CLARA describes the qualities and dispositions that enable people to become aware of the way they learn and to take responsibility for their own learning journey.

The dimensions:

  1. Mindful agency: being aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions as a learner and able to use that awareness to take responsibility, to plan and manage learning processes; the opposite of being ‘robotic’.2
  2. Hope and Optimism: a sense of myself as someone who learns and changes over time; the opposite is simply ‘stuck and static’.
  3. Sense-making: making meaning by making connections so that learning ‘matters to me’; the opposite is simply ‘accumulating data’.
  4. Creativity: risk-taking, playfulness, using my imagination and intuition in my learning; the opposite is being ‘rule-bound’.
  5. Curiosity: the desire to ‘get beneath surface’, check things out, find out more about them, ask ‘why?’; the opposite is being ‘passive’.
  6. Collaboration: learning with others and also able to learn if they’re not there; the opposite is either being ‘isolated’ or ‘over-dependent’.
  7. Belonging: knowing there is someone to turn to because I am part of a supportive learning community; the opposite is feeling ‘alone’.
  8. Orientation to learning: being open to new ideas and challenge and having the inner strength to cope with it; the opposite is either being too ‘tough’ and rigidly persistent to learn well, or too ‘fragile and dependent’ to go on learning when things get difficult.

As the interests of our children are around our classroom puppets, we have been using the puppets as metaphors for our learning powers.


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