Establishing Life Long Learners

ELLI is a way in which children can communicate how they are learning, not just what they are learning. Each character represents a learning style.

Cat – Be Curious

Critical curiosity versus passivity

  • 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.

Unicorn – Be Creative

Creativity versus data 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.

Bea – Working in a Team

Positive learning relationships versus isolation

  • 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.

Owl – Plan Ahead

Strategic awareness versus robotic

  • 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.

Spider – Make Links

Meaning making versus data 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.

Tortious – Persevere

Resilience versus fragility 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.

Chameleon – Adapt and Change

Changing and learning versus being stuck and 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