As a long-time fan of Guy Claxton's work around Building Learning Power, and a convert to its impact in classrooms and on student outcomes, I was very excited to read The Learning Power Approach.
In his trademark style and with his typically effective use of language, Guy presents a compelling case for the LPA. He summarises and links together the various learning power approaches and gives a strong argument for educators supporting pupils to develop the skills, character and learning dispositions necessary for success in exams, lifelong learning and fulfilment and happiness in life. The book makes reference to wide-ranging and diverse evidence and research. It provides lots of new food for thought for those who have been working with learning power approaches for years, whilst also leading those new to the LPA gently by the hand and introducing them to its concepts.
The book offers a wealth of practical tools which teachers can take and instantly implement in their classroom with the confidence that they will have impact. I also love the idea of the LPA menu du jour! It was through getting all staff to consider the different kinds of learning which should be taking place in the classroom, and ensuring that -˜the Learning River' was operating at the three depths of -˜knowledge', -˜skills and literacies' and -˜attitudes and dispositions' that, at Isaac Newton Academy (INA), we have supported students to excel in their exam outcomes (top 1% nationally in 2017 and 2018) and develop into rounded characters. The latest Ofsted report said, -œConcepts such as bravery, integrity, resourcefulness and emotional intelligence are key features [at INA] ... and pupils have a shared understanding of what these concepts mean to them and how to apply them when tackling problems in different subjects.- Our school went on to win the Pearson School of the Year Award for articulacy and literacy.
The Learning Power Approach is a most timely book. For too long there has been an unhelpful division of educational thought into polarised camps of -˜knowledge' versus -˜skills'. At the same time, many schools have demonstrated an unhealthy concentration on preparing pupils for tests and have focused on narrow academic measures to the exclusion of all else. This book is a refreshing and much-needed antidote to such thinking. Guy shows educational leaders a way to ensure that their schools hit both targets: results AND character. As school leaders contemplate their curriculum intent and impact, and prepare for the 2019 Ofsted framework, they would do well to have The Learning Power Approach by their side as a guiding handbook.