Clayton Scholars’ Dinner & Lecture

On Tuesday evening Tormead hosted the annual Clayton Scholars’ Dinner and Lecture. We welcomed Professor Guy Claxton, a distinguished cognitive scientist, as our guest speaker. The event was very insightful and encouraged all our scholars to engage in intellectual debate and discuss topical ideas.

We would like to thank the catering team for preparing a delightful three-course meal which added to an enjoyable evening. At each table there was a mix of year groups seated with a member of staff which allowed us to properly connect with the wider Tormead community.

After the dinner, Prof. Claxton shared his expertise with us in a lecture about a concept called ‘fluid thinking’ and how important it is that this be integrated in the overall education system, particularly with the increasing development of AI that can automate routine jobs. His interactive lecture got us discussing in pairs and answering insightful questions such as: “Strawberries are red. Ladybirds are red. What is red?” Instead of seeking a straightforward answer to the question, he encouraged us to only show our thought process. Prof. Claxton commented on how, if this task was done properly, one should end up with more questions than one started with. He also challenged the conventional stereotypes of what is regarded as intelligence, highlighting that mere correctness in class or high exam scores are not suitable indicators of how smart someone is. He spoke about how being able to display ‘fluid thinking’ on a topic is ultimately regarded by Oxbridge as true intelligence.

Prof. Claxton rounded off his talk by saying he was pleased to see how Tormead is integrating opportunities for students to practise ‘fluid thinking’ such as our Enrichment Programme and our Beacon lectures. This was an enriching and thought provoking evening on the ever-changing concepts of intelligence and education.

Raha, Year 11

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