Martin Renton

Director of Consultancy & Evaluation, Challenging Learning

Martin is a sought-after keynote speaker, leader, facilitator and coach.

His keynote speeches are encouraging, thought-provoking, and humorous.

His core belief that professional development is not a ‘quick fix’ but a deep process of change has led to some very powerful effects in schools and colleges around the world.

Teachers and leaders who have worked with Martin over an extended period of time refer to increased engagement, motivation and better progress for all students.

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Booking Martin

To book Martin as a speaker for your event, please contact the office closest to you:

UK & ROW

North America

Asia Pacific

Scandinavia

Areas of Expertise

Martin Renton leads our consultancy and evaluation processes at Challenging Learning. As a sought-after keynote speaker, Martin has travelled to many parts of the world presenting keynotes on: the Power of a Learning Language, Challenging Learning Through Questioning, and Using Dialogue to Enhance Learning which are always very well-received and have often led to long-term projects.

His most popular presentations are:

  • Keynote Speeches (60-120 mins)
  • Professional Learning Days (full- or half-day)

The topics he covers include:

Challenge

January 23, 2020

Dialogue

January 23, 2020

Early Years

January 23, 2020

Feedback

January 30, 2020

Growth Mindset

January 31, 2020

Leading Learning

January 31, 2020

Learning Pit®

February 3, 2020

Learning to Learn

February 3, 2020

Philosophy for Children

February 13, 2020

Progress & Achievement

February 19, 2020

Questioning

February 19, 2020

Surface to Deep Learning

February 19, 2020

SOLO Taxonomy

February 19, 2020

Visible Learning®

February 19, 2020

Books by Martin Renton

Questions are a key tool in a teacher’s toolbox, and are vital to encourage thinking, challenge and engagement. Improved questioning promotes exploratory dialogue in the classroom, and encourages pupils to become more resilient, more thoughtful and more reflective individuals. This book is a must-have for teachers in order to develop mindframes around questioning in the classroom.

Martin is also a co-author of Challenging Learning Through Dialogue, available in English, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-vUcyHxDQs
Martin Renton’s

TEDx Presentation, 2017

Biography

As well as designing and managing our projects around the world, Martin is one of our most sought-after keynote speakers. His background is in both schools and further & higher education, where he has pioneered an approach to learning – particularly with the 16-19-year-old age range – that is making a pronounced difference within colleges (gymnasieskolar) across the UK and Scandinavia.

Martin Renton is Challenging Learning’s Director of Consultancy and Evaluations. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, leader, facilitator and coach.

Martin’s excellent reputation is well-earned. His core belief that professional development is not a ‘quick fix’ but a deep process of change that has led to some very powerful effects in schools and colleges around the world. Teachers and leaders who have worked with Martin over an extended period of time refer to increased engagement, motivation and progress for all students.

Martin ensures that all our Challenging Learning workshops blend theories of learning with active tools for the classroom, giving teachers and leaders opportunities to put new skills and approaches into practice. The effect of this action learning approach can be seen most dramatically in our long-term projects around the world.

Martin’s knowledge of pedagogy and leadership is borne out of his experiences in schools and colleges as a teacher, leader, consultant and coach. His early experiences as a nanny (2-9-year-olds), then as a teacher and leader in middle schools (9-13-year-olds), secondary schools (11-18-year-olds) and colleges (16+) have given him a comprehensive insight into how people learn from the age of 2–adulthood. Martin uses these insights to challenge, inspire and engage his audiences.

With a master’s degree in Educational Research from Newcastle University, Martin leads the Challenging Learning evaluation team so that evaluation processes are integrated into all of our long-term projects. These processes form a central part of our reporting and monitoring, giving the schools we work with the data they need to make meaningful decisions about their next steps.

Martin is perhaps best known for his work with vocational, adult and further education. Indeed, his work in Northern Ireland over the last 10 years has been highlighted by the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) as a key factor in the development of outstanding strategic professional development in Northern Ireland:

“Martin Renton has increased the enthusiasm of staff to look at their classroom practices. They are more open about asking for help, have become more reflective in their practice and have ‘demanded’ more.” (Head of Quality Improvement, FE College, Northern Ireland)

At the heart of all Martin’s training and the Challenging Learning Process, are the core messages of independent thinking, collaborative learning and questioning for challenge. These core elements appear in his keynotes and workshops on Challenging Learning, Visible Learning, questioning and feedback.

His keynotes, often on the theme of a common language for learning, focus on the need for the development of Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge (ASK) to make effective progress. Recent feedback from his conferences listed Martin as one of the five most inspiring influences in education. As well as headlining national and international conferences, Martin often presents alongside such recognised speakers as Prof. John Hattie, Prof. Sugatra Mitra, Prof. Carol Dweck, James Nottingham and Simon Weston OBE.

Currently, Martin is working on many of the books in our Challenging Learning series. He is principal author of Challenging Learning Through Questioning and Challenging Learning Through Coaching, and is also co-author of Challenging Learning Through Dialogue.

Martin has worked on projects as diverse as Building Schools for the Future with Sheffield University, and Online Thinking Skills for BBC Education. His work can be seen in regular features for Creative Teaching and Learning magazine and on the programme Intelligent Learning (available as a DVD from Imaginative Minds Ltd).

Martin is also trained in the historic craft of dry stone walling and still labours under the impression that he can play the guitar. Despite his obsession with teaching Thinking Skills through Music and working on a book of the same name, no-one has yet mistaken him for Eric Clapton.

Profile Images

If you have booked Martin to speak at your event, then you are welcome to use any of the photographs on this page. In all other cases, you should check with Challenging Learning before using any of our images.

Most of the photographs were taken by Andrew Billington or members of the CL Team. All images are copyrighted by Challenging Learning.

Studio Shots
Action Shots

Profile Images

If you have booked Martin to speak at your event, then you are welcome to use any of the photographs on this page. In all other cases, you should check with Challenging Learning before using any of our images.

Most of the photographs were taken by Andrew Billington or members of the CL Team. All images are copyrighted by Challenging Learning.

Studio Shots

Action Shots

Speaker Set-Up

To ensure a high-quality presentation, please make sure the following is provided (shown in rank order of importance to Martin) …

A must
  • An AV set-up including projector and screen, plus either a HDMI or VGA cable (and 3.5mm speaker cable if sound is not going to run through the HDMI cable). Martin will bring the relevant adaptors for his Windows laptop as well as his own presentation remote.
  • A room and AV set-up that allows Martin Renton to have his laptop on stage with him. He likes to edit his slides in response to audience feedback and skip slides without scrolling through everything – neither of which can be done if his slides or laptop are situated elsewhere.
  • If a microphone is needed, then please ensure it is a head mic or lapel mic so that Martin can keep his hands free for presenting. A handheld mic is much more limiting, so please avoid these if possible.
Everything else is a bonus, including:
  • A clear stage with just a small table for his laptop. A podium is not needed, nor is a ‘top table’. Martin likes to move on stage so as to engage his audience, which means anything on stage can become an obstruction.
  • Lots of still water (not sparkling) throughout the presentation, plus a good coffee on arrival (flat white is his poison of choice) would be perfect.
  • For full-day events, it works best to seat delegates at tables (3-8 delegates per table). If space doesn’t allow for this, then rows of chairs are fine.
  • High quality WiFi at large events can be useful to support online questions and feedback but is not a necessity.

I LOVE the Tedx Video. SO POWERFUL! It captures everything I have been working on with my teachers this year and I am already thinking of ways to use this in my upcoming presentations for summer and the upcoming school year. Well done. It really is a brilliant video and I so appreciate you sharing this.

Sarah CallahanGenesee Valley Educational Partnership, USA

We are so pleased with your commitment and participation during the conference. Feedback forms are so positive praising your sessions and rating this year’s conference as the best! You have a lot to do with this.

ESSARPBuenos Aires, Argentina

We had a fantastic day (or fantastic days) where Martin was one of the highlights! We were very happy to be able to make this come true. We have had a lot of positive (oral) feedback during the event from the participants, but we will also make a written follow-up. All the input we have had so far is that Martin´s presentation was very appreciated.

Lärande SkoleStockholm, Sweden

Just to say we were delighted with Martin yesterday - great presentation, exactly as I envisaged it. We all enjoyed it. You were right!

Windsor High SchoolBirmingham, UK

Maybe we will contact you again later, because your way to work on teaching skills and improving teaching in the classroom would be perfect for us. Still our teachers are talking about your lecture in London as the most inspiring lecture about teaching ever.

TangenNorway

Very good indeed! So happy for all the strategies and something useful.

You were great! Everything you said made sense, I learned to use a different way of thinking when I have class and assembly with reception class.

HokarangenSweden

Just to say thank you so much for your fantastic delivery of Teaching Thinking! For once, a course that has captured the imagination…I can already see the positive impact on staff and our learners.

Impact TrainingBelfast – Teaching Thinking Certificate (ThinkFE)

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, then don’t hesitate to connect with your main contact at Challenging Learning.

Alternatively, you are welcome to contact any of the following members of our team:

UK & ROW

North America

Asia Pacific

Scandinavia

Stronger Learning for Stronger Lives

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Stronger Learning for Stronger Lives