When reflecting back on early days in his life, Guy Claxton considered himself to be an unadventurous, unexceptional learner in school. Although well-liked by his teachers and well-behaved, Guy felt as though he was a middle of the road type of student. During this time his parents moved from London to a very rural area in the west midlands of England. As this was a very isolated area, Guy had no kids his age to hang around with which helped to create the conditions for him to become much more self-sufficient, imaginative and resourceful in many different ways, ultimately leading him to develop a deep love of reading and interest in exploring the countryside.
It was in his mid-teens that Guy had to take some high stakes exams to help prepare for higher education. As Guy states in his own words, “Much to everybody’s surprise including mine, I did unexpectedly well’.
As a result of his performance on his O-Level exams, Guy experienced, as he calls it, a personality shift within himself spurring him on to believe that it was possible for him to be bright and to become intellectually and educationally successful. Little did he know it at the time, but Guy would go on to earn a double-first in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology from Oxford and eventually become an internationally renowned cognitive scientist.
He is also a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Academy of Social Sciences, and the Royal Society of Arts. Guy’s interest in writing early on in his life led to him become a prolific author in education having written or co-written nearly 30 books.
He is best known for developing the concept of ‘learning power’: a collection of skills and attitudes that underpin someone’s ability to tackle complex matters with confidence, capability, and relish. Guy’s come on the podcast today to really unpack his latest book The Future of Teaching and the Myths that Hold it Back and two important questions he poses are:
What is the purpose of school?
What does the future of education hold?
Guy has a natural ability to connect with others and despite all of his accomplishments in life, he is not only down-to-earth, but also a very kind and caring person striving to impact the world through his work and advocate for every young person’s right to learn in a psychologically and emotionally safe environment that not only helps them achieve success in school but also supports them to develop the skills and dispositions needed to thrive in this ever-changing, complex and uncertain world. I highly encourage to get your hands on a copy of Guy’s latest book and to share it with other educators wanting to make a difference in the work they do.
Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist specialising in the nature of real-world intelligence and ways in which it can be improved through education of all kinds. He is Visiting Professor of Education at King’s College London.
Connect With Guy:
Get Guy’s Latest Book at:
Explore Guy’s other books at: https://www.guyclaxton.net/books
Opening music written and performed by New York-born musician Scott Ferrare. You can find his work at: https://scottferrare.hearnow.com