion, and What Matters Most

Edited by:

July 2008 | 120 pages | Corwin

"The content is crucial for classroom teachers who want to help children learn to their maximum potential."
—Deborah Alexander-Davis, Educational Consultant

"Teachers will benefit greatly from Jensen's knowledge and understanding of many complex topics."
—Beverly Ginther, Staff Development Coordinator
Minnetonka Public Schools, MN

Empower students' learning with core teaching principles and brain-friendly strategies!

New educational ideas, theories, and trends materialize every year, but what core principles actually dictate student success, and which strategies reliably create lasting learning?

In this invaluable resource, noted brain expert Eric Jensen shows educators how they can achieve consistent, positive learning outcomes using powerful brain-compatible teaching methods. Based on exacting criteria, these methods comprise the physical, social, environmental, and neurological factors that influence learning. This reader-friendly model covers both process and content and identifies specific characteristics of successful strategies, providing techniques that are:

  • Easy to learn and implement
  • Adaptable for differentiated instruction and individual learning styles
  • Applicable to all grade levels
  • Teacher-tested and proven to deliver results in any school setting
  • Aligned with current brain and cognitive science research

True mastery of teaching comes with understanding and employing the fundamental principles of learning. This book provides the knowledge, strategies, and action steps that teachers, teacher leaders, and mentors need to help all students reach their full potential.

About the Author
Strategy Number 1. Body and Emotional Connections Made
Body-Mind Emotional Engagement

Five Key Emotional States






Strategy Number 2. Feedback and Error Correction
The Importance of Feedback

A Case for Feedback Styles

Using Feedback Types

What Makes Feedback Work So Well?

Feedback Should Be Reliable

Strategy Number 3. Input-to-Output Ratio
Who's Doing the Learning?

The Truth About Time in Learning

Mastery of Material Through Time

The Brain's Perspective on Learning

Working Memory

Consolidating the Learning

Hippocampus Overload

Cortical Limitations

How Does the Need for Time Translate Into the School Day?

The Importance of Rest Time

Strategy Number 4. Elaboration for Depth
What Is Elaboration?

Preparation for Elaborative Learning

Elaboration Categories

The "How-to" of Elaboration

Five Elaboration Strategies

Elaboration Alternatives

Strategy Number 5. Recall and Memory Management
What Makes Purposeful Memory Encoding So Good?

Seven Approaches for Repetition to Get Memories Encoded



Prior Knowledge Activation


Guided Practice

Revision With Links

Strategy Number 6. Content Coherence
What Is Coherence?

Texts With Coherence

Teaching for Coherence

Increasing Key Structural Knowledge

Experiential Learning

Semantic Support

The Use of Models

S-U-P-E-D Up Learning

Sleeping on It

Strategy Number 7. Environmental Management
The Four Environmental Domains

Physical Environments

How Do Environments Affect Us?

Indoor Air Quality

Acoustic Quality

Classroon Lighting

Classroom Temperature

The Social Environment

Social Influences on Our Brains, Bodies, and Lives

Positive Social Structures Work Miracles

Independent Learners

Classroom Dialogues to Build Social Structures

Social Status Strategies in Motion

Academic Climate Management

The Five Success Factors

Celebrate and Affirm the Learning

Life-Path Guidance

The Use of Traditions

Instructional Variety

Student Asset Building

Managing the Cultural Environment

The Culture of "Success" Is All About Achievement

The Counterculture of Success Is That of Disengagement From the System

The School Culture of Character Values Such as Responsibility, Honesty, and Fairness

The Counterculture to Character Is Rebellion

The Culture of Being Respected and Being Somebody

The Counterculture Exists Where Students Disrespect Others

Building Positive Cultures


“The content is crucial for classroom teachers who want to help children learn to their maximum potential.”

Deborah Alexander-Davis, Educational Consultant

“Teachers will benefit greatly from Jensen's knowledge and understanding of many complex topics.”

Beverly Ginther, Staff Development Coordinator
Minnetonka Public Schools, MN

“This book deals with a stimulating topic for educators and is simple to understand.”

Lori Grossman, Instructional Coordinator
Houston Independent School District, TX
Key features
  • The book strategies and tools that empower educators as confident teachers and empower students to excel academically
  • The book offers teachers a new way of thinking about learning, with the seven "make or break" principles
  • Every one of the principles matter enough that alone each one can make a difference between a student learning and not learning
  • Educators can easily read, digest, and implement the strategies immediately
  • Educators want to succeed and this book helps them understand and use the core principles and strategies that drive learning
  • Focuses on key principles and classroom-proven strategies that help all learners achieve their fullest potential
  • Every chapter offers specific action steps that any educator or school can implement for positive change

For instructors

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