1.6 Students as Learners

Students who are confident of their own learning ability

  • concentrate more, think harder, find learning enjoyable
  • do better in tests and external examinations
  • can grow their natural intelligence by exercising their learning muscles: their brains
  • can change their learning habits … important because intelligence is known to be, “the sum total of habits of mind
  • have learnt that learning is a learnable craft;
  • are in command of their learning behaviors and thereby, are enthusiastic about learning and can cope with both its challenges and potential rewards.

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, self-awareness and the ability to be strategic. They too must have a learning fitness that is ready for the engagements ahead.

 

LEARNING POWER … uses 30 years’ experience of working with student learners globally to create, and share, a coherent picture of the mental agility and emotional stamina that are the hallmarks of a good and proficient learner.

DEVELOPING THE LEARNING MIND

The goals:

  • helping students learn more to improve their achievement
  • helping students to learn better
  • helping students to become better learners not just in school but for life.

Three very different goals often requiring different teaching methods and classroom practices. This is about the building of portable learning power and that means addressing the whole person. With selfawareness, confidence, competence and curiosity comes a personality with the attitudes and values that can exercise judgment over choice of skills and strategies.

Learning Power is a central determinant of character Learning to learn and the building and management of learning capacity govern the making of life’s choices and the taking of life’s chances.

A school’s responsibility to its students as learners is therefore much more than academic attainment and the skills they acquire as learners. When learning is fully understood and applied intuitively, it will govern their lifelong performance as parents, employees and members of society.

THE EMOTIONAL DIMENSIONS

Research has found that there are 7 primary dimensions underlying the capacity to learn, with Resilience and Strategic Awareness relying on emotional engagement. They empower the learner to embrace and adopt change.

Resilience
This is about staying engaged with a learning experience despite distraction, excitement or frustration and not becoming disengaged when the going gets tough or mistakes are made. Resilience means perseverance, managing distraction, noticing, absorbing, reconstructing and re-engineering to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

This is not about the ability to think strategically or making strategic contributions to debate … an error of judgement common among adults.

In the context of understanding the learning powered mind, strategic awareness means self knowledge and self-awareness. Reflection and intuitiveness abound in the best learners who plan, distill, revise and capitalize to ensure that the personal decisions they make are informed and strategically adept.

THE COGNITIVE DIMENSIONS

These are the 3 dimensions emerging from the research into the capacity to learn that demonstrate the learner’s resourcefulness, namely Creativity, Critical Curiosity and Meaning Making. They cause the learner to think beyond the accepted norm and ‘received wisdom’.
Creativity
Enjoying a challenge and willing to take risks. These learners will view situations in a variety of different ways and use the imagination to create new solutions.
Critical Curiosity
This is an expression of ‘learning energy’, the desire to look beyond apparent truths to find the root cause. Such energy also gives the learner the confidence to adopt more challenging learning strategies.
Meaning Making
Meaning makers intuitively look out for links between what they are learning and what they already know.

THE SOCIAL DIMENSION

Learning Relationships … the social dimension. The most effective learners manage the balance between ‘sociability’ and learning privately. They are neither completely independent, nor are they dependent.

Learning Relationships

The quality of the relationship between the source of new knowledge and the learner has considerable bearing on the effectiveness of the learning process.

Whether at school, at home or at work, it is the disposition of the teacher, trainer, parent or role model, and their ability to create a learningcentric culture or environment that determines a learner’s willingness to learn. Learners scoring well in terms of their response to the relationships they are able to build with their mentors and coaches acknowledge that learning truly is a way of life.

CHANGING AND LEARNING

Scores in this dimension demonstrate how much the learner puts into practice their understanding that learning is itself learned. Thus, the most effective learners view learning as learnable.

A strong profile here indicates that these learners have come to the realization that learning will lead to change because new experiences, knowledge and skills will automatically ensure that the way they think and act will be different from the thoughts and actions that they had, and exhibited, previously.

Aspiration, ambition and competitiveness, as well as strategic direction, rely heavily on sustained strength in this dimension. Nonetheless, it is also the dimension that can become immediately responsive to unexpected change in personal circumstance and environment.

It is here too that the dynamics of Learning Power’s profiling come into their own. Each profile, and its successors, will highlight changes in a participant’s comfort with their learning environment.

THE LEARNING JOURNEY

ELLI, Learning Power’s learning profiling , is its SATNAV!

ELLI does not rely on the typologies, trait-casting and pigeon-holing typical of the psychometric tools. It enables progress throughout the learning journey to be planned and mapped with profiling revisited as milestones are reached. ELLI is a tool with a lifelong guarantee!

Whether adults or very young children, high flyers or underperformers, the academic and operational research has consistently shown that un introduction to their ELLI profile they become significantly more aware of themselves as learners. They respect the messaging that the profiling gives and use it to take their management of their Learning Power seriously.

Perhaps most important is the fact that use of the dimensional language gives learning a language. It’s use breeds an ownership and motivation that enables the learning that drives a material change in performance.

To purchase without delay …