Our team have written 11 books about the Learning Pit, dialogue, feedback, growth mindset, questioning, & early childhood.
There are 11 books in the Challenging Learning series, listed below. All books are available in English (covers and spellings sometimes vary according to territory). Most are available in Danish and Swedish; and some are available in Dutch and Norwegian.
Please note, we do not sell books directly so have given links to our publishers as well as to recommended bookstores. If however, you are looking to buy in bulk (20+ copies) then do connect with us as we may be able to help you secure significant discounts.
Which Book Should I Start With?
Why a Growth Mindset Makes a Difference in Learning – and What to Do When It Doesn’t
By James Nottingham and Bosse Larsson (2018)
Nottingham and Larsson have co-presented with Carol Dweck on more than 25 occasions since 2010. These experiences, together with the work of Challenging Learning around the world, have given them the rarest of insights into the subtleties and implications of Professor Dweck’s work. Challenging Mindset is a detailed, thought-provoking and nuanced insight into how to create the right conditions for growth mindset to flourish.
“Nottingham and Larsson’s new book is accessible and inviting. It will help you navigate the world of mindset concepts and research, and focus on actions that can have high impact. I respect these authors and enjoyed the clarity and good humour they bring to their book–as will you. I highly recommend Challenging Mindset.
Carol Dweck, Stanford University
Challenging Early Learning
Helping Young Children Learn How to Learn
By James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017)
Challenging Early Learning is written primarily for Early Years professionals, although parents with a grounding in education, child psychology, or social care will also appreciate the insights and guidance. The book shares some of the best ways to enhance young children’s learning (particularly for children aged 3-7-years-old).
“This book is amazing. What a resource! I think it is terrific value for money. I would rate it as one of the best books I have ever seen us publish. I wish I had had this book when my children were little. Parents would definitely benefit from a read of this book.”
Vicki Johnson, Taylor and Francis Group
The Learning Challenge
How to Guide Students Through the Learning Pit
by James Nottingham (2017)
The Learning Challenge is by far the best and most comprehensive guide to guiding students through the Learning Pit. Written by the creator of the Learning Pit®, James Nottingham, the book shows you how to create a culture of challenge, curiosity, reflection and resilience. Its popularity amongst educators and parents is testament to the significant contribution it has made in enhancing questioning, reflection and metacognition.
“Profound, practical and precise: James Nottingham tells you how to make your classroom a place where young people would love to be.”
Professor Guy Claxton, Author of Building Learning Power
Learning Challenge Lessons: Primary/Elementary
20 Lessons to Guide Young Learners Through the Learning Pit
By Jill Nottingham and James Nottingham (2018)
The Learning Challenge Lesson books give enough examples and recommendations to fill a whole year’s worth of Learning Pit® lessons. Written by Jill Nottingham and the Challenging Learning team, each book shows you how to use ranking; concept lines, targets, graphs, and corners; mysteries; opinion lines and corners; and living graphs to improve classroom talk and enhance student creativity and imagination. When used as structures for learning, the ideas within these books will improve teacher clarity and deepen student understanding and metacognition.
“Yet another superb Learning Pit® publication. Detailed, yet accessible; practical yet thought-provoking – this book lays out comprehensive lesson ideas, built around searching questions that show teachers how to take students through the Learning Pit. I wholeheartedly recommend the book.”
Shirley Clarke, Formative Assessment Expert
Learning Challenge Lessons: Secondary ELA
20 Lessons to Guide English Language Arts Students Through the Learning Pit
By James Nottingham, Jill Nottingham, Mark Bollom (2019)
This book provides teachers with everything they need to run thoughtful, dialogue-driven challenges so that students engage more deeply with the classics and develop literary skills critical to English Language Arts. Students will analyse texts within lessons grounded in cognitive conflict that cause them to think more deeply, critically, and strategically.
“As someone who is continually striving to improve the quality of learning experienced by young people, I am delighted to see the publication of this book. Another title from Challenging Learning packed full of straightforward practical strategies, outlined clearly for the teacher and applied to learning contexts so that anyone can pick them up and transfer them to their own setting. Just what we need to engage young people and enthuse their teachers in learning. More challenge = more learning!”
Archie Bathgate, Principal of Brechin High School, Scotland
Challenging Learning Through Feedback
How to Get the Type, Tone and Quality of Feedback Right Every Time
By James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017)
Feedback is one of the most significant influences on student learning. Indeed, if you remove the factors that educators have little or no influence over (e.g. students’ background; educational funding; or content of the curriculum), then feedback remains as one of the very best interventions to improve standards, expectations and collective efficacy. That is, if we get it right; unfortunately though, we so rarely do – indeed, one third of feedback has been shown to create negative outcomes! This book puts all that right and shows teachers, leaders, support staff and parents how to ensure that all students receive, understand and use feedback wisely and effectively.
“Finally – a practical book on feedback for teachers! The Nottinghams cut through the hype and misinformation and bring teachers a valuable tool they will want to revisit often throughout their career. It is written with the teacher in mind, lesson plan in hand, and relevant to all in education. The perfect school-wide book study book!”
Lisa Cebelak, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Challenging Learning Through Dialogue
Strategies to Engage Your Students and Develop Their Language of Learning
By James Nottingham, Jill Nottingham and Martin Renton (2016)
Classroom dialogue has a major effect on student learning. In fact, dialogue is one of the best vehicles for learning how to think, make moral decisions, and understand another person’s point of view. This book shows you how, using the best ways to develop the language of reasoning; group students for effective dialogue; restate and reformulate to increase active listening; and extend thinking and understanding. The dialogue structures and the pedagogical recommendations within the book work across the curriculum and with students aged 3-19 and beyond.
“The best kinds of teaching books do three things: show me what I’m doing; cast a compelling vision for how I could be doing it better; and provide me practical tools for turning the present reality into the compelling vision. With those criteria, I can only call this the BEST KIND OF TEACHING BOOK. I am eager to infuse dialogue into the speaking and listening work my students and I do together.”
Dave Stuart, Jr., Literacy Consultant, Cedar Springs, MI, USA
How You Can Help Children Learn
By James Nottingham (2013)
In this inspiring, humorous, and practical book, James Nottingham shows what you can do to help children of all ages develop into confident, thoughtful and independent learners. Based around the acronym ASK, this book explores Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge for learning – what is required and how to develop these skills more effectively. The book is suitable for all adults concerned with the education of children – including teachers, support staff, parents and carers.
“I recommend this book to anyone wishing to help children learn. In it you will find some lovely ideas for improving the way we encourage, support and praise all young people.”
Professor Carol Dweck, Author of Mindset, Stanford University, USA
Theory, Effective Practice and Lesson Ideas to Create Optimal Conditions for Learning
By James Nottingham (2010)
This book is relevant for all those who work with young people. Jargon-free and accessible, Challenging Learning gives an insight into how best to use feedback, challenge, thinking skills, self-efficacy and growth mindset to improve learning outcomes. It is also the first book in which James Nottingham’s Learning Pit® appeared. The book is now in its second edition, has won many awards, and is translated into numerous languages including Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish and French.
“If more teachers were to use the interactive classroom strategies suggestion by James Nottingham in this book, then their students would surely grow into more careful thinkers; teachers would gain greater skill in conducting their classroom interactions and, who knows, the world might even become a more thoughtful place.”
Professor Art Costa, Author of Habits of Mind, California State University, USA