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.