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We help educators strengthen learning cultures so that all students flourish.

Our most popular areas of expertise are shown below.  You choose the topics, and we’ll create professional learning that is perfectly aligned to your context and ambitions.

Challenge

It is through challenge that we are able to move students out of their comfort zone and into their learning zone (or zone of proximal development)

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We can help you to Create a culture of challenge in your classroom that encourages all students to step out of their comfort zone while developing resilience, higher-order thinking skills and a growth mindset.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Learning Pit
  • Philosophy for Children
  • Questioning

Dialogue

Language is the foundation of learning but too often in classrooms, students do not get the opportunity to practise it because classroom talk is dominated by the teacher.

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We can help you to increase the quality of student talk in your classroom through lessons that are more active, meaningful, challenging and collaborative.

Suitable for teachers, leaders and support staff working with students between the ages of 3-19, we can help you to:

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Learning Pit
  • Philosophy for Children
  • Questioning

Early Years

So much of what we do in pre-schools is child-led, and rightly so.

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However, when given choice, far too many children pick the thing they know they can do well (often because they want to be praised by the adults).  We can help you make the best use of feedback and praise to support, encourage and stretch young learners and engage and enhance children’s thinking skills.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Growth Mindset
  • Learning to Learn
  • Philosophy for Children

Efficacy (Collective & Self)

Self-efficacy (from Albert Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997) is the belief a person has about their abilities to ‘effect’ a new outcome; not just ‘affect’ or change it but effect or create a new one.

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We can help you look at ways which feedback and the effective use of praise can help to build self-efficacy and we can help you move from a performance focus to a learning orientation to enhance collective efficacy.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Growth Mindset
  • Feedback
  • Progress & Achievement

Feedback

Feedback is one of the most significant influences on student learning.

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At least, that is what research by Hattie, Wiliam, Lysakowski, Walberg, and others suggests. Yet, it is also one of the most variable: more than a third of the studies show a negative outcome on student learning.  We can help you understand why the impact of feedback often isn’t as powerful as expected and what can be done to correct the situation, including the use of James Nottingham’s Seven Steps to Feedback Success.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Growth Mindset
  • SOLO Taxonomy
  • Preview

Growth Mindset

Thousands of teachers around the world have introduced growth mindset to their students in the expectation that it will enhance learning and build resilience.

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However, the two meta-analyses examining the impact of growth mindset show a disappointingly low effect (0.1 to 0.19, less than half of the typical effect).  However, as a vehicle for creating and enhancing a learning-focused environment, growth mindset can have a very significant effect.  We can help you understand the real messages about growth mindset and learn the best strategies for building a growth mindset culture.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Efficacy
  • Feedback
  • Progress & Achievement

Leading Learning

Developing the leadership and coaching skills of all staff is vital for building capacity. These skills and their supporting attitudes can play a dramatic role in the success of student learning.

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We can help you understand the difference between leadership, management and coaching – and how each of these contribute in their own ways to staff/student success, including how mental models drive actions and how mindsets impact expectations.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Efficacy (Collective & Self)
  • Growth Mindset
  • Visible Learning

Learning Pit

James Nottingham created The Learning Pit® to encourage his students to step out of their comfort zone and seek challenges that will deepen their learning.

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Today, the model is used around the world to enhance students’ language of learning, metacognition, resilience and curiosity.  We can help you understand how the Learning Pit® can be used to encourage learners of all ages to step out of their comfort zone and take on more challenges and discover the best strategies for guiding students into and out of the Learning Pit.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Challenge
  • Philosophy for Children
  • Questioning

Learning To Learn

All children learn, and yet helping them learn ‘how’ to learn can enhance their development even further.

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Learning how to learn includes knowing how to ask meaningful questions and how to decide which answers are the best; thinking about the tone and timing of interactions; and when to persevere compared to when to compromise.  We can help you create a culture in which students talk positively about learning how to learn and can identify instances when learning strategies have helped them to master something.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Challenge
  • Learning Pit
  • Questioning

Philosophy for Children

Philosophy for Children (P4C) develops critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinking.

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It is practised in over 60 countries around the world and has a history stretching back over 40 years. The underlying principle is for children and young people to experience rational and reasonable dialogue about things that matter to them and their teachers. We can help you use P4C to develop dialogue, thinking skills, metacognition and collaborative approaches to learning while demonstrating the ways in which P4C can be used to develop a growth mindset and enhance student motivation and resilience.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Challenge
  • Learning Pit
  • Questioning

Preview

One of the best ways to enhance learning is through the use of ‘preview’.

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This strategy helps your students to get ahead of the learning curve and prepare themselves to engage in learning. We can help you understand how preview techniques can help engage students, develop understanding, and close the achievement gap.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Feedback
  • Growth Mindset
  • SOLO Taxonomy

Progress & Achievement

Many people worry that there is too much focus in education on grading: league tables, within-school rankings, and ability grouping…

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…which all place an emphasis on the difference between one student (or one school) and another.  We can help you understand how an emphasis on progress can lead to enhanced achievement for all and demonstrate how research can be used to identify activities that will have a high impact on student progress.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Growth Mindset
  • Leading Learning
  • SOLO Taxonomy

Questioning

Questioning has been one of the most effective tools for facilitating learning since at least the time of Socrates.

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Yet, research shows that teachers typically ask between 250 and 400 questions a day without getting close to deepening learning in the way we would expect or hope.  We can help you improve your skills of questioning, moving purposefully between different levels of questions and deepen students’ learning with thoughtful and provocative questioning moves.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Dialogue
  • Learning Pit
  • Learning to Learn

Surface to Deep Learning

Surface-level learning has a bad reputation; indeed, some people even refer to it as ‘superficial learning’, in part to emphasise its lack of gravitas.

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However, our assertion is that surface-level learning is absolutely necessary. It is, if you will, about learning to walk before you can run. We can help you identify the difference between surface and deep learning and develop the best strategies for moving learners from surface-level knowledge to deep understanding.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Feedback
  • SOLO Taxonomy
  • Visible Learning

SOLO Taxonomy

The SOLO Taxonomy is a means of classifying learning in terms of complexity, which in turn helps to identify the quality and depth of students’ understanding.

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Many people use the SOLO Taxonomy to describe a learner’s progress from surface-level knowledge through to a deep, contextual understanding. We can help you recognise the situations in which learners are ready to move from surface-level knowledge through to a deep, contextual understanding and use the SOLO Taxonomy to plan for, guide, and evaluate learning progress.

Pairs perfectly with:

  • Feedback
  • Learning Pit
  • Surface to Deep Learning

Regional Contacts

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

USA (CST)
Carmen Bergmann
T: +1 309 245 6885

Australia (AEST)
Emma Robertson
T: +61 457 632 398

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