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Professional Learning in USA & Canada

Helping you strengthen learning outcomes for your students

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We partner with pre-K-12 schools and districts to improve student learning. We run demonstration lessons, institute days, coaching, impact evaluation and online learning. Our founder, James Nottingham, is also a sought-after keynote speaker, heading national and international conferences.

In 2023, we will be hosting a series of conferences across the USA & Canada featuring Professor John Hattie and James Nottingham. They will share the very best ways to transfer the most up-to-date research into practical strategies for the classroom.

We use the Learning Pit to help staff strenghten outcomes for their students. This includes improving how feedback is received and used; improving attitudes and responses to challenge; building strategies for overcoming setbacks; and boosting collective and self-efficacy.

This was an excellent learning experience. I have several new strategies and ides that I intend to brink back to my school and classroom. I am excited to go back with a focus on challenge - raising expectations and building resilient learners.

2022 NBTA delegateNew Brunswick, Canada
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Contact Us

Dr. Carmen Bergmann

Managing Director
T: +1 309 825 4623
E: Carmen@learningpit.org

We are an international team founded in 2003 by the creator of the Learning Pit and managed by Dr Carmen Bergmann, a former principal and assistant superintendent from Illinois.

We partner with pre-K-12 schools and districts to improve student learning. We run demonstration lessons, institute days, coaching, impact evaluation and online learning. Our founder, James Nottingham, is also a sought-after keynote speaker, heading national and international conferences.

In 2023, we will be hosting a series of conferences across the USA & Canada featuring Professor John Hattie and James Nottingham. They will share the very best ways to transfer the most up-to-date research into practical strategies for the classroom.

We use the Learning Pit to help staff strenghten outcomes for their students. This includes improving how feedback is received and used; improving attitudes and responses to challenge; building strategies for overcoming setbacks; and boosting collective and self-efficacy.

This was an excellent learning experience. I have several new strategies and ides that I intend to brink back to my school and classroom. I am excited to go back with a focus on challenge - raising expectations and building resilient learners.

2022 NBTA delegateNew Brunswick, Canada

Our team recognizes that leaders and teachers may be on a journey through your own 'Professional Development Learning Pit'. If any of the statements below ring true for you, we encourage you to see how we can support you!

Our teachers are overwhelmed - we cannot add one more thing to their plate

Our founder and CEO, James Nottingham is the creator of the Learning Pit. We also work closely with professors Carol Dweck (Mindset) and John Hattie (Visible Learning). All of this – and more – ensures we bring a rare blend of academic rigor and practical expertise that sets us apart from the rest.

We use our expertise and knowledge of learning research to examine which practices are working well for your team and which practices can be eliminated or enhanced.  We do not bring a ‘program’ or introduce new practices.  Rather, we take what you are already doing well and coach you in the ways to maximize the benefits and to measure and monitor impact.  In short- we help you to focus on the learning environment so that you can achieve your vision for learning.

We must put our resources into improving the mental health of our students and teachers

The Learning Pit framework helps to build a sense of empowerment about learning that will help to build confidence, reduce anxiety, and improve communication.  While these benefits will not erase all of the mental health challenges, they will help to provide an environment where learning and social emotional growth can occur at the same time.

We have had a lot of turnover in leadership, which slows our professional development

Much of the work we do with schools is to help them clarify their vision and ensure that everything is aligned to the vision.  We help to build capacity for the leadership TEAM to help with sustainability over time.

We offer coaching for leaders and stay with you for the long term, with the goal of embedding the skills and attitudes that we help you to build.  We happily make ourselves redundant by building the capacity of all members of your team to not only build, but also sustain an effective learning culture.

Our budgets are very tight

We have found that budgets say much more about priorities than visions do-  ‘Don’t show me your vision, show me how you are spending your money.’  We can help you to find ways to make your vision match your spending.

Because we do not have a set ‘program’, we can be very flexible in our delivery.  We have a wide variety of options for in person and virtual delivery.  We also have options for delivery on pupil attendance days, reducing the need for substitute teachers.  If you provide us with a budget, we will find a way to build a plan to work with you.

We are focused on building curriculum maps and addressing our learning standards

In our work around the world, we hear this over and over.  We help you to build a culture where the focus is on teaching learners HOW to learn.  This is not to say that the content is not important, but rather that the content is the vehicle that can be used to help build the skills and attitudes necessary to become a learner.

Reach out to discuss how we can help you.
Please feel free to email me, or fill out the form below

Common Questions & Answers

How does the Learning Pit link to Standards?

The Learning Pit is intentional in developing resources and professional learning that will persist over time and are applicable in and scalable to all situations. Learning Standards, however, change periodically and are not consistent across all systems. What we have seen in our work with school, is that when there is a common purpose and language of learning in a community and when students are consistently challenged, they are more engaged in their own learning. When students have more engagement in the learning process and understand the value of challenge, the content in the standards can be used to collect evidence of the positive impact on student learning.

Why should I choose The Learning Pit 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 6 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 ‘Learning Pit 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 does an international company know about my state?

Over the last 15 years, we have successfully supported over 450 schools in 11 countries. We have learned a lot about the various nuances associated with different schools. We also have team members from different parts of the world who make it a priority to learn as much as possible about the education structures in their area. More importantly, we focus on learning and learners, and the basic tenets of successful learning are strikingly similar the world over

Does the Learning Pit work in Canada?

The Learning Pit has proven to work in any context because of our focus on shifting the culture of learning, which can be done in any place where there are structures built to support the change. Our resources, our process, and all of our workshops are designed to provide participants with research-based strategies and approaches that can be used in a variety of ways depending on the context and the experiences of the educator.

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.

Regional Contacts

Head Office (UK)
engage@learningpit.org
T: +44 1670 330036

USA (CST)
engage@learningpit.org
T: +44 1670 330036

Japan
Clare Barnfather
T: +81 90 6434 1256

Head Office Address

Challenging Learning,
2 Linnet Court,
Cawledge Business Park,
Alnwick, Northumberland,
NE66 2GD, UK

The Learning Pit is part of the Challenging Learning group with offices in the UK, Australia, Japan, Scandinavia, USA

Get in touch