1st Edition

The Fearless Classroom
A Practical Guide to Experiential Learning Environments

ISBN 9781138802865
Published November 13, 2014 by Routledge
124 Pages

USD $24.95

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Book Description

Students learn better when they aren’t afraid to take risks and make mistakes. In this book, teacher and popular blogger Joli Barker shows you how to make K-8 students fearless in the classroom so they can engage in deeper learning. You’ll discover how to abandon the notion of the teacher as the primary source of information, and instead create a classroom environment in which students can explore problems, test theories, and play games through curiosity, imagination, adaptability, and a passion for learning.

Find out how to…

  • Create fearless learning environments;
  • Engage in fearless planning and lesson design;
  • Use fearless grading and assessments;
  • Teach fearless gamification;
  • Develop fearless parent relations; and
  • Get students to ask fearless questions.

Throughout the book, you’ll find suggested activities for science, social studies, language arts, and math, as well as tools such as rubrics to assist you on your journey.  

Table of Contents


Meet the Author

From the Author



Chapter One: Defining Fearlessness:

Part One: The Fearless Educator

Part Two: The Fearless Student

Part Three: The Fearless Approach

Part Four: The Fearless Administrator

Chapter Two: Creating Fearless Learning Environments:

ICAP Rotations

ICAP: the Specifics





Chapter Three: Fearless Planning and Lesson Design

Chapter Four: Fearless Grading

Chapter Five: Fearless Assessing of Skills

Chapter Six: Setting Fearless Goals

Chapter Seven: Guide to Activities

Lesson Design Rubrics


Reflections on Learning

Getting Students to Ask Fearless Questions

Science/Social Studies

Language Arts/Reading


Chapter Eight: Fearless Parent Relations

Chapter Nine: Fearless Gaming in the Classroom

Chapter Ten: Globalizing Your Classroom with Fearless Project-Based Learning

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Joli Barker is an elementary teacher in Texas. She is Microsoft in Education Master Educator and Global Forum winner. She was the 2013 Texas Computer Education Association's Classroom Teacher of the Year as the TCEA 2013 Classroom Teacher of the Year. She is also one of The National School Board Association's 2014 "20 to Watch" in education. She has a popular blog, The Fearless Classroom, and also does consulting work in schools.


"In The Fearless Classroom Joli Barker shares her method and fiery passion for student engagement by inspiring them to be fearless learners. Her method is accessible to teachers of all levels: 'Make mistakes alongside your students,' 'Let students explore and wonder about a topic before teaching it,' and 'Have students set personal goals for the week.' Through this lens into her classroom, she challenges educators to join in the fearless revolution. An inspiring read for teachers of every vintage!"

--Mark Moran, Founder and CEO, Dulcinea Media and Co-founder, Choose2Matter 

"Every classroom should be modeled around The Fearless Classroom. Joli Barker creates an environment where all students are risk takers, critical thinkers, and deep problem solvers. Barker shows you how to develop student-driven learning environments and how to 'get out of the way' of their learning! Imagine a world where students think for themselves, are creative, are accepting of other students' ideas, and are collaborative: this is the Fearless Classroom."

--Jamie Ewing, Teacher at Mount View Elementary and NAASE Innovative Teacher of the Year, Facilitator for the Technology Access Foundation’s STEM Institute, and Facilitator for Innovation Jump Start