Powering Up Children

The Learning Power Approach to primary teaching

By: Becky Carlzon , Guy Claxton


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Products specifications
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Size: 222mm x 182mm
Pages : 336
ISBN : 9781785833373
Format: Paperback
Published: December 2018

In Powering Up Children: The Learning Power Approach to primary teaching, Guy Claxton and Becky Carlzon harness the design principles of the Learning Power Approach (LPA) to provide a rich resource of effective teaching strategies for use in the primary school classroom.

Foreword by Ron Berger.

The LPA is a way of teaching which aims to develop all children as confident and capable learners – ready, willing, and able to choose, design, research, pursue, troubleshoot, and evaluate learning for themselves, alone and with others, in school and out. This approach therefore empowers teachers to complement their delivery of content, knowledge, and skills with the nurturing of positive habits of mind that will better prepare students to flourish in later life.

Building upon the foundations carefully laid in The Learning Power Approach (ISBN 9781785832451), the first book in the Learning Power series, Guy Claxton and Becky Carlzon’s Powering Up Children embeds the ideas of this influential method in the context of the primary school.

It offers a thorough explanation of how the LPA’s design principles apply to this level of education and, by presenting a wide range of practical strategies and classroom examples, illustrates how they can be put into action with different age groups and in different curricular areas – especially relating to literacy and numeracy, but also in specific subjects such as science, history, art, and PE.

Bursting with tips and techniques to get students’ learning muscles stretching from a young age, the book is designed for busy primary school teachers who want to get started on the LPA journey – as well as for those who have already made good progress and are looking for fresh ideas. The central chapters are structured around thematic clusters of the LPA’s design principles, and follow a common format:

1. First, the authors explain why the design principles focused on are important; including what’s in it for the teacher and what’s in it for the children.

2. Next, they offer a menu of practical low-risk tweaks to classroom practice that enable teachers to engage with the design principles and experience some quick wins.

3. Then they provide some ideas about how to embed the principles more deeply in the ongoing life of the classroom – including some rich lesson examples from across the primary age range, and from different school subjects.

4. Finally, they address some of the common bumps and issues that may crop up along the way, and offer advice to help teachers overcome such potential obstacles.

Suitable for both newly qualified and experienced teachers of learners aged 3–11.

Picture for author Becky Carlzon

Becky Carlzon

Becky Carlzon is an optimistic primary school teacher who specialises in the Learning Power Approach (LPA). She has adapted the LPA successfully while teaching students of all ages in the UK, Argentina, and Thailand over the last twelve years. Becky's practice is underpinned by the design principles outlined in Powering Up Children. Through staying connected with LPA schools and fellow practitioners, Becky is at the forefront of LPA practice across the globe. Her latest thoughts, reflections, and findings can be found on her website and blog: www.learningpowerkids.com.

Picture for author Guy Claxton

Guy Claxton

Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist specialising in the expandability of human intelligence ' bodily and intuitive as well as intellectual ' and the roles schools play in either growing or stunting these capacities. A prolific author, his practical programmes for teachers are influencing children's lives in Ireland, Spain, Poland, Dubai, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Brazil, as well as across the UK.


  1. This book uses the Learning Power Approach (LPA) which aims to develop all children as confident and empowered learners. The approach can be used across ages and in all subjects; the book clearly explains how this can be put into action. Full of practical advice, based on experience, the book is designed for busy primary school teachers who want to get started on the LPA journey as well as for those who have already made good progress and are looking for fresh ideas. The authors explain, chapter by chapter, why the design principles focused on are important; offer a menu of practical low-risk tweaks to classroom practice that enable teachers to engage with the design principles and experience some quick wins; provide some ideas about how to embed the principles more deeply and address some of the common bumps and issues that may crop up along the way, and offer advice to help teachers overcome such potential obstacles. The way the authors address teachers' potential concerns is excellent and shows the practical, classroom-based approach of the book.

    Read the review on Parents in Touch website here.
  2. Rich in both practical and theoretical value, Powering Up Children is a captivating contribution to the field of pedagogical literature. It is full of relevant classroom examples, and every idea shared is a provocation for teachers to evaluate themselves and reinvigorate their teams through professional sessions and discussions. The book can function as both an educator's rubric and a perfect guide for professional introspection, as Guy Claxton and Becky Carlzon present a generous array of classroom strategies and scientific references that invite teachers to carefully craft a paradigm shift in their own practice.

    All of the tools and techniques have been designed to excite the very core of the modern learner, and teachers will easily imagine their use throughout their pupils' educational journey. This rich simplicity is ultimately Powering Up Children's greatest strength - offering a pedagogical approach that is highly relatable, highly applicable, and highly thought-provoking. 

    A must-read for anyone with the true calling of a teacher and a curious mind. 
  3. How to equip children for a complicated and fast-changing world is now a global question, and this book offers a giant stride in the right direction. It provides educators with both a clear philosophy and a valuable theoretical framework, combined with vivid, exciting, and highly practical methods for “powering up” the children in their charge. While reading it I can feel the scales fall from my eyes as I experience major paradigm shifts in my thinking around pedagogy - and you will too!

    Powering Up Children should transform the thinking of all primary school teachers and policy makers, both in my native Japan and indeed across the whole world.
  4. In this refreshing book, Guy Claxton and Becky Carlzon demonstrate that knowledge-rich learning works best when children are given the opportunity to interrogate their understanding and harness their learning power. Guy and Becky then go on to offer a clear analysis of how this opportunity can be brought to life in the primary school classroom through the Learning Power Approach.

    You are left with the feeling that if all schools could adopt this approach, young people really could change the world for the better.
  5. Who doesn't want children to have active, imaginative, and discerning minds? In Powering Up Children, Guy Claxton and Becky Carlzon share strategies and approaches to help achieve just that. It demonstrates the importance of the Learning Power Approach in preparing children for the tests they need to pass and for the world they will inhabit both now and in the future.

    Informed by cutting-edge research and real-world practice, Powering Up Children is a brilliantly thought-out book of ideas to power up the hard-working teacher.
  6. If you're looking for a book packed with ideas on how to become an even better teacher, this is it. In Powering Up Children Guy and Becky demystify the culture of a great learning environment and offer educators a complete mindset shift for creating more agile teaching and learning.

    Just like your savings account, the Learning Power Approach requires investment - but the pay-off is enormous. Get stuck in! The worst thing that can happen is that you get it right the first time and miss out on an opportunity to build your own learning muscles!
  7. Powering Up Children could not have come at a better time, as the current educational landscape is buzzing with a renewed interest in developing learner agency. And while there is an abundance of resources written on the subjects of building independence, amplifying student voice, and helping them own their own learning, few provide the kind of clear and practical advice so readily shared in this wonderful book.

    One of the great gifts of Claxton's approach is his refusal to buy into the time-wasting debate between traditional and progressive approaches; instead, the ideas shared here speak practically and pragmatically to the complex and nuanced reality of the day-to-day classroom experience. Claxton and Carlzon bring a wealth of experience to this work, and it shows. Presented with authentic examples and explanations, and really useful suggestions, the reader is beautifully guided through a detailed collection of strategies that offer opportunities for profound and lasting change.

    My hope is that all teachers of primary school aged children will take the opportunity to read this book and put into practice its many valuable suggestions. Whether linked to reconsidering the choreography of one lesson, rethinking the way you use language, or redesigning the learning environment, there is a starting point to build on for everyone. Writing in an accessible and beautifully conversational style, the authors themselves are “warm demanders” as they both challenge and support the reader to reflect on the way they work in the classroom. Furthermore, they make numerous links to other like-minded educators - such as Ron Ritchhart, Carol Dweck, and James Nottingham - and these connections help teachers build a detailed and consistent picture of what it looks, sounds, and feels like to facilitate a truly learning-centred classroom.

    I am excited by the prospect of sharing Powering Up Children with teachers around the world and am so grateful for its contribution to the field - it is just the guidebook to accompany any teacher as they venture out on a journey of change.
  8. Powering Up Children is a must for all primary school educators, and is certain to be peppered with sticky notes and highlighter in no time as you read, reread, and share it with every teacher you know.

    As a passionate educator of little learners my aim is always for our pupils to be amazingly capable little people who grow up to be amazingly capable bigger people, so I cannot recommend this book highly enough - as it paves the way to achieve that goal. Guy and Becky call upon passionate educators who want to make a difference to be brave, to focus on what matters, and to make a change. May the learning river keep flowing all over the world!
  9. This exceptionally detailed and practical book draws into sharper focus the sheer lunacy of rejecting those lessons that actually interest children. It really is time to knock that nonsense on the head and get on with a more humane approach to educating young children for life - and Powering Up Children tells us how.

    As someone with experience as a primary school governor, I could see this book being particularly useful as a jargon-free guide that not only enables you to detect what makes really good teaching and why, but also helps you make specific observations - rather than relying on intuitive hunches - of what your school is doing right. It would also be really helpful for parents who are curious about the current debates in education and would like to know what an enlightened education looks like on paper.
  10. Powering Up Children is impressive, practical, and wise - and it's not often you can put those three things together. It picks up Guy Claxton's latest thinking about “learning power” and, with the help of expert practitioner Becky Carlzon, embeds it firmly in the primary school classroom (and it applies just as well to early childhood too). Guy and Becky include a host of practical methods to help children develop their learning muscles, and I especially valued their ideas on how to encourage children to think of themselves as learners by speaking “learnish”.
  11. In Powering Up Children Claxton and Carlzon have produced that most unusual of publications: a book that will appeal to anyone interested in children's learning at all levels of expertise and experience. It is especially remarkable in that it simultaneously provides page upon page of practical, easy-to-implement advice for teachers while also reflecting a deep understanding of the nature of education and the forces that are shaping the future of the profession.

    Its underlying ideas and fundamental strategies are so clearly explained that, through borrowing them, educators will be able to build their own approaches that are even more appropriate for their own classrooms. The authors also reveal the principles of powerful learning that will enable a truly strategic approach to children's learning and, based on evidence from research and from the classroom experiences of fellow educators, together they help teachers see the line between the intentional design of teachers' actions and the development of effective, powerful learners. More experienced and innovative educators will also find ideas in this book that will inspire them to fly higher, and support their colleagues to do the same.

    Best of all, Powering Up Children goes even further than shifting from teaching to learning, or from tactics to strategies: it speaks to the ways in which education changes the very nature of children, how teachers can influence children's identities as learners, and how classroom actions build the culture of classrooms, schools, and education systems. And so powerful learners are shaped.

    All teachers, as well as school leaders and educational innovators, will find enormous value in this book. Its provocations will spark new ideas, challenge some existing thinking, and provide clarity about new ways forward.
  12. Powering Up Children is so enjoyable - I love the way Guy and Becky bring the Learning Power Approach to life so vividly in the primary school classroom. Containing lots and lots of strategies you can put straight into action, this book is a one-way journey to transforming the way you look at teaching for ever. Enjoy the trip!
  13. Powering Up Children is a unique collaboration between Professor Guy Claxton and expert classroom practitioner Becky Carlzon that puts learning power theory into practice - and the result is a triumph!

    Aimed primarily at classroom teachers, this book is generously packed with tips, suggestions, and approaches - not to mention their accompanying anecdotes, diagrams, photographs, and QR links to video clips - which have been shown to work in real classrooms and which teachers can easily implement in their own contexts. Its highly relatable, readable, and practical content speaks to the centrality of the teacher-student relationship, and teachers will find themselves nodding along in recognition of the strategies' positive long-term impact on pupils' character, academic outcomes, and overall learning experience. It's a win-win: results plus character!

    With all the talk of 21st century skills and the need to prepare children for the challenges and opportunities ahead, Powering Up Children not only sets out the design principles of the Learning Power Approach but also shows teachers how - through subtle adjustments in their practice - skills such as collaboration and craftsmanship can be developed in learners. 

    A perfect and timely read for classroom teachers and school leaders alike.
  14. Powering Up Children provides a perfect marriage of Guy Claxton's very accessible refreshing of the research behind the Learning Power Approach and Becky Carlzon's practical, detailed, and imaginative lesson descriptions, which bring the design principles to life beautifully. The format of the book is particularly attractive, featuring really useful “wondering” and “bumps along the way” sections to aid teachers as they begin to experiment with the approach themselves.

    Any teacher reading this book will feel inspired and empowered to get going with the Learning Power Approach straight away, because it all seems so doable.
  15. Powering Up Children is full of practical examples and ideas to help teachers and children delve deeper into what Guy Claxton and Becky Carlzon call “results plus”. Building on the foundations of The Learning Power Approach, the authors challenge us to reflect and to go beyond: to customise and improve our practice so that we help children develop as learners - not just to get top grades, but also to build character in readiness for the tests of life.
  16. For those wanting to take their primary classroom practice beyond the nuts and bolts of teaching, Powering Up Children provides a great starting point - offering a wealth of ideas on how to build character in young children and develop them as learners who are motivated, confident, and curious.

    Claxton and Carlzon detail an approach to teaching and learning that will make the most of a well-planned curriculum: configured to ensure that children not only have the knowledge they need, but can also use and apply that knowledge in a variety of creative ways. The authors also helpfully include examples from classrooms across the world to demonstrate the approach's core principles, and to point towards where this practice has been successful.

    Powering Up Children is a book full of exciting possibilities for those teachers and leaders looking to move beyond the recent focus on passing statutory tests and towards a way of teaching that gives children so much more.

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