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Fox the prof! Thinking out loud with the Learning Power Pioneers

From small acorns mighty oak trees grow, they say – and the small group of acorns that the redoubtable Becky Carlzon has assembled are a pretty impressive bunch. I don’t know if oak trees are to be found in every country of the world – I suspect not – but Becky’s Learning Power Pioneers are currently teaching in the UK, USA, Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand and Spain. Not a bad Learning Power diaspora to get started with!

I had the pleasure and privilege to have an online meeting with some of the group last week, and fascinating, challenging and thought-provoking it was. They had been working with the two frameworks of

The Learning Power Approach (the first of our four books on the LPA published by Crown House) - one of which is a detailed description of the habits of mind that underpin “being good with complexity and uncertainty”, and the other is a set of design principles – a construction manual, if you like - for creating a classroom environment that systematically nurtures these habits. I very much enjoyed being grilled by these passionate and well-informed LPA practitioners.

One of the questions they had been working away at was the interdependence between both frameworks. For example - the interaction between ‘designing challenging activities’ and how we can support students in building their capacity to collaborate. We discussed the kinds of constructive language that can support students (or adults, come to that!) when they collectively engage in grappling with difficult challenge. This kind of ‘talk’ is the very basis of metacognition, according to James Mannion and Neil Mercer of Cambridge University – check out their article ‘Learning to learn: improving attainment, closing the gap at Key Stage 3’. Of course – when we’re overcoming difficulty, the questions we ask our team members will also be the questions we ask ourselves when we’re problem-solving solo.

Such a joy to be able to think aloud so profitably with a group of upbeat, knowledgeable colleagues! And from all over the world too!! I can’t wait for the next discussion, and to see what they throw at me then (#foxtheprof)! Learning Power Pioneers is now open for new connected, solution-oriented minds – but only for a limited amount of time, so get in there!

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