2.4 READING STUDENT PROFILES

TERMINOLOGY and the LANGUAGE OF LEARNING

  • ELLI: the instrument or tool that captures the responses that learners give to an on-line questionnaire. It then plots proficiency in each of the 7 dimensions that academic and operational research have revealed to be the pillars of learning engagement. ELLI also tracks change in learner engagement with each of the 7 dimensions as time progresses.
  • THE LANGUAGE OF LEARNING: The majority of schools choose to adopt the names that the research teams gave to the 7 dimensions at the time that they originally isolated them, namely Changing and Learning; Critical Curiosity; Creativity; Meaning Making; Strategic Awareness; Learning Relationships and Resilience. However, a wide range of alternatives has found favour over the years whilst always mirroring the original definitions so as not to lose the meaning of the original term. Among them are characters from the Simpsons or Disney; animals with specific habits and behaviours and occupations that are readily recognisable.
  • LEARNING POWER: is the name that we give to the ‘pattern of proficiency’ captured by the ‘Spidergraphic’ provided by ELLI. It is the collective term that enables us to view the learner ‘in the round’, read the pattern of strengths and weaknesses that ELLI has created and delve more deeply to reveal underlying habits and behaviours.

 

  • GETTING LEARNING FIT: Learning is an attitude of mind and not an aptitude. As such it is eminently learnable and proficiency as a learner has economic and social consequences throughout life. Getting learning fit is no different from the physical and mental training of an athlete. Learners also need more than tools and techniques, they need stamina, strength, coordination and self-awareness.

The first ELLI profile of a 16 year-old student about to enter Year 12 …

Martin is always keen to please whether that be his teachers or his parents and whilst a popular member of his peer group, rarely gets into trouble. He usually gives his homework in on time and rarely suffers poor grades. Nonetheless, he is not keen to make a contribution in class, is better at Maths and the Sciences than he is at Arts subjects and tends to grapple with problems himself rather than ask for help.

Martin received written feedback with his profile and was then taken through it in more detail by his Head of Year. Together, they have come up with a plan to improve Martin’s Creativity, the use of his imagination and intuition. He is also learning to talk openly about his ‘learning journey’ and what he wants out of life. In particular he is learning to listen to himself rather than others when it is expedient to do so.

These are the first and second profiles of a student who left Primary School in July to enter Secondary School in September.

We knew that Sara was extremely concerned about moving on from an environment in which she had felt very comfortable into one in which she would have to make new friends and get used to new teachers. We had her parents’ and her schools’ permission to map her journey.

Sara is slightly below average as an academic student but with an aptitude for home economics, specifically cookery, needlework and woodwork. She also has something of a temper and is extremely stubborn.

It was Sara’s new class teacher that took her through the pattern of her second profile whilst reflecting with her on her first. Sara was able to admit that she was struggling with a new environment and her teacher was able to help both Sara and her parents recapture a comfort with a new normality.

We can produce comparative profiles for classes student groups or even the entire school using pie charts or bar graphs …

This facility has often proved important pedagogically in enabling teachers to compare ways of working and to focus their teaching strategies on promoting student engagement and ownership of their learning.

It has also been used to compare strengths and weaknesses across class and year groups as well as to compare the mean scores across different groups within a sample, such as by age, gender or ethnicity.

OUR MISSION

To introduce 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…