And the Myths that Hold It Back
what does the future hold for education?
It’s time for the educational slugfest to stop. ‘Traditional’ and ‘progressive’ education are both caricatures, and bashing cartoon images of each other is unprofitable and unedifying.
The search for a new model of education – one that is genuinely empowering for all young people – is serious and necessary.
Some good progress has already been made, but teachers and school leaders are being held back by specious beliefs, false oppositions and the limited thinking of orthodoxy.
"A powerful vision of learning which fosters critical thinking and craftsmanship at the same time as building a foundation of knowledge and understanding."
- Ron Berger, Senior Advisor for Teaching and Learning, EL Education and author of
An Ethic of Excellence
Drawing on recent experience in England, North America and Australasia, but applicable round the world, The Future of Teaching clears away this logjam of bad science and slack thinking and frees up the stream of much-needed innovation.
This timely book aims to banish arguments based on false claims about the brain and poor understanding of cognitive science, reclaim the nuanced middle ground of teaching that develops both rigorous knowledge and ‘character’, and lay the foundations for a 21st-century education worthy of the name.
‘I love this book. Guy cuts through the ongoing tangle of arguments about traditional vs. progressive teaching as smoothly as a knife through butter. With a potent mixture of hard science and compelling stories, he exposes the flaws in both extremes and points the way to a compelling synthesis. This book is a must read for educators everywhere.’
- Jo Boaler, Stanford University Professor of Education, and author of Limitless Mind
‘The experience of the Covid pandemic not only can, but must, lead to a new conversation about how to develop schooling to equip children for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Guy Claxton’s passionate and cogent book is the best possible starting point for that conversation.’
- Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, The Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (the RSA)
LEARNING IS LEARNABLE!
Educators can explicitly teach not just content, knowledge, and skills, but also the positive habits of the mind that will better prepare students to flourish both in school and later in life.
What is The Learning Power Approach?
The LPA is a way of teaching which aims to develop all students 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 also affords a clear view of the valued, sought-after outcomes of education - developing character strengths as well as striving for academic success - which underpin everything in the school: the curriculum content, the structure of the timetable, the forms of assessment, communication with parents, and the pedagogical style of every member of staff.
I have a number of strands to my earning and learning life. My academic career has mostly been spent in University Departments of Education, teaching and researching the psychology of learning. Beginning as a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Oxford Department of Experimental Psychology, I then took up a lectureship in the Psychology of Education in London at the (now UCL) Institute of Education.
Five years later, I moved to Chelsea College Centre for Science and Maths Education, and then to King's College London Department for Educational Studies. Afterward, I was Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education, and I finished my university career as Research Director of the University of Winchester Centre for Real-World Learning.
Officially, I am now ‘retired’, though I still travel the world giving talks and running workshops, and work as a Visiting Professor back at King’s College London. During my career, I also worked with the likes of James Lovelock and Fritjof Capra at the Schumacher College for Ecological and Spiritual Studies at Dartington Hall. I have also worked closely with the maverick Buddhist scholar and mediation teacher Stephen Batchelor at the Sharpham Centre for Buddhist Studies.
You will get a flavour of this diversity from my books, and also from a selection of my engagements over the years:
• Consultant on education to the Royal Albert Hall
• Workshop leader for Premier League Youth Football Coaches
• Lecturer at the Siobhan Davies Dance School and the London College of Fashion
• Inaugural lecturer at Her Majesty's Treasury Learning Centre
• Meditation teacher at Atsitsa holiday centre on the Greek island of Skyros (where I met my wife Judith)
• Consultant to the Centre for Contemplative Education research project on mindfulness in European schools (under the auspices of HH The Dalai Lama)
• Guest lecturer at the Harvard Learning Innovations Laboratory (LILA)
• On-going consultant to the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development
• Regular keynote speaker since 2000 at the biennial International Conferences on Thinking
For more about my work on learning to learn in schools, see the Books page.
Expanding the capacity to learn: a new end for education
There is a widespread belief that being an effective, powerful, real life learner is a useful thing to be, and that twenty first century education should be aiming to help young people develop this genetic capacity to learn.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
- Baroness Susan Greenfield, Director of the Royal Institution
“Guy Claxton gets right to the heart of an issue that is one of the most important for shaping 21st century society.”