2.4 THE LEARNING-POWERED COACH

The relationship that is forged between the teacher, or ‘learning mentor’, and the student is central to a student’s engagement in the process of ‘Learning to Learn’. The teacher’s objective is to enthuse the student to better understand how they learn and to ensure that they take that enthusiasm with them as they leave classrooms behind. The ELLI profile is the catalyst to those introductory conversations, conversations that are instrumental in creating the platform for treating learning as a skill for life.

The fact that learning is the key to coping with the many changes that students will encounter in their future lives is a critical message within every conversation and its significance illustrated by discussion not only of a student’s present experiences but those of the teacher too.

THE COACHING CONVERSATION … is about ‘close’ talking, gaining a compelling trust between teacher and student, taking the opportunity for reflection and inspiring an interest in selfunderstanding. Positivity is the watch word and with it, the student’s desire to focus on action by using their new knowledge of themselves during class time and thereby, fuelling further one to one conversation. This is not about scores being good or bad but informative. They prompt conversation about to what extent a student agrees or disagrees with their scores but that conversation must also inspire a determination to bring about behavioural change.

 

THE COACHING CONVERSATION … is about ‘close’ talking, gaining a compelling trust between teacher and student, taking the opportunity for reflection and inspiring an interest in selfunderstanding. Positivity is the watch word and with it, the student’s desire to focus on action by using their new knowledge of themselves during class time and thereby, fuelling further one to one conversation. This is not about scores being good or bad but informative. They prompt conversation about to what extent a student agrees or disagrees with their scores but that conversation must also inspire a determination to bring about behavioural change.

BRINGING LEARNING TO LIFE

By the coach enabling ELLI’s dimensions to speak for themselves

CREATE EMPOWERMENT and learner OWNERSHIP

Start a conversation with:

  • What do you think of your profile?
  • How much do you agree with it?
  • What do you think we should do next?

USE CONNECTIONS

  • Relate the learner’s past experiences to the profile
  • Point out linkages between dimensions

BUILD CONFIDENCE

  • Use strengths to improve weaknesses
  • Use positive language
  • Emphasise individuality

Working on low scores ...

  • It is always important to recognize that an individual’s Learning Power or ‘pattern of learning proficiency’ is about all 7 of learning’s dimensions working together;
  • exploring the meanings of all of the dimensions and why they are useful puts the profile into perspective and enables weaknesses to be part of a more general conversation;
  • each conversation should come up with ways in which the habits or behaviors associated with a dimension could be used more often AND how both student and teacher will be aware of the change;
  • it may help to use the imagery of the 7 dimensional zones … in our example the student will better respond to viewing changes as them setting out to do some detective work.

EXAMPLE:

When passivity outweighs Critical Curiosity, the learner will be reluctant to talk about themselves

However, coaching can breed confidence with …

 Don’t accept everything you are told because there will sometimes be more to it

Never worry about asking questions because you may have thought of something no one else has thought of

It is much more fun finding out for yourself than waiting to be told … in fact if you think about it you probably do that every day without knowing it!

You will definitely have enough energy to do the things you enjoy but we need you to find that energy when you have a problem to solve;

You need to think of your personal brand of Critical Curiosity as not being prepared to accept anything but the truth … turning detective!

Working on average or ‘middle order’ scores ...

  • This is where the emphasis has to be on Improvement and a student’s understanding that they obviously have some of the necessary attributes but just need to do a little more work to use them more frequently;
  • it may be that the student is more comfortable in one environment than in others which also needs to figure in conversation;
  • explore the benefits by using examples that will inspire the dimension’s use in situations that will create increased confidence.

Middle order scores enable the teacher to expertly trigger the greater casual and reflex application of a dimension and importantly, to encourage the student to assist those with lower scores in that same dimension. In doing so they begin to talk with confidence about themselves as a learner.

Creativity or the ‘Imagination Zone’ can also be portrayed as the ‘fun zone’.

It is students with ‘middle order’ scores who will often benefit themselves by working with those who find a dimension more difficult to grasp than they do. Improve Creativity by one student helping another less accomplished by …

  • Suggesting that they work together to create a fairy tale with some outlandish characters
  • build a raft or seaworthy model from oddments that they find lying around at home (but gaining parental permission to use them)
  • play a word game where they take turns to come up with words that have some random relationship with the last word one of them spoke
  • draw a picture of an alien or an imaginary breed of dog

Working with strong scores

Strong scores occur most commonly in one of two profile patterns .. either with a single dimension spike or with a number of strong dimensions as in the case of the profile opposite. Profiles with just 2 or 3 strong dimensions, and the remainder weak, are relatively rare.

This particular profile is that of an 11 year-old who was a pupil in a school that was more concerned with Grammar and Public School entrance than in nurturing individuality. Hannah was aware of what parents and teachers expected of her but had not been allowed to pursue her real interests in music and dance, using every opportunity to find ways of helping herself. Having done as she was ordered, she actually refused to attend the school she passed into and was assigned to. Today she is a student at a London theatre school.

SAMPLE PROFILE:

A profile such as this tells us more about the student’s overall approach to learning than it does about their particular strengths and weaknesses.

The case history tells its own story …

Taking the hint!

See Creating Interventions with the use of memorable icons and action zones

And … the most challenging dimension …

OUR MISSION

To intoduce a compelling magic into classrooms that inspires children to want to understand how they learn and to regard new subject matter as fund and an opportunity to practice their skills…

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