Positive Learning Dispositions: How to Coach ‘Em; How to Track ‘Em
The Positive Learning Dispositions (PLDs) that young people need to prosper in 21st century life go way beyond the current Key Competencies.
Discerning attention, mental humility, intellectual craftsmanship, and the detection of fake news and bullshit, for example, are crucial to a safe and successful life. Their systematic cultivation, in the context of traditional subject matter and testing, is the lynchpin of 21st century education.
But what is the science behind these dispositions? What are the essential tweaks to teaching that make the classroom a natural incubator of the PLDs? And how can teachers record and respond to their development?
In this day’s workshop, Guy Claxton and Bevan Holloway, the Wellington-based inventor of the SMATA app, show how to bring rigour and practicality to dispositional teaching, and how to ensure that grades go up at the same time.
Professor Guy Claxton
World-renowned cognitive scientist and emeritus Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Winchester, Guy Claxton has influenced educational theory and practice across the world.
One of the UK’s foremost thinkers on creativity, innovation , learning and the brain, in both business and education, he specialises in ways to expand young people’s appetite and capacity for learning.
Guy is the author of more than twenty books with titles such as ‘Building Learning Power’ and ‘What’s the Point of School? inspiring thousands of teachers and parents to change the way they think about educating their kids.
In his keynotes, he asserts that education should cultivate the general strengths and attitudes that people need to thrive in a tricky world, rather than falling back on test scores, and latching onto the latest fads like ‘resilience’ or ‘mindset’.
His ‘Building Learning Power’ approach to teaching has shown the way to the Holy Grail of schools: children who get good grades, and who are strong, inquisitive, independent and lifelong learners. He discusses what we have to do if we are going to get serious about the development of 21st-century character (and get even better results in the process).
Bevan Holloway’s career as a secondary school English teacher was dominated by the question, What is learning? It’s a question that led him to the pedagogy of play, from which a whole bunch of other questions about assessment and learning sprung.
Initially, thinking deeply about those questions sent Bevan into a land of cognitive confusion. It was dispositions, as expressed through the Key Competencies, that brought clarity — eventually, Bevan realised they could be used as lens through which to focus his observational practice and provide a language of learning that transcended topic, content, and assessment.
Bevan now works with teachers and leaders who want to build their capacity to tune into and become responsive to the learning needs of their students and through that grow powerful, strengths-based learner identities. The SMATA app is a key piece of that puzzle, as are dispositions.