Reports

Small, T. (2015) Learning Power and Authentic Enquiry at Testbridge Primary School. Learning Emergence. [pdf]

Abstract: This is the report of a Research and Development Project undertaken by Testbridge Primary School with the support of the Learning Emergence Network between December 2014 and July 2015. Its purpose is to present and discuss the project’s research findings in order to support the School’s self-evaluation and strategic planning for continuous improvement.

Small, T., Shafi, A. and Huang, S. (2014) Learning Power and Authentic Inquiry in the English Primary Curriculum: A Case Study, Report No. 12, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

This report documents progress in a two-year action-research programme at Bushfield School, Milton Keynes, with two main purposes: firstly, to build on the School’s success in developing children’s capacity to learn; secondly, to track and measure the impact of its interventions for this purpose. The school combined the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) with the Authentic Inquiry learning methodology from University of Bristol. Qualitative and quantitative data are combined to examine the impact of the pilots from the perspective of staff and pupils, comparing learning power against a range of demographic and attainment datasets, in the distinctive context of a primary school already experienced in the Building Learning Power approach.

Deakin Crick, R., Barr, S., Green, H. and Pedder, D. (2013). Evaluating the Wider Outcomes of Schools: Complex Systems Modelling. Centre for Systems Learning & Leadership, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK. [pdf]

Abstract: A continuing challenge for the education system is how to evaluate the wider outcomes of schools. Academic results are important but other, less easily quantifiable, measures of success make for a complete education. For example, the development of students as life-long learners, employability skills, citizenship, self-confidence, teamwork and emotional literacy are widely recognised as essential qualities for individual success in adult life and for social cohesion. Furthermore, these wider measures of success influence each other and emerge over time from complex interactions between students, teachers and leaders and the wider community.  Whilst we may be able to create the conditions in which a student may learn and achieve, we cannot, by definition, learn and achieve for them. Unless methods are found to evaluate these broader outcomes, which are able to do justice to learning and achievement as emergent properties of the learner’s engagement with his or her world the education system will continue to focus on a single, reductionist measure of school effectiveness: test/exam results. This does violence to the core purpose of education.  In this paper we describe the rationale and methodology underpinning a pilot research project that applied hierarchical process modelling to a group of schools as complex living systems, using software developed by engineers at the University of Bristol, called Perimeta. The aim was to generate a stakeholder owned systems design which was better able to account for the full range of outcomes valued by each school, and for the complex processes which facilitate or inhibit them, thus providing a more nuanced leadership decisioning analytic. The project involved three Academies in the UK.

Ruth Deakin Crick, Chris Goldspink & Margot Foster (2013). Telling Identities: Learning as Script or Design? Learning Emergence Report (June, 2013). [pdf]

Abstract: This paper is concerned with how our identity as a learner is a key indicator of our level of engagement and agency. Our learning identity is revealed in the stories we tell about ourselves as learners. As teachers this narrative shapes our approach to pedagogy and with students it shapes our engagement in formal learning. We present two metaphors – ‘learning as script’ and ‘learning as design’, which describe the patterns we have observed in our data drawn from studies in the UK and Australia. These metaphors can be described as attractors – two quasi-stable states in a complex social system which apply at the levels of policy makers, leaders, teachers and students. The ‘script’ orientation has been found to be dominant among teachers and students. We examine the approaches to teaching and learning which are associated with it and the alternative minority orientation of teaching and learning as ‘design’. We suggest that the approach of ‘learning as script’ produces outcomes that are inconsistent with the desired outcomes for learning in the 21st century.

Deakin Crick R., Jelfs H., Huang S. & Wang, Q. (2011). Learning Futures Evaluation: Final Report. Centre for Systems Learning & Leadership, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK. [pdf]

Executive Summary

Small, T. (2010) Learning Power, Coaching and Personal Development: the ELLI in Business ‘Proof of Concept’ Project, Report No. 11, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

A preliminary investigation of the relevance and usefulness of the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory framed by leadership coaching conversations in a high-pressure, high-performing business context.

Small, T. & Deakin Crick, R. (2010) Learning for Employability in the 21st Century in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Report No. 10, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into the relationships between Learning Power and personal qualities, skills and learning development associated with successful graduation and employability in a twenty-first century Middle Eastern setting.

Small, T. (2008) Learning in the Outdoor Dimension. Report No. 9, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into the relationships between Learning Power, curriculum development and the initiation of learning programmes on a human scale designed to enhance environmental and outdoor education, in an 11-16 comprehensive school in a severely disadvantaged and declining, industrial, predominantly white, working class catchment area.

Small, T. & Deakin Crick, R. (2008). Learning and Self-Awareness: An Enquiry into Personal Development in Higher Education. Report No. 8, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into personal development in Higher Education using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory to examine the relationships between learning power and the development of personal qualities for lifelong learning and employability in a wide range of Higher Education contexts.

Cole, A., Thompson, R., Deakin Crick, R., Small, T., & Williams, S. (2007). Getting Started. Report No. 5, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into how far it was possible to enhance the learning experiences of young people not in education or training (NEET) through inviting them to assess themselves in relation to seven dimensions of learning power using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI).

Small, T. (2007). The Learning Agents. Report No. 4, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into the impact of the language, concepts, principles, assessment and practice of learning power in a large English secondary school in which the curriculum has been radically re-fashioned to shift the learner’s role from that of ‘receptor’ to that of active ‘agent’ and to counter-balance emphasis on knowledge, skills and understanding with a primary focus on the process of learning itself.

Salway, A. & Deakin Crick, R. (2006) Locked Up Learning. Report No. 3b, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into the impact of the language, concepts, principles, assessment and practice of Learning Powerand Authentic Enquiry on the learning, achievement and self-concept of convicted young offenders serving time in a Young Offenders’ Institution.

Small, T. (2006). Learning Outside the Box. Report No. 3, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into how the language, concepts, principles, assessment and practice of learning power add measurable value to already high academic achievement in a Malaysian Sixth Form College and assist its students in their preparations for life and learning at universities in the United Kingdom.

Small, T. & Burn M. (2006). The Learning Engineers. Report No. 2, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

An enquiry into how the language, concepts, principles and practice of learning power can improve consistency and coherence across a network of six city primary schools, with a collective focus on developing the values, attitudes, contributions and achievements of effective, motivated, lifelong learners and citizens, in line with the five outcomes of Every Child Matters.

Millner, N., Small, T. & Deakin Crick, R. (2006). Learning by Accident. Report No. 1, ViTaL Development & Research Programme, University of Bristol. [pdf]

The report of a personalised learning project exploring the impact of the language, concepts, principles and practice of Learning Power and Authentic Enquiry on the learning, achievement and self-esteem of young people at risk of disengagement.

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