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What's the Point of School?: Rediscovering the Heart of Education

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  114 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
What's the Point of School? takes the reader beyond the sterile debates about City Academies and dumbed-down exams in order to reveal the key responsibility of education today: to create students who enjoy learning. With their emphasis on stressful exams and regurgitation of information, Guy Claxton claims that schools are currently doing more harm than good, primarily mak ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 8th 2008 by Oneworld Publications (first published July 10th 2008)
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May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
Claxton's thesis is simple: industrial education isn't working, and in fact is teaching kids compliance and passivity--what's needed is a focus on teaching kids how to learn. This isn't news here in NZ, though it might be elsewhere. The first part of the book lays out the problem with plenty of quotes from real people.
At a conference recently a headteacher approached me, keen to tell me a story. The previous evening she had been chatting to her daughter, a bright young woman doing some last minu
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I've read an educational book cover to cover and highlighted it till it glows...but my copy of this book is now "glowing blue"! Claxton, from the UK, is not selling a program or suggesting spending more money on any curriculum. Instead, he believes that we need to shift our approach and beliefs about learning in our schools. It is our job to help kids "learn how to learn". He believes this is best achieved by setting up the school to be "Learning Gyms" where adults and st ...more
Hidayah Bani
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Finally I rate this book 4 stars even though I really amazed with the content of this book. There is no problem with this book as it stimulate me to think and reflect upon what I have done, why I did it and what is my plan as a teacher (with my professional judgement).

How I found Guy Claxton as an inspiring person?

I found him when I reflected on my journey as a learner during my schooling time. There was a time when I resigned from a boarding school in order to prove that (1) school prestige is
Sean Goh
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Children's success in life depends little on whether they can read, but whether they do, and derive enjoyment from the process.
UK Least likely to happen in school - learn things that relate to the real world

In times of change the learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists -Eric Hoffer

It's what you do with the content.

Dead metaphors: School as a monastery / factory VS apprenticeship
Teacher as a explainer/judge VS g
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great starting point for a discussion and critique of our current education system in the western world. In simple and straightforward language Claxton voices what almost every educator is surely thinking but feels helpless to do anything about: that WHAT we teach in schools is becoming increasingly irrelevant compared to HOW we teach it. It is a well researched and logically ordered case he puts forward and if nothing else is a great stimulus for further discussion on what can be ...more
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I stumbled upon this book by chance (someone mentioned the name and my curiosity got the best of me) but I am so glad I did. Claxton's thoughts regarding the state of education today are, in my mind, game-changing and I hope to be able to implement some of his ideas in my classroom.

Straight on to 'Building Learning Power' for me!
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Claxton synthesizes the ideas of some of education's leading thinkers, including Carol Dweck, Dylan Wiliam, and Jo Boaler. When those are your sources, you can't go too far wrong! Unfortunately, his treatment of research is very limited and at times, it seems like he's cherry-picking results. For me, the philosophical links to Plato were a bonus, but others might find them more of a distraction.
May 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Excellent criticism of what's wrong with an education system still essentially based on the monastic one, with some good suggestions on how to get out of it; just ruined in the middle by a load of pseudo-neurosciene waffle...
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I would like to hand a copy of this book to every teacher. Hugely inspirational. Favourite quote: 'just in time learning not just in case'.
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing

If you are an educator or parent you must read this.
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Jul 04, 2017 added it
Shelves: education
Good book, valuable insights. Kind of modern John Holt style. Makes me feel hopeless & hopeful at the same time.

I can't see anything changing much.

He discussed the importance of culture which really resounded with me. This book reinforces the fact that a teacher can be the most valuable resource in a classroom & as teachers relationship is where it's at & that learning to learn is more important than any particular 'knowing'.

What bothers me is why as a institution of education do we
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Guy Claxton is Emeritus Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Winchester. His many publications include Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less. He lives in the UK.
More about Guy Claxton
“If we want young people to develop the habits of thinking for themselves, using their imagination, being open to new ideas, saying when they don’t understand, and exploring real challenges together, then they have to see their teachers doing the same thing.” 2 likes
“Children’s success in life depends not on whether they can read, but on whether they do” 2 likes
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