Radical Equations by Bob Moses is a great read which presents many thought provoking ideas. One very important idea he presents at the conclusion of the book is the Three Tiers of Demand.

The Three Tiers of Demand as presented by Bob Moses are as follows:

1.    A demand on one’s self
2.    A demand on one’s peers
3.    A demand on the large society

Bob Moses advocates applying this to education. In terms of education, the demand on one’s self means that a student must consistently strive to achieve all academic tasks place in front of him or her. The drive to do this must come from within the student. For many students this is difficult because many external forces in their lives. Of course this drive within one’s self can be stimulated from external forces such as teachers, parents, and peers, but the student must maintain the drive. That is what makes it a demand on one’s self; demanding that you meet a certain academic expertise despite the things around you. Once the demand on one’s self is maintained, that student can began to make a demand his or her peers.

Making a demand on one’s peers is to demand one’s peers to maintain the same academic standards as the student making the demand. Making a demand on one’s peers is critical to creating an environment where the learning sustains itself through the drive of the students who are learning. A student cannot make a successful demand on his or her peers if he or she is not maintaining the demand that the student has made on his or herself. This level of demand fosters peer-to-peer learning where each student is encouraging the others to work to reach academic excellence.

Lastly, the demand on the larger society is to demand that society at large plays its part in helping students to achieve academic excellence. This includes demanding that the lager society (which includes teachers, parents, and government) does everything in its power to see that students are properly equipped with the programming, funding, and emotional support to achieve academic excellence.

These three demands have to work simultaneously in order for every student to a have a change at academic success. In is important that the larger society plays a role in being the catalyst for a student to make a demand on his or herself. For many students, the power to change one’s reality doesn’t start from within the self.

-by Bryant Muldrew

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