The Learning Power Approach
Teaching Learners to Teach Themselves
- Guy Claxton - King's College London, UK
Foreword by Carol S. Dweck
Corwin Teaching Essentials
Learning is learnable! Educators can explicitly teach not just content, knowledge and skills, but also positive learning attitudes and habits of mind. Guy Claxton’s The Learning Power Approach will help teachers understand how ‘every lesson, every day’ shapes the way students see themselves as learners. This is the beauty of the Learning Power Approach: it is something all teachers can integrate into their daily practice. Claxton’s work helps us notice ‘what lies beneath’ the surface of our teaching and attend more closely to the way we shape dispositions and attitudes. Readers will find:
• approaches focused on building character alongside knowledge acquisition
• cognitive, social and neuroscientific supportive evidence
• practical illustrations and strategies
Written by a renowned cognitive scientist, this book offers a ground-breaking set of design principles for strengthening students’ learning muscles.
"This is the beauty of the Learning Power Approach. It is not a program, not a subject, not an add-on - it is something all teachers can integrate into their practice on a daily basis. Claxton’s work helps us notice ‘what lies beneath’ the surface of our teaching and to attend much more closely to the way we shape dispositions and attitudes to learning."
Kath Murdoch, Education Consultant
University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
“This book helps to validate a belief that the subjective goal of education should be about the liberation of the self, freeing us to choose our own essence in life. Thus, in developing the skills to become more aware of our own actions and their consequences for which we are responsible, we must study our own creativity and creations (knowledge and how that knowledge is gained and used…or not used). This search for self-empowerment, self-knowledge and self-awareness is our most challenging life endeavor. It allows us to study patterns in our lives. In so doing, we are better able to make corrections and improvements to our life’s goals. Education should provide an awakening into actuality the potentials that lie within us. Education does not merely give us knowledge, but teaches us how to think and use that knowledge, which helps us place an elevated emphasis on understanding and appreciating what was; actively participating in the chaos that is; and, vividly imagining and influencing what will be.”
"In person, Guy Claxton balances the precision of academia with the warmth and wit of our most beloved teachers. He challenges, engages and inspires in equal measure. It is the same when he writes; he transforms complexities of learning into recommendations that are both inviting and inspirational, and he does so without ever losing the subtlety of nuance or culture. He is the perfect “critical friend” and The Learning Power Approach is the exemplary handbook."
"We have to radically reimagine education if we’re going to fulfill the potential of today’s students as leaders who will address our increasingly global challenges. The Learning Power Approach is a valuable map, not just to student success but also to a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable planet."
"Guy Claxton challenges the traditional approaches to learning that exist in so many of our schools and presents a compelling and practical strategy to foster authentic thinking and learning for all. The Learning Power Approach is rooted in the belief that we must move beyond systems that categorize and judge people merely on their ability to do well in exams and tests, or learning that promotes the myth of the “one right answer”—to cultures that focus on “the cultivation of the confidence and capacity to be a good learner.” Claxton identifies and describes the diverse variety of strengths essential to successful learning and presents practical approaches to make these a priority.
This is a great book. It is a must read for those who understand the uniqueness of abilities in all of their students and would like to set in play a culture of learning that makes this flourish—a culture of learning that is inclusive and personal."
"Reading this book was a joy. As a writer, Claxton is beautifully able to express the what’s, why’s and the HOW’s of the learning power approach. His argument is urgent but it is expressed with great warmth making it a compelling read. Claxton’s work has just the right mix of accessibility and challenge.
Central to the Learning Power Approach is the belief that it is every teacher’s responsibility to nurture the student as learner and to grow learners who are ‘mind fit’. Learning itself is learnable! I challenge any teacher to read this and not come away questioning their practice and inspired to ‘tweak’ their classroom spaces, language and the way they design lessons. Reading this book will help teachers understand more clearly, the way ‘every lesson, every day’ gradually shapes the way students see themselves as learners and their understanding of the process of learning itself. This is the beauty of the Learning Power Approach. It is not a program, not a subject, not an add-on - it is something all teachers can integrate into their practice on a daily basis. Claxton’s work helps us notice ‘what lies beneath’ the surface of our teaching and to attend much more closely to the way we shape dispositions and attitudes to learning. As an ardent inquirer, I found the’ wonderings’ at the end of each chapter particularly stimulating. These wonderings would be a great way to prompt conversation and action amongst teachers, making it a marvelous text for rich, collaborative conversations across an entire school community.
Claxton often uses the metaphor of a coach to describe the work of teachers using the Learning Power Approach and there are some fascinating and helpful case studies of such coaches in action throughout the text. After reading this book, I feel as if I have spent time with one of the very best learning coaches there is. I can already envisage ‘The Learning Power Approach’ dog-eared and lovingly littered with post-it notes on my shelf. This book deserves a place in every teacher’s collection."
"We are always trying to see through the eyes of learners and guiding them on their way to become their own teachers. This is that guide."