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Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom

46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1416615064
ISBN-10: 1416615067
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Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom + Assessment 3.0: Throw Out Your Grade Book and Inspire Learning + The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom? (ASCD Arias)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A "2013 Best Professional Book" -- Teacher Librarian

"This is a brutally honest account of Barnes's mistakes and successes as a teacher, and a helpful guide for new and veteran educators seeking to excite students about learning and mastering 21st-century skills." - SpinEdu.com

From the Author


For more than a decade as an educator, I used traditional teaching methods - lecture, worksheets, homework, multiple choice tests and grades. My bored students hated this, and there wasn't a ton of learning. Then, after a remarkable summer of research and discovery, everything changed. I eliminated all of the traditional teaching methods, replacing them with exciting yearlong projects, digital learning strategies, daily collaboration and narrative feedback. I even stopped grading! What happened was truly life altering. My students became independent learners, eager to find information and share mastery skills with me and with their peers. Best of all, learning became fun. Role Reversal is the culmination of an incredible journey and an outline of what I call a Results Only Learning Environment, a classroom that kids call "cool" and that any teacher can easily create.  
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (February 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416615067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416615064
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A nationally-recognized speaker and education writer, Mark Barnes is the author of Role Reversal, named a 2013 Best Professional Book by Teacher Librarian Magazine, The 5-Minute Teacher (ASCD, 2013), Teaching the iStudent (Corwin, 2014), Assessment 3.0: Throw Out Your Grade Book and Inspire Learning (Corwin, 2015) and 5 Skills for the Global Learner (Corwin, 2015). Mark is the leading authority on the no-grades classroom and his revolutionary SE2R feedback model is used by educators around the world.

Mark is the creator of the new Hack Learning mobile app for educators, editor of the Hack Learning Series and publisher at Times 10 Publications. He also publishes the popular education blog, Brilliant or Insane: Education on the Edge. A keynote speaker and presenter, Mark has written for many education magazines including, Learning and Leading with Technology, eSchool News, SmartBlog on Education and ASCD Express.

Connect with Mark on Twitter @markbarnes19 and follow his no-grades classroom movement on the Teachers Throwing Out Grades Facebook Group and the Assessment 3.0 Facebook page.

Mark's first novel, The League, was published by DNA Press in 2005. He rewrote the book in 2013 for Kindle and retitled it, The League: A New Game.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin Miller on July 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book, Role Reversal, written by Mark Barnes describes results only learning environment (ROLE). This is a nonfiction book written to help educators create a ROLE classroom at their school. Barnes is a middle school language arts teacher, and has been teaching for sixteen years. He switched to a ROLE classroom after his seventh year teaching, and has not looked back since.

In a results only learning environment, Barnes implements five guidelines. These guidelines are; no homework, no copying of anything from a textbook or a whiteboard, no tests or quizzes, no classroom rules, and students choose much of what they learn and how they learn it. Barnes does not assign any points or percentages to any assignments, and has the student decide their grade at the end of the grading period in a one-on-one conference. He claims that in this type of classroom only three things matter; production, feedback, and change. The whole idea behind this type of classroom is to dive into the students' intrinsic motivation, and make them want to learn the material presented in front of them. Barnes hopes that in this classroom the students will want to learn, instead of doing assignment for a simple grade.

In order to teach the ROLE way, teachers must incorporate a few strategies in their classroom, beginning with project-based learning. The first one is to incorporate a year-long project for the students to complete. Barnes lets students choose what they read, what they will create from this book, and how to do this all on the Internet. Integrating technology is essential within a ROLE classroom, and this will help give the students choices on their assignments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sumana Posritong on July 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
ROLE Reversal, a 2013 best professional book, is a nonfiction book written by Mark Barnes, a middle school teacher with more than 20 years of teaching experience. The theme of this book is providing strategies and methods for any educator who interested to change the classroom to Results Only Environment (ROLE) classroom or another meaning is changing a traditional classroom to a more student-centered classroom environment.

Throughout the book, Barnes guides readers to understand ROLE Reversal system and how the ROLE classroom should look like. Barnes presents 5 guidelines to transform traditional classroom to ROLE classroom; 1) no homework, 2) no copying of anything from textbook or whiteboard, 3) no tests or quizzes, 4) no classroom rules, and 5) students can choose what and how they want to learn. To achieve success in ROLE reversal, Barnes suggests incorporating some strategies to the classroom. The first one is using project-based learning as can be seen in the book that Barnes incorporated a year-long project and portfolios for students. The second one is integrating technology to the classroom. Furthermore, there are no grades in ROLE classroom, grading is replaced with narrative feedback from teacher that act like facilitators. Barnes thinks this way will build intrinsic motivation to learn within students by encouraging them to become autonomous learners. So, three take home messages are “Production, Feedback, Change”.

This book was very well written and I enjoyed reading a lot. In my opinion, many aspects that were discussed in this book were the great ideas. However, the specific approaches that Barnes used cannot use in every circumstance or every class. They need to be modified before using in each situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jamie W. on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Role Reversal, by Mark Barnes, is a useful, nonfiction book for any teacher interested in creating a more student-centered classroom environment. Mark Barnes taught middle school for 16 years using traditional methods before reevaluating his methods and creating a results only learning environment in his classroom. The main theme of the book to providing educators with strategies and methods they can utilize to create a Results Only Learning Environment (ROLE). ROLE encourages project based learning in a student centered environment. Traditional teaching ideas such as homework, tests and quizzes, traditional grades, rote copying exercises, and classroom rules are traded in for new ideas such as providing students with narrative feedback, year-long comprehensive projects and portfolios, and emphasis on building trusting relationships with students.

Teachers, who utilize ROLE ideals, are building intrinsic motivation to learn within their students by encouraging them to become autonomous learners. Student freedom is encouraged by providing students with choices in the activities they complete and in selecting course material to be covered. The projects students chose to participate in throughout the school year are continuously revised based on personalized, narrative feedback from the educator rather than impersonal letter grades. Barnes encourages teachers to reduce the amount of time they spend lecturing and instead break it into small 3-5 minute "mini-lectures" allowing for a great deal of class time to be spent on engaging discourse and peer collaboration on projects. The main focus is on project-based learning.

Barnes encourages the use of technology in the classroom, because technology is both enjoyable and engaging to most learners.
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