Understanding My Learning Power

The dimensions of learning power are clusters of attitudes, values and dispositions rather than capabilities or skills. They are:

    • Personal qualities necessary for learning
    • Enabling awareness understanding and performance
    • Embodying thoughts, feelings and action
    • Deeper and more holistic than learning styles or preferences


  • Best understood in relation to a context or situation

While some dimensions may be stronger or more familiar to us than others, they are all to be found in each of us and, with the right kind of learning and coaching, they can all be improved. Those we are strongest in can be used to help us develop the others

Here are brief definitions of each dimension:

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 is being ‘robotic’

Hope and Optimism: a sense of myself as someone who learns and changes over time; the opposite is being ‘stuck and static’

Sense-making: making meaning by making connections so that learning ‘matters to me’; the opposite is simply ‘accumulating data’

Creativity: risk-taking, playfulness, using my imagination and intuition in my learning; the opposite is being ‘rule-bound’

Curiosity: the desire to ‘get beneath the surface’, check things out find out more about them, ask ‘Why?’; the opposite is being ‘passive’

Collaboration: learning with others and also able to learn if they’re not there; the opposite is either being ‘isolated’ or ‘over-dependent’

Belonging: knowing there is someone to turn to because I am part of a supportive learning community; the opposite is feeling ‘alone’

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.