C is for Guy Claxton: Enabling Students To Build Learning Power

Guy is known for his development of Building Learning Power. This is an approach that enables young people to develop their learning muscles and develop good learning habits.

Students are encouraged to develop qualities such as curiosity, resilience and positivity. They can then apply these portable learning habits to tackling other challenges in the future.

The video above provides an introduction to this approach. The section below provides excerpts from the BLP website. You can discover more via the following link.


New Kinds of Learning

A Big Ambition

Building learning power is about helping young people to become better learners, both in school and out.

It is about creating a culture in classrooms – and in the school more widely – that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable young people to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively.

Students who are more confident of their own learning ability learn faster and learn better. They concentrate more, think harder and find learning more enjoyable.

They do better in their tests and external examinations. And they are easier and more satisfying to teach.

Building Learning Power prepares youngsters better for an uncertain future.

Today’s schools need to be educating not just for exam results but for lifelong learning. To thrive in the 21st century, it is not enough to leave school with a clutch of examination certificates.

Pupils/students need to have learnt how to be tenacious and resourceful, imaginative and logical, self disciplined and self-aware, collaborative and inquisitive.

Here is the second part of the interview on BLP.

BLP schools have been pioneering ways
of taking this ambition really seriously

Building learning power is based on three fundamental beliefs

BLP believes that the core purpose of education is to prepare young people for life after school; helping them to build up the mental, emotional, social and strategic resources to enjoy challenge and cope well with uncertainty and complexity

BLP believes that this purpose for education is valuable for all young people and involves helping them to discover the things that they would really love to be great at, and strengthening their will and skill to pursue them.

This confidence, capability and passion can be developed since real-world intelligence is something that people can be helped to build up.

These three core beliefs are particularly relevant in societies that are full of change, complexity, risk, opportunity and individual opportunity for making your own way in life.

Real Learning Mindsets

Guy has worked with colleagues at the University of Winchester to set-up The Centre for Real-World Learning. The following extract from its website describes the qualities they are helping students to develop.



Being convinced that your intelligence is expandable and that experimentation and effort will be rewarded.


Remaining optimistic and seeing the influence of both external and internal factors in events.


Openness, inquisitiveness and enthusiasm towards new learning.


Willingness to meet and persist with worthwhile challenges.


Balancing the benefits of collaborative and solo learning.


Being self-aware, reflective and strategic about learning.

Here is a video in which Guy explains some of the ideas in greater depth. You can also discover more at his own website.


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