The ELLI, (Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory) Programme was first developed by Professor Dr. Patricia Broadfoot, Dr. Guy Claxton and Dr. Ruth Deakin from the University Of Bristol, to investigate the learning power of individuals at a given point of time. Using an on-line questionnaire consisting of 74 questions, it attempts to capture their habits, emotions and attitudes in general learning situations. These are subsequently analyzed and described through the seven dimensions of learning, i.e., Changing and Learning, Strategic Awareness, Creativity, Resilience, Learning Relationship, Meaning Making and Critical Curiosity, which are then comprehensively portrayed in a spider diagram. In short, each participant of the programme gets to see a graphic representation of himself or herself as a learner.

Recognizing this as a potential powerful tool in raising the students’ awareness of their learning capability and training them to become more effective lifelong learners, the Old Boys Association, spearheaded by Datuk Lean Meng Seong helped raise funds to initiate the programme for the Lower Six students in our school, making it a first for ACS Ipoh among government schools in Malaysia. With the OBA as the main owners of the initiative (see list below for alumni contributors), the added contribution and enthusiastic support by The Parent-Teacher Association headed by Dato’ Dr. B. Balaravi Pillai and The Board Of Governors represented by Dr. Lai Thian Seong, as well as the generosity of 16 major donors, the first phase of the project has been successfully carried out. To date, 20 teachers teaching Lower Six classes have been trained as key ELLI Champions by Mr. Tim Small from Vital Partnerships Ltd., a charitable social enterprise working with The University Of Bristol to provide training and consultancy. An additional 16 teachers have also been trained in an in-house training workshop conducted by Ms. Foo Suit Mooi, a teacher involved in the programme while all 219 Lower Six students have logged in, completed their questionnaires and shown their spider diagrams.

With all these in place and the significant amount of money committed , it is hoped that follow- up measures, undertaken by the ELLI Champions, in the form of weekly mentored conversations about the seven learning dimensions cum their systemic integration into the daily lessons and research project, would help empower our students to learn and change. Our optimism lies in the fact that unlike our traditional pedagogy which leans towards a “teacher-knows-best” and “tell-me-what-I-should do-next” philosophy, this programme advocates a bottom-up approach which enables and empowers students to reflect on and analyze their journey of learning. These insights would then be able to help students make informed but independent decisions on what they could do to enhance themselves as learners and how they could go about doing it. The teachers’ or rather the ELLI Champions’ role here would be to facilitate, explore, enable, co-create and inspire, by working with small groups of 6-7 students through face-to-face learning conversations. All in all, the ELLI initiative encourages students to personalize their learning experiences and encourages teachers to add a personal touch to the process of learning and teaching in school.

Ms. Foo Suit Mooi


The ELLI Programme

SMK Methodist (ACS) Ipoh

(Note: The above article first appeared in “The Voyager” 2011)


Chin Mei Ling (RM 1,000)

Cheng Sai Lak (ACS Headmaster, retired) (RM 500)

Lai Man Sik (RM 500)

Datuk Lean Meng Seong (RM 5,000)

Tan Kit Peng (RM 5,000)

Dato’ Narayanan Kanan (RM 600)

Wong Heng Cheong (RM 1,000)

Lee Siang Chin (RM 1,000)

Koy Ah Heng (RM 1,000)

Hor Poh Choo (RM 1,000)

Lai Chan Fah (RM 300)

Dato’ Y Sivaloganathan (RM 1,000)

Choong Chee Pew (RM 951)

Paul Devadason s/o Baliah (RM 2,000)

Yoon Phooi Ho (RM 200)

Oei Phek Hoon (RM 500)

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