iStock Portrait Of Pupil In Classroom With Teacher 475568241

Learners Fit for the 21st Century?


International evidence says today’s schooling is out of step with producing students with the skills to survive and thrive in the complex and demanding 21st century. Instead of resilient life-long learners schools are producing dependent, passive high and low achievers who frequently lack resilience and real world intelligence. Learners will need to learn how to be tenacious and resourceful, imaginative and logical, self-disciplined and self-aware, collaborative and inquisitive and schools need to learn how to build these capacities in their student’s. This will require a move from the development of skills to the development of dispositions, and from a performance culture to a learning culture. Students must learn how to become life-long learners and how to cope with complexity and uncertainty.


While some of these concepts are not new, Guy Claxton presents a model which gathers together previously disparate initiatives into a coherent and sustainable whole which develops these dispositions in the daily life of the classroom lesson. This is not an add-on, however, to the current overcrowded curriculum and busy classroom, but rather an approach to pedagogy and a common language that makes learning to learn and learners understanding themselves as learners an explicit goal.


This model is solidly underpinned by research. Carol Dweck’s growth mind-set work that showed learning can be learnt; Howard Gardiner’s multiple intelligences, John Hattie’s visible learning, Ellen Langer’s the power of language, Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger’s communities of practice and Dylan Wiliam’s assessment for learning. It also pursues the moral imperative that all students deserve the opportunity to be successful learners.


St Luke’s Grammar School at Dee Why is well on the way in undertaking this exciting journey. The Building Learning Power model is not a ‘one size fits all’ proposition but rather a set of 4 domains (resilience, resourcefulness, reciprocity and self-managed learning) that contain a total of seventeen learning capacities, that schools adapt to their unique situation. 


Mrs Jann Robinson and Dr James Pietsch will present a glimpse into their leadership of this journey at St Luke’s Grammar School and explain how St Luke’s added a fifth domain called ‘Restoration’ as they have adapted the model to their understanding of Christian education.


Hear both Jann and James at the forthcoming Agora on Wednesday 6th September - Book Here


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