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Heroes Within

A Framework for Empowering Students to Own Their Learning Journeys

Help disengaged students or those stuck in a fixed mindset overcome fear of failure, set goals, face challenges, and experience incremental success through the hero-maker framework from nationally recognized author and speaker Aaron Hansen. Discover strategies to help students embrace active learning with a hero mentality.


  • Access templates and tools to guide metacognitive reflection and assist in students’ self-assessment.
  • Be reinspired and rejuvenated as teachers by true stories of transformation that every educator can relate to.
  • Select relevant content with real-world applications that boost student engagement.
  • Build self-efficacy and ownership of learning in all students.
  • Learn how to use the simple six-step framework for empowering students: (1) clarify learning goals, (2) establish trusting relationships, (3) choose worthy content, (4) facilitate student self-assessment, (5) encourage metacognition, and (6) develop a vision for their future.

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Heroes Within

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Chapter 1: Clarify the Learning Goals
Chapter 2: Leverage Relationships of Trust to Help Students Overcome Fear
Chapter 3: Select Worthy Content to Help Students Develop Skills
Chapter 4: Facilitate Student Self-Assessment and Self-Correction
Chapter 5: Use Metacognition to Change Mindsets
Chapter 6: Help Students Create a Compelling Vision
Chapter 7: Hero-Maker Framework Tools


Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 6



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  • DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., Many, T. W., & Mattos, M. (2016). Learning by doing: A handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work® (3rd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • DuFour, R., & Marzano, R. J. (2011). Leaders of learning: How district, school, and classroom leaders improve student achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (2015). On your mark: Challenging the conventions of grading and reporting. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Hansen, A. (2015a). Co-teaching the RTI and PLC way. In M. Mattos & A. Buffum (Eds.), It’s about time: Planning interventions and extensions in secondary school (pp. 35–54). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Hansen, A. (2015b). How to develop PLCs for singletons and small schools. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Marzano, R. J. (2009). Designing & teaching learning goals & objectives. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Resources.
  • Marzano, R. J. (2017) The new art and science of teaching. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Muhammad, A. (2015). Overcoming the achievement gap trap: Liberating mindsets to effect change. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.