Building Learning Power Building Learning Power

Building Learning Power

Building Learning Power (BLP) is about helping young people to become better learners, both in school and out. It involves creating a culture in classrooms - and in schools more widely - that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable young people to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively (whilst at the same time improving conventional indicators of achievement). BLP offers a comprehensive route map for such long-term culture change, and a wide range of practical seeds and frameworks that stimulate and guide its development.

BLP builds on five well-founded convictions:

  • it is the job of schools (nurseries, colleges etc) to help all young people get ready to thrive in a complicated and confusing world
  • there is now a sound scientific and educational basis for believing that this is an achievable ambition
  • it can be done in a way that enhances rather than jeopardises young people’s achievement
  • there is no ‘flat pack’: it can only be achieved through long-term enquiry and experimentation by teachers and schools themselves
  • this process can nevertheless be powerfully stimulated and supported by external help

BLP looks at a school not as a set of subjects and skills to be mastered but as a protracted apprenticeship that develops either functional or dysfunctional dispositions towards learning itself. BLP offers schools a rich vocabulary for thinking about the powerful learners’ habits of mind, and thus for seeing how to adjust many aspects of school life so that students’ minds are being stretched in a broad and useful variety of ways. These aspects include:

- planning lessons and other activities

- designing timetables and curricula

- talking about and modelling good learning habits

- adjusting the messages conveyed by displays and documents

- developing an accurate learners’-eye-view of current practices, to inform school and staff development

- communicating with parents