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LEARNING POWER. (ELLI). Objectives. To introduce the seven dimensions of Learning Power and ELLI Online To understand more about the research that underpins ELLI To gain familiarity with the graphical feedback from the online ELLI questionnaire

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  • To introduce the seven dimensions of Learning Power and ELLI Online
  • To understand more about the research that underpins ELLI
  • To gain familiarity with the graphical feedback from the online ELLI questionnaire
  • To consider ways in which learning power can be increased in classrooms
  • To create a plan for implementing ELLI
mcgettrick 2002

Double helix of learning

(McGettrick 2002)

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Attitudes, values, feelings, dispositions, motivations

Learning Power


Origins of learning power

curriculum and assessment practices

worldviews and traditions

skills and capacities

home and family

goal orientation



locus of control


self esteem

Learning power




sense of self as a learner

peer group

school ethos



Learning Power

Being stuck & static

Changing and learning*

The seven dimensions

Meaning making*

Data accumulation

Critical curiosity*



Being rule bound

Learning relationships

Isolation & dependence

Strategic awareness

Being robotic


Fragility and dependence


ELLI for teachers

  • Enables teachers to focus on learning and learners
  • Describes the energy to learn in terms of seven dimensions of learning
  • Provides a vocabulary and language to talk about learning
  • Describes ways in which teachers release energy for learning in their classrooms

ELLI for learners

  • Makes learning learnable
  • Takes the mystique out of the process of learning for pupils
  • Enables pupils to focus on different aspects of learning during lessons
  • Gives a focus to reflect on learning
  • Provides a way of celebrating achievements in learning alongside curriculum success
changing and learning versus being stuck static

The learning dimensions

Changing and learningversusbeing stuck & static
  • I see learning as something I can get better at.
  • I have a sense of history and of hope.
  • I tend to take ownership of my own learning, and like to be responsible for what I’m learning and how I go about it.
  • I’m usually quite ready to ‘sign up’ to learning tasks that are presented to me

The learning dimensions

Critical curiosityversuspassivity

  • I like to get below the surface of things and see what is really going on.
  • I like to work things out for myself, and to ask my own questions.
  • I tend to go looking for things to learn, rather than just responding to problems that come my way.
  • I’m attracted to learning and have a good deal of energy for learning tasks and situations.
  • I value getting at the truth.

The learning dimensions

Meaning makingversusdata accumulation

  • I tend to look for patterns, connections and coherence in what I am learning
  • I seek links between new situations and what I already know or am interested in.
  • I’m on the look-out for ‘horizontal meaning’
  • I like to make sense of new things in terms of my own experience and I like learning about what matters to me.

The learning dimensions

Creativityversusdata accumulation

  • I like new situations, and sometimes create novelty and uncertainty ‘just to see what happens’.
  • I like playing with possibilities and imagining how situations could be otherwise.
  • I sometimes get my best ideas when I just let my mind float freely, and I don’t mind ‘giving up mental control’ for a while to see what bubbles up.
  • I often use my imagination when I’m learning, and pay attention to images and physical promptings as well as rational thoughts.

The learning dimensions

Resilience versusfragility and dependence

  • I tend to stick at things for a while, even when they are difficult. I don’t give up easily.
  • I often enjoy grappling with things that aren’t easy.
  • I can handle the feelings that can crop up during learning: frustration, confusion, apprehension and so on.
  • I’m not easily upset or embarrassed when I can’t immediately figure something out
  • I don’t immediately look for someone to help me out when I am finding things difficult, or when I get stuck.

The learning dimensions

Strategic awarenessversusrobotic

  • I tend to think about my learning, and plan how I am going to go about it.
  • I usually have a fair idea how long something is going to take me, what resources I will need, and my chances of being successful.
  • I am able to talk about the process of learning – how I go about things – and about myself as a learner – what my habits, preferences, aspirations, strengths and weaknesses are.

The learning dimensions

Positive learning relationshipsversusisolation

  • I like working on problems with other people, especially my friends.
  • I have no difficulty sharing thoughts and ideas with others, and find it useful.
  • I am quite capable of working away at problems on my own, and sometimes prefer it.
  • I don’t feel I have to stick with the crowd for fear of being lonely or isolated, when I’m learning.
  • I have important people at home and in my community who share with me in my learning.
elli profiles are associated with achievement

ELLI research

ELLI Profiles are associated with achievement

The stronger a student’s learning profile, the higher their achievement in teacher assessments of English, Maths and Science

broad trends in data

ELLI research

Broad trends in data

Learners become more fragile and dependent the longer they are in school

Creative thinking drops steadily from Key Stage 2 - Key Stage 4

Student’s sense that learning is learnable decreases through school

Critical curiosity, meaning making and strategic awareness drop from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3

that increase learning

Teacher qualities…

…that increase learning
  • Teachers who believe all students can learn
  • Teachers who can create positive interpersonalrelationships
  • Teachers who can listen to students and communicate that they value student opinion
  • Teachers who can stimulate higher order thinking in students
  • Teachers who support autonomous learners rather than being highly controlling in their classrooms
and learning

Emotional literacy…

…and learning

Energy for learning also increased when the school environment was positively experienced in:

Formal and informal communication – open, warm, engaging, two-way and growth enhancing

Relationships (students – student, adult-adult, adult-student) characterised by trust, empathy, respect and value which provide a sense of connection

School culture––cohesive and supportive with time for reflection, promoting every individual to reach their potential

three clusters of learners

Learning profiles

Three clusters of learners
  • Low learning power plus fragility and dependence - Low achievers, at risk learners
  • Medium learning power, plus fragility and dependence and isolation - Often bright achievers
  • High learning power plus resilient,bright, not necessarily standard achievers, sometimes challenging

Learner type one

  • Cheryl (or it could be Darren) is a fragile learner. She:
  • has a very poor sense of herself as a learner and doesn’t believe she can get better at learning
  • has ceased to be curious and does not make meaning
  • lacks strategies for approaching her learning in different ways and easily gives up
  • has good strategic awareness but does not feel supported inside or outside school in her learning
  • is unlikely to achieve unless she finds a learning relationship that provides enough trust and affirmation to enable her to challenge her beliefs about her learning

Learner type two

  • Jo is familiar to all teachers. S/he:
  • isa curious, bright, engaged KS 3 student who is willing to take part and keen to do well.
  • may continue to do well all through her school career, or she might fall victim of her vulnerability.
  • is fragile, dependent and lacks strategic awareness.
  • could fall apart when she fails or finds learning difficult.
  • lacks the skills to plan and complete coursework and is the kind who never gets round to handing it in!
  • is likely to fail to fulfil her potential in KS 4 or A level unless she learns some strategies for tackling her vulnerable areas.

Learner type three

  • Here is Sam, he is bright, engaged and able to achieve. He:
  • can work on his own and in a group of peers.
  • has considerable resilience and is adequately strategically aware.
  • is unlikely to fall apart when learning is difficult
  • is more likely to be the person who challenges the system and wants to know why we are learning this.
  • wants to know the relevance and purpose of the curriculum he is learning.

Registration of school

  • You will need:
    • name of school and DfES number of school
    • names of staff taking part in the project
    • DfES number of each member of staff taking part
    • name and year group of class they are using for ELLI
  • Data for classes of students can be uploaded from a file extracted from the school’s information management system.