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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Education for Learning: Cultivating Students' Real-life Learning Power

Guy Claxton.

The primary purpose of schooling in the 21st century is the systematic cultivation of the transferable habits of mind, emotional resiliences, attitudes and values that underpin people's ability to be confident, competent and curious learners in a wide variety of real-world settings; and of the disposition to Seed‚ such qualities in the cultures and communities to which they belong. The requisite pedagogy focuses not on bolt-on hints and tips (mind-maps, mnemonics, revision strategies), but on the creation of conducive climates, in playgrounds, staff meetings and parent evenings as well as classrooms.

Cognitive science encourages the belief that such a pedagogy is possible (as well as desirable). For example:
- dispositions to learn are affected by teacher language;
- Meta-learning‚ improves results, and develops when it is given explicit attention in lessons;
- learning tools such as visualisation and reverie are amenable to deliberate cultivation;
- resilience develops when teachers notice and encourage it;
- pedagogical practices such as Reciprocal teaching‚ and Communities of inquiry‚ cultivate the skills and attitudes of collaborative learning.


Guy Claxton  (United Kingdom)
Visiting Professor of Learning Science
Graduate School of Education
University of Bristol

Guy Claxton is Visiting Professor of Learning Science at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education, where he is Director of Research into Culture and Learning in Organisations. His recent books include Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less ('the essential guide to creativity', John Cleese), and Wise Up: Learning to Live the Learning Life ('the best book I've read in 30 years', Professor David Hargreaves, ex-head of the UK Qualifications and Curriculum

  • Cognitive science

(60 min Workshop, English)