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What learning power is

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The idea of building learning power is that it is possible in a real sense to help young people get smarter. to help them become more intelligent! and the real reason for doing that is to give them the confidence that they will be able to face tricky stuff of all kinds, problems, challenges, out there in the big wide world in their real lives, both now and in the future. the science behind BLP gives us the confidence that this is a real possibility There are all kinds of experiments and studies that have been carried out in the last few years which show that contrary to some popular opinion it really is possible to get smarter It is possible to help young people become more intelligent and we are beginning to understand what that means in some degree of detail Intelligence is not some general purpose pot of fixed-size ability that the genes or the Good Lord gave you when you were born and that you carry around with you for the rest of your life That's a bit of a misconception Actually the ability to learn is itself very learnable And it consists of things like curiosity, the ability to ask good questions, persisting in the face of difficulty being resourceful, being able to have a range of different strategies to call upon, being a good teamworker, being a good collaborator, being able to be thoughtful... to be able to stand back from what you are doing, particularly when it is difficult and think how is it going? how might I be able to do this differently? it's partly a matter of being able to balance being imaginative with being able to think clearly, and rigorously, and in a disciplined kind of way and what we've discovered through the science is that it's possible in real lessons with real kids and real teachers: all the constraints there are around to help them strengthen each of these ingredients or capacities that go to make up real life intelligence That's the theory Professor, but how does Building Learning Power work in practice? What we've discovered is that the way to build the capacities of the powerful, confident, real-life learner is not so much a kind of 'adding on' little bits and pieces to lessons, but just adjusting in a way that many teachers find quite comfortable a number of aspects of the way they design lessons and indeed the way a whole school is designed Just changing the way we talk to students, for example can make a big difference If instead of always talking about work in the classroom, "Get on with your work!", "Get back to your work!" "how's your work coming on?" If you focus attention on the chat that goes on in a classroom more on the learning... "how are you learning?", "what's difficult about that?" "what would make that easier for you?" then we find that that shifts the focus, shifts the interest of young people so they begin to be more interested in the process of learning itself even little things like what you put on the walls what aspects of students work, let's call it work... you put on the walls makes a big difference. In a conventional school, all you ever see on the walls is the perfect product! the perfect output, the final result And the wall's, therefore, show no evidence of the learning process no evidence of the drafting, or the trying or the two steps forward and one step back, which is absolutely integral to the process of learning itself So there are lots of schools you can go into now where as well as displaying work that students can be justifiably proud of they also display the drafts so that students can be proud of their progress as well as proud of the final product little things like that can add up to a really significant culture change in a classroom and in a school so that the young people themselves come to feel that something different is going on here this isn't just about completing tasks and jumping through hoops This is actually about, as we call it in BLP, building their mental fitness stretching their learning muscles in ways that they understand will be useful in exams, for sure, but also out there in the big wide world, in their footy training in their dance class, and in their lives beyond school ¿So how do you think it is possible to judge the success of Building Learning Power? ¿What does make it successful? We are very clear, after twelve years of experimenting and working with thousands of ingenious and imaginative teachers that this programme is successful it is successful because you can hear it from the mouths of students They've become more engaged, they've become much more articulate about their own learning You see it in the raised examination success students who feel more confident, more resourceful more resilient, do better on exams! They don't get thrown by the question they don't immediately recognise They're more able, because they've learned to to stay intelligently engaged with something that is a little bit confusing or they find a bit difficult, and give it their best shot and their best shot will usually get them some marks but we also see this in terms of self-report questionnaires what young people are saying about themselves and about their own development and we are seeing it also in students as they go out of school and after they've left school in terms of their reports about how "this really helped me" "this really helped me in my football training, or my dance class, or my apprenticeship" or whatever it may be, "I've learned how to be more resourceful, more thoughtful, more imaginative" and I can see how that is helping me gain the confidence I need in my real life Do you think that this approach will become a sort of very central part of education in the UK, going into the future? The approach really seems to appeal to teachers and Headteachers because it's small scale and gradual and developmental there's nothing here to make it too difficult for people so there's a real attraction for teachers in terms of its practicality but also in terms ... lots of teachers tell us... of resonating, of striking a deep chord with their own real feelings, about what they really want to be as a teacher and why they came into teaching and education in the first place. So what we are seeing is a real word-of-mouth spreading of the popularity of Building Learning Power, as teachers find that it's practical, it's effective and it also, in a way, helps them live their own values more fully, and in a more satisfying way, as they go through the working day. So there's nothing really, once teachers get a taste for this, there's nothing to stop them growing into the approach and that can take lots of little risks, and lots of little developments but we're finding more and more teachers, more and more schools are being drawn to this approach, and I think it will become not only nationwide but worldwide... within the next ten years or so It certainly... if you go to schools in Thailand or Singapore or Australia or New Zealand, you'll find this approach and approaches like it also becoming extremely popular, and I feel, therefore, quite positive about the future!

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 46 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: The Learning Organization
Views: 79
Posted by: jotamac on Feb 26, 2012

Claxton decribes what BLP is all about

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