When we began our metacognition journey, we discussed as a staff, which attributes contributed to being an effective learner. We examined research from a range of sources including Guy Claxton’s dispositions (2002), Costa and Kallick’s Habits of Mind (2008) and Chris Quigley’s Secrets of Success (2010). We then identified key behaviours we wanted to encourage our children to develop.
The idea of the Learning Jungle was created in conjunction with the children. The children were asked to reflect upon how they could illustrate learning. I explained that learning was a complex process and that I wanted to develop an approach to learning that all children and staff would understand. The children discussed and debated their ideas.
The idea of a Learning Jungle with animals as characters, which represented the learning powers, was popular amongst the children. The idea of a jungle creates an image of something that is complicated and challenging. Learning can then be envisaged as the creation of a path through the jungle that learners travel on, with barriers and challenges along that path, which the learner has to navigate. The animals represent the learning powers that support the development of effective learners, who can overcome barriers and rise to the challenges.