Challenging Learning Consultancy

Excellent teaching practices, research insights, and leadership strategies to strengthen learning

We offer a range of consultancy options …

ON-SITE   –  LONG-TERM   –  CONFERENCES  –  KEYNOTES  –  STUDY TOURS  –  VIRTUAL

ON-SITE

We’ll come to you. We’ll challenge, encourage and inspire your whole team. We’re also happy to work with members of your community. You choose the elements you would like – workshops, staff coaching and/or progress reports – and we’ll design the best professional learning for your staff.

ON-SITE

We’ll come to you. We’ll challenge, encourage and inspire your whole team. We’re also happy to work with members of your community. You choose the elements you would like – workshops, staff coaching and/or progress reports – and we’ll design the best professional learning for your staff.

ON-SITE

We’ll come to you. We’ll challenge, encourage and inspire your whole team. We’re also happy to work with members of your community. You choose the elements you would like – workshops, staff coaching and/or progress reports – and we’ll design the best professional learning for your staff.

LONG-TERM

The most significant and sustainable improvements come with our Challenging Learning Process. This 2-3-year process begins where you are and guides you to where you want to be. We help you set your vision; coach your staff; build leadership capacity; and enhance professional dialogue. We run demonstration lessons; lead PD for all staff; and provide you with in-depth progress reports to inform and reassure all stakeholders.

LONG-TERM

The most significant and sustainable improvements come with our Challenging Learning Process. This 2-3-year process begins where you are and guides you to where you want to be. We help you set your vision; coach your staff; build leadership capacity; and enhance professional dialogue. We run demonstration lessons; lead PD for all staff; and provide you with in-depth progress reports to inform and reassure all stakeholders.

LONG-TERM

The most significant and sustainable improvements come with our Challenging Learning Process. This 2-3-year process begins where you are and guides you to where you want to be. We help you set your vision; coach your staff; build leadership capacity; and enhance professional dialogue. We run demonstration lessons; lead PD for all staff; and provide you with in-depth progress reports to inform and reassure all stakeholders.

CONFERENCES

We host conferences and institutes for teachers, leaders and support staff. Our founder and director, James Nottingham will often keynote, as will our Director of Consultancy & Evaluations, Martin Renton. Guest speakers at Challenging Learning conferences include Carol Dweck, Jaz Ampaw-Farr, John Hattie, Sir John Jones, Guy Claxton, and new for 2020, Jo Boaler.

CONFERENCES

We host conferences and institutes for teachers, leaders and support staff. Our founder and director, James Nottingham will often keynote, as will our Director of Consultancy & Evaluations, Martin Renton. Guest speakers at Challenging Learning conferences include Carol Dweck, Jaz Ampaw-Farr, John Hattie, Sir John Jones, Guy Claxton, and new for 2020, Jo Boaler.

CONFERENCES

We host conferences and institutes for teachers, leaders and support staff. Our founder and director, James Nottingham will often keynote, as will our Director of Consultancy & Evaluations, Martin Renton. Guest speakers at Challenging Learning conferences include Carol Dweck, Jaz Ampaw-Farr, John Hattie, Sir John Jones, Guy Claxton, and new for 2020, Jo Boaler.

KEYNOTES

Our team is led by James Nottingham, a world-renowned keynote speaker who frequently headlines national and international educational conferences around the world. We also have other fabulous keynote speakers, including Martin Renton (UK); Marianne Skogvoll (NO); George Telford (AU); Carmen Bergmann (US); Bosse Larsson (SE) and Henrik Eriksson (SE).

KEYNOTES

Our team is led by James Nottingham, a world-renowned keynote speaker who frequently headlines national and international educational conferences around the world. We also have other fabulous keynote speakers, including Martin Renton (UK); Marianne Skogvoll (NO); George Telford (AU); Carmen Bergmann (US); Bosse Larsson (SE) and Henrik Eriksson (SE).

KEYNOTES

Our team is led by James Nottingham, a world-renowned keynote speaker who frequently headlines national and international educational conferences around the world. We also have other fabulous keynote speakers, including Martin Renton (UK); Marianne Skogvoll (NO); George Telford (AU); Carmen Bergmann (US); Bosse Larsson (SE) and Henrik Eriksson (SE).

STUDY TOURS

We are happy to organise a study tour for you to witness the impact of Challenging Learning in other regions or countries. On average, we host 12-20 study tours per year. Sometimes we organise everything, including travel, food, and accommodation; other times we just sort out a workshop and some school visits for you. If you let us know what you want, we’ll take care of the rest.

STUDY TOURS

We are happy to organise a study tour for you to witness the impact of Challenging Learning in other regions or countries. On average, we host 12-20 study tours per year. Sometimes we organise everything, including travel, food, and accommodation; other times we just sort out a workshop and some school visits for you. If you let us know what you want, we’ll take care of the rest.

STUDY TOURS

We are happy to organise a study tour for you to witness the impact of Challenging Learning in other regions or countries. On average, we host 12-20 study tours per year. Sometimes we organise everything, including travel, food, and accommodation; other times we just sort out a workshop and some school visits for you. If you let us know what you want, we’ll take care of the rest.

VIRTUAL PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

We have a full line-up of virtual learning options to support your professional learning. These range from keynotes by James Nottingham; webinars with our consultants (available in English, Norwegian, and Swedish); and coaching for individuals and small teams.

VIRTUAL PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

We have a full line-up of virtual learning options to support your professional learning. These range from keynotes by James Nottingham; webinars with our consultants (available in English, Norwegian, and Swedish); and coaching for individuals and small teams.

VIRTUAL PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

We have a full line-up of virtual learning options to support your professional learning. These range from keynotes by James Nottingham; webinars with our consultants (available in English, Norwegian, and Swedish); and coaching for individuals and small teams.

Consultancy Options

Topics

Speakers

Events

FAQ

Early Years (0-6)

Schools (4-18)

Colleges (16+)

District

Consultancy Options

 

Topics

Speakers

Events

FAQ

Early Years (0-6)

Schools (4-18)

Colleges (16+)

Districts & Networks

Early Years (0-6)

Schools (4-18)

Colleges (16+)

District

Download Our Brochures

Dialogue

Improving classroom talk to deepen learning

Feedback

How to improve the impact of feedback

Learning Pit

Using the Learning Pit to engage & challenge

Lesson Ideas

Ideas to guide students through the Learning Pit

Long Term Projects

The Challenging Learning Process

Mindset

Creating a growth mindset in all learners

Questioning

Improving the effectiveness of questioning

Common Questions & Answers

Why should I choose Challenging Learning rather than another provider?

Our consultants work with us full-time, allowing us to bring a consistency of values, processes and strategies that are remarked upon time and time again. This model contrasts with many other educational consultancies who tend to be sole traders or loose affiliations of many sole traders.

We invest in our team by challenging, encouraging and coaching throughout the year, as well as coming together every six months – all 30 staff from six countries – to focus on vision, values and recent research. Our consultants stay current through pro bono work in a variety of classrooms and contexts; and our office staff are always a central part of all our professional learning. Engage with us and you will meet a team serious about learning who never take themselves too seriously. We’ll send you consultants with ‘Challenging Learning in the blood’ and our office staff will be just as dedicated. We’ll support you with preview documents; progress reports; teaching resources; and a named point of contact. We’ll be on hand when you need us to reassure, challenge, inform and encourage. Choose us and we’ll prioritise you from start to finish.

What sort of consultancy does Challenging Learning provide?

Our two most popular types of consultancy are the long-term projects we call the CLP (Challenging Learning Process) and the keynotes offered by James Nottingham and Martin Renton. We also do a lot of in-school consultancy; put on conferences and institutes; and host study tours that include visits to pre-schools, schools and colleges we’ve helped to improve.

Our main themes are challenge; collective efficacy; dialogue; feedback; growth mindset; the Learning Pit®; Philosophy for Children (P4C); progress; questioning; and Visible Learning®. We work with all staff connected to the education of students aged 3-19, including teachers, leaders, support staff, coaches, consultants, directors and superintendents.

In addition to our consultancy services, we also have a range of books, lesson resources, videos, and Learning Pit downloads.

What does ‘Challenging Learning’ stand for?

‘Challenging Learning’ has a double meaning: on the one hand, we make learning more challenging; and on the other hand, we challenge the way in which learning takes place.

We don’t do this to be awkward! Rather, we know that more learning happens when people step outside their comfort zone; that more reflection and strategy comes from mistakes than from easy success.

And yet, all too often educators try to make things easier for their students; partly because they don’t want lessons to descend into chaos when everyone is confused, but mainly because there simply isn’t time for confusion – there’s too much information to get through and the exams are just around the corner! Parents are also susceptible: witness the increasing number of terms used to describe those who would design struggle out of their children’s lives: ‘helicopter parents’; ‘curling parents’; ‘snowplough parents’; ‘bonsai parents’ and so on.

Our proposition is to go contrary to these latest trends by introducing more challenge, not less. Encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone; to investigate; to seek alternatives; to reject easy answers; to engage in more thoughtful questioning; to seek reasons and counter-arguments. In other words: to seek out challenge rather than to avoid it; to go into the Learning Pit rather than play it safe and stick to what you know.

We show educators how this can be done, even with a crowded curriculum, hesitant students and helicopter parents. We share research that confirms people have to struggle if they are to remember lessons long into the future; that more learning comes from examining mistakes than from verifying answers.

We make learning more challenging because the evidence is clear: we all grow when we step out of our comfort zone. And we challenge the way learning takes place because there’s always a better way – be it more effective, more efficient, more ethical or more collaborative.

Do you offer anything for parents?

Most of our work is with teachers, leaders and support staff working with 3-19-year-olds. However, when we do long-term work with schools, pre-schools or colleges, we often also run parent workshops in which we share the latest research and best ideas for supporting children’s learning. This includes how (and how not) to praise; how to help children get into a growth mindset, develop self-esteem and build self-efficacy; giving advice about grading and labelling; looking at the best ways to approach mistakes and failure; practising questioning that engages curiosity and conversation; and developing a range of strategies for reasoning and reasonable behaviour.

As well as these workshops, we recommend Encouraging Learning by James Nottingham (2013). This inspiring, humorous, and practical book will show you what to do to help children of all ages develop into confident, thoughtful and independent learners.

Do you offer anything for individual teachers as well as teams?

We host conferences, workshops and roadshows – all of which are available to individuals as well as groups and teams. There are also all nine of our books, plus the lesson ideas, downloadable resources and videos available on this site.

What’s the best type of professional development for my team?

Get in touch and we’ll help you decide! We’ll ask you a few questions about your context and your aims, then offer some suggestions for your next steps. We won’t push and we won’t offer you a pre-formulated package. Instead, we’ll listen carefully to your thoughts and then help you design the best blend of resources, support and consultancy that builds capacity and leads to significant and sustainable improvements in teaching, learning and leadership.

TALK WITH US ...

We’ll connect with you via phone or video call to answer your questions

TALK WITH OTHERS ...

We’ll put you in touch with people already working with Challenging Learning to give you an insider’s view of our services

REQUEST A PROPOSAL ...

We’ll send you a detailed draft proposal, showing the extent of our support and the costs involved

TALK FACE-TO-FACE ...

We’ll arrange to meet your key decision-makers face-to-face

GO ON A STUDY TOUR ...

We’ll organise a study tour for you and your colleagues to visit some of the schools and districts making gains with the support of Challenging Learning

Common Questions & Answers

Why should I choose Challenging Learning rather than another provider?

Our consultants work with us full-time, allowing us to bring a consistency of values, processes and strategies that are remarked upon time and time again. This model contrasts with many other educational consultancies who tend to be sole traders or loose affiliations of many sole traders.

We invest in our team by challenging, encouraging and coaching throughout the year, as well as coming together every six months – all 30 staff from six countries – to focus on vision, values and recent research. Our consultants stay current through pro bono work in a variety of classrooms and contexts; and our office staff are always a central part of all our professional learning. Engage with us and you will meet a team serious about learning who never take themselves too seriously. We’ll send you consultants with ‘Challenging Learning in the blood’ and our office staff will be just as dedicated. We’ll support you with preview documents; progress reports; teaching resources; and a named point of contact. We’ll be on hand when you need us to reassure, challenge, inform and encourage. Choose us and we’ll prioritise you from start to finish.

What sort of consultancy does Challenging Learning provide?

Our two most popular types of consultancy are the long-term projects we call the CLP (Challenging Learning Process) and the keynotes offered by James Nottingham and Martin Renton. We also do a lot of in-school consultancy; put on conferences and institutes; and host study tours that include visits to pre-schools, schools and colleges we’ve helped to improve.

Our main themes are challenge; collective efficacy; dialogue; feedback; growth mindset; the Learning Pit; Philosophy for Children; progress; questioning; and Visible Learning. We work with all staff connected to the education of students aged 3-19, including teachers, leaders, support staff, coaches, consultants, directors and superintendents.

In addition to our consultancy services, we also have a range of books, lesson resources, videos, and Learning Pit downloads.

What does ‘Challenging Learning’ stand for?

‘Challenging Learning’ has a double meaning: on the one hand, we make learning more challenging; and on the other hand, we challenge the way in which learning takes place.

We don’t do this to be awkward! Rather, we know that more learning happens when people step outside their comfort zone; that more reflection and strategy comes from mistakes than from easy success.

And yet, all too often educators try to make things easier for their students; partly because they don’t want lessons to descend into chaos when everyone is confused, but mainly because there simply isn’t time for confusion – there’s too much information to get through and the exams are just around the corner! Parents are also susceptible: witness the increasing number of terms used to describe those who would design struggle out of their children’s lives: ‘helicopter parents’; ‘curling parents’; ‘snowplough parents’; ‘bonsai parents’ and so on.

Our proposition is to go contrary to these latest trends by introducing more challenge, not less. Encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone; to investigate; to seek alternatives; to reject easy answers; to engage in more thoughtful questioning; to seek reasons and counter-arguments. In other words: to seek out challenge rather than to avoid it; to go into the Learning Pit rather than play it safe and stick to what you know.

We show educators how this can be done, even with a crowded curriculum, hesitant students and helicopter parents. We share research that confirms people have to struggle if they are to remember lessons long into the future; that more learning comes from examining mistakes than from verifying answers.

We make learning more challenging because the evidence is clear: we all grow when we step out of our comfort zone. And we challenge the way learning takes place because there’s always a better way – be it more effective, more efficient, more ethical or more collaborative.

Do you offer anything for parents?

Most of our work is with teachers, leaders and support staff working with 3-19-year-olds. However, when we do long-term work with schools, pre-schools or colleges, we often also run parent workshops in which we share the latest research and best ideas for supporting children’s learning. This includes how (and how not) to praise; how to help children get into a growth mindset, develop self-esteem and build self-efficacy; giving advice about grading and labelling; looking at the best ways to approach mistakes and failure; practising questioning that engages curiosity and conversation; and developing a range of strategies for reasoning and reasonable behaviour.

As well as these workshops, we recommend Encouraging Learning by James Nottingham (2013). This inspiring, humorous, and practical book will show you what to do to help children of all ages develop into confident, thoughtful and independent learners.

Do you offer anything for individual teachers as well as teams?

We host conferences, workshops and roadshows – all of which are available to individuals as well as groups and teams. There are also all nine of our books, plus the lesson ideas, downloadable resources and videos available on this site.

What’s the best type of professional development for my team?

Get in touch and we’ll help you decide! We’ll ask you a few questions about your context and your aims, then offer some suggestions for your next steps. We won’t push and we won’t offer you a pre-formulated package. Instead, we’ll listen carefully to your thoughts and then help you design the best blend of resources, support and consultancy that builds capacity and leads to significant and sustainable improvements in teaching, learning and leadership.

TALK WITH US ...

We’ll connect with you via phone or video call to answer your questions

TALK WITH OTHERS ...

We’ll put you in touch with people already working with Challenging Learning to give you an insider’s view of our services

SEND A PROPOSAL ...

We’ll send you a detailed draft proposal, showing the extent of our support and the costs involved

TALK FACE-TO-FACE ...

We’ll arrange to meet your key decision-makers face-to-face

STUDY TOUR ...

We’ll organise a study tour for you and your colleagues to visit some of the schools and districts making gains with the support of Challenging Learning

Stronger Learning for Stronger Lives

Contact us

Stronger Learning for Stronger Lives