Challenging Learning

Theory, effective practice and lesson ideas to create optimal learning in the classroom

James Nottingham (2010 1st Ed; 2016 2nd Ed)

“James Nottingham has the skills of explaining the complex in a way which is accessible and inviting. He is challenging yet encouraging. The examples of how it could be and the insights into what success looks like will leave the reader wanting to do things differently without a bag of guilt to weight them down. ‘Challenging Learning’ works at every level.”
Mick Waters, Professor of Education and President of the Curriculum Foundation, England

Highlights of the book include:
  • The original introduction & guide to the world-renowned Learning Pit®
  • Many practical suggestions to make your work with students more enjoyable and effective
  • An examination of how you can make the outcomes of feedback more effective for your students
  • Questioning techniques – with lots of worked examples – to engage and extend your students’ thinking
  • Lesson ideas with resource cards, group activities, and teacher guidance to show you how to take your students through the Learning Pit
  • An overview of the best ways to boost your students’ self-esteem, self-efficacy, thinking skills, and attitude towards learning
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“An inspirational guide to creating lessons that are thought-provoking and meaningful, and at the same time theoretically sound.”
Carol Dweck Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology Stanford University

An inspirational guide to creating lessons that are thought-provoking and meaningful, and at the same time theoretically sound.”

Carol Dweck Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology Stanford University

What makes this book different?

This is the first book by James Nottingham (he has since written 8 others) and is the first time the Learning Pit® appeared in a book. In Sweden, it is one of the best-selling educational books of all time. It is also a best-seller in other countries, including the UK, Australia, Denmark, and New Zealand. The first edition sold out in so many countries that a second edition – with updated chapters – was published in 2016. Its popularity amongst educators and leaders is testament to the significant contribution it has made in enhancing questioning, reflection and metacognition.

Book Features

Drawing on the latest research from some of the most respected experts in the field, Challenging Learning encourages independent thinking and a spirit of inquiry in pupils of all ages.

Through the use of rich examples of classroom interactions, this book offers strategies that will help students to produce their own thoughtful conclusions, develop their own concepts, examine logic and remain open to alternatives. Key features include: Effective teaching strategies including FACTS; the Teaching Target model and the Learning Pit model; up-to-date research and theory from leading experts; practical suggestions and principles to help you design and develop your own lessons.

Intended Audience

Suitable for teachers, leaders and support staff working with students between the ages of 7-19. For those working with 3-7-year-old children, you would be better reading ‘Challenging Early Learning’ by James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017).

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"An accessible and well-informed guide to teaching in a way that activiely stretches young minds rather than merely tries to fill them up.”
Professor Guy Claxton, Professor of Education, King's College London
"James Nottingham has the unique ability to bridge the divide between research and practice. His book, Challenging Learning masterfully deepens our understanding of important work by research luminaries such as Dweck, Hattie, Wiliam, Marzano, and others. If you want to read a book that explains and encourages without preaching or patronising, then this is the perfect starting point.”
Cathy Smith, St Mary’s High School, NSW Australia
“A great tool for professional development and personal growth for any educator. This book provides the most up-to-date and complete synthesis of key factors influencing student learning, including feedback, student attitudes, challenge, thinking skills and self-efficacy. Rare is the book that offers guidance both to scholars and practitioners, but this book does both.”
Rick Fitzpatrick, Assessment Consultant, New York NY
"James Nottingham has once again equipped educators with practical applications and examples of how to increase student learning to the greatest possible levels. He provides teachers with strategies for creating the culture their classrooms need to help students reach the “Eureka moments” where learning becomes accelerated by the students…and their desire to grow and learn even more is augmented.”
Dave Nagel, Education Consultant and Author, Indianapolis IN

An accessible and well-informed guide to teaching in a way that activiely stretches young minds rather than merely tries to fill them up.”

Professor Guy Claxton, Professor of Education, King’s College London

James Nottingham has the unique ability to bridge the divide between research and practice. His book, Challenging Learning masterfully deepens our understanding of important work by research luminaries such as Dweck, Hattie, Wiliam, Marzano, and others. If you want to read a book that explains and encourages without preaching or patronising, then this is the perfect starting point.”

Cathy Smith, St Mary’s High School, NSW Australia
 

“A great tool for professional development and personal growth for any educator. This book provides the most up-to-date and complete synthesis of key factors influencing student learning, including feedback, student attitudes, challenge, thinking skills and self-efficacy. Rare is the book that offers guidance both to scholars and practitioners, but this book does both.”

Rick Fitzpatrick, Assessment Consultant, New York NY

James Nottingham has once again equipped educators with practical applications and examples of how to increase student learning to the greatest possible levels. He provides teachers with strategies for creating the culture their classrooms need to help students reach the “Eureka moments” where learning becomes accelerated by the students…and their desire to grow and learn even more is augmented.”

Dave Nagel, Education Consultant and Author, Indianapolis IN

Related Links

An Overview of Challenging Learning

Research Evidence About the Impact of Dialogue

James Nottingham’s TEDx Presentation: Labels Limit Learning

An Overview of the Challenging Learning Series

Related Links