Building Learning Power

 

Building Learning Power Behaviours we observe at Ashridge are often fully formed early in life. Participants leave formal education to become model professionals and deliver successfully until they reach ‘make your mind up’ time: deciding whether to make the transition to leadership.

Added on 12 March 2012 by Erika Lucas

Building Learning Power

Building Learning Power

Behaviours we observe at Ashridge are often fully formed early in life. Participants leave formal education to become model professionals and deliver successfully until they reach ‘make your mind up’ time: deciding whether to make the transition to leadership.

I gained more insight into this learning process when I became a school governor. I soon learned that a focus on excellence in exam results may well help you to do well in exams but may not prepare you with the skill set for work and for life. The rising pace of change is critical how much learning in technical subjects will still be current 5 years from now?

I am lucky to govern at an outstanding school where the Head and his teachers impress everyone with their desire to raise the bar.

We have bright boys high achievers with outstanding literacy and numeracy skills already. To maintain momentum and personal growth we MUST find ways to stretch and challenge boys and teachers alike. Our goal is to build learning power to enhance the pupils’ ability to learn effectively for life.

The inspirations for this work include Professor Carol Dweck whose research shows we should praise effort above cleverness and encourage people to have an open mindset. That we genuinely can expand our ability to learn: that commitment and hard work do make a difference.

Building confidence in people to believe their minds can be expanded helps them do better in their studies and in life than those who have a fixed mindset.

“Education is what remains after you have forgotten everything you learned at school.”

Albert Einstein

What’s the Point of School?

In Guy Claxton’s book ‘What’s the Point of School’ he argues powerfully for education that builds the capability to learn to have courage and curiosity to align learning in school with how learning takes place in real life and to go on learning outside the classroom. As one of the inspirations behind the ‘Mind Gym’ Guy Claxton’s work has inspired the school to create a set of learning power competences written by the boys for the boys in a language that makes sense to them.

Guided by ‘if I knew then what I know now’ I began to see how participants at Ashridge would be so much better prepared to succeed in becoming leaders if they had acquired more learning power at school.

School day experience comes flooding back: why should anyone be led by you in the school rugby team how did you relate to others in the debating society what was authenticity for a school prefect how did you motivate your team in complex situations during the Year 12 trip to Boulogne?

At Ashridge we believe almost everyone can improve their effectiveness as a leader. We encourage experienced people to have a positive and open mindset towards their own personal development. The more we learn how to learn and the earlier we learn how to do it in our schooldays the easier it is to become a leader when the call comes.
Ad Astra Per Aspere!

“The test of a successful education is not the amount of knowledge that pupils take away but their appetite to know and capacity to learn.”

Guy Claxton