Skip to main content

IB, International and Independent Schools

HomeRegionsIB International

James Nottingham works with IB, international, private and charter/free schools across the world. Some of the strongest links between his work and schools in the independent sector include:

  • The Learning Pit helps to develop confident, self-motivated and resilient global citizens.
  • His work on depth of learning strengthens the connections students make within and across disciplines.
  • His experience in developing learning-to-learn programmes in a wide variety of settings supports schools with TOK (Theory of Knowledge), including the question, how do we know?
  • His thirty years practising Philosophy for Children (P4C) and his training with Edward de Bono (lateral thinking) enables him to support schools with critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinking.
  • The books he has written about questioning and dialogic teaching improve students’ abilities to understand different perspectives and communicate confidently and with empathy.
Furthermore, James is often asked to help schools or departments to:
  • Place exploratory talk & conceptual understanding at the heart of inquiry.
  • Create optimum levels of challenge so that all students make excellent progress.
  • Ensure students use feedback effectively and formatively.
  • Develop a growth mindset in all students and their families.
  • Adjust questioning strategies to extend thoughtfulness and participation.
  • Create a learning culture that values progress as well as achievement.
  • Boost engagement and collaboration in lessons.

If you would like to invite James Nottingham to work with your team, then you are welcome to email his PA, Sarah Unwin. He has been a teacher and leader in primary, secondary and EY settings. He therefore offers advice, guidance and resources for all staff working in primary, middle, diploma and career-related contexts (students aged 3-19 & adult).

October, 2023

James gave the opening keynote at the IB Global Conference in Dublin on 5 October He also presented a deep-dive session for leaders on 7 October.

 

Details about his presentations, together with links to access his presentation materials can be found below.

Opening Keynote (5 Oct, 5.30pm)

Education for an Inclusive Future

The theme of this conference is ‘education for an inclusive future’ – and yet, for many, education is anything but inclusive. Colour, culture, gender, socio-economic status, comparative age, and special needs can all be used to predict who is likely to succeed and who is not; who is likely to be sanctioned for discipline infractions and who is not; who will graduate, win awards, receive grants, be chosen to represent their school … and who will not. (The Attainment Gap, 2017; Datnow & Park, 2018).

One of the positive steps that we, as educators, can take towards improved inclusivity is to boost the self-efficacy of all our students. This concept comes from Albert Bandura (1977) and is related to the construct of agency (the ability to make things happen) and to confidence.

Interestingly, the main source for developing self-efficacy is in overcoming challenges (Ciftci & Yildiz, 2019). Whereas self-esteem comes from being successful and feeling loved, self-efficacy comes from prevailing in the face of obstacles and setbacks – something that vulnerable students often experience more than others.

To help build this concept in the classroom, it can be useful to begin with the Learning Pit. This model was first proposed by our keynote speaker in the late 1990s and is now used worldwide. It encourages students to step out of their comfort zone, to approach obstacles more strategically, to collaborate more effectively, and to articulate their progress accurately. It can also support IB learners who strive to be inquirers, thinkers, risk-takers, open-minded and reflective.

During this keynote, James Nottingham will give an insight into these two topics – self-efficacy and the Learning Pit – offering practical strategies for teachers and leaders.

Topic Expert (7 Oct 9.15am)

Small Shifts That Lead to Big Gains in Student Learning

James Nottingham’s principal interest is in identifying the small adjustments in leading and teaching that result in significant improvements in student learning. Examples include:

Adjusting feedback. Evidence shows feedback can be one of the most powerful influences on student learning. Yet, it is also one of the most variable, with a third of studies showing a negative effect. Small changes to timing and type, however, can make all the difference.

Amplifying progress. When educators hold high expectations for their students, the impact ranges from d = 0.50 to 1.44; when they hold low expectations, it is as low as d = –0.03 to 0.20 (Rubie-Davies, 2006; Woolley et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2018). One key difference is expecting every single student, no matter where they are starting from, to make excellent progress. Small adjustments, however – to displays, rewards and reports – are often necessary to bring this vision alive.

Adapting questioning. Teachers ask 100-350 (Clinton & Dawson, 2018) per day. The most common pattern, however, of Initiate-Respond-Evaluate (IRE) engages just one third of students (Cazden, 2001). Making small changes to a more exploratory approach and improving thinking time (particularly at Wait Time 2) can significantly improve outcomes for all students – and even more so for vulnerable groups.

During the Topic Expert 2 session, James will cover these three examples, together with an overview of equivalent adjustments to student collaboration, desirable difficulties, growth mindset, peer assessment, learning intentions & success criteria, pupil engagement, flipped classrooms, and collective / self-efficacy.

Topic Expert Slides

Opening Keynote (5 Oct, 5.30pm)

Education for an Inclusive Future

The theme of this conference is ‘education for an inclusive future’ – and yet, for many, education is anything but inclusive. Colour, culture, gender, socio-economic status, comparative age, and special needs can all be used to predict who is likely to succeed and who is not; who is likely to be sanctioned for discipline infractions and who is not; who will graduate, win awards, receive grants, be chosen to represent their school … and who will not. (The Attainment Gap, 2017; Datnow & Park, 2018).

One of the positive steps that we, as educators, can take towards improved inclusivity is to boost the self-efficacy of all our students. This concept comes from Albert Bandura (1977) and is related to the construct of agency (the ability to make things happen) and to confidence.

Interestingly, the main source for developing self-efficacy is in overcoming challenges (Ciftci & Yildiz, 2019). Whereas self-esteem comes from being successful and feeling loved, self-efficacy comes from prevailing in the face of obstacles and setbacks – something that vulnerable students often experience more than others.

To help build this concept in the classroom, it can be useful to begin with the Learning Pit. This model was first proposed by our keynote speaker in the late 1990s and is now used worldwide. It encourages students to step out of their comfort zone, to approach obstacles more strategically, to collaborate more effectively, and to articulate their progress accurately. It can also support IB learners who strive to be inquirers, thinkers, risk-takers, open-minded and reflective.

During this keynote, James Nottingham will give an insight into these two topics – self-efficacy and the Learning Pit – offering practical strategies for teachers and leaders.

Topic Expert (7 Oct 9.15am)

Small Shifts That Lead to Big Gains in Student Learning

James Nottingham’s principal interest is in identifying the small adjustments in leading and teaching that result in significant improvements in student learning. Examples include:

Adjusting feedback. Evidence shows feedback can be one of the most powerful influences on student learning. Yet, it is also one of the most variable, with a third of studies showing a negative effect. Small changes to timing and type, however, can make all the difference.

Amplifying progress. When educators hold high expectations for their students, the impact ranges from d = 0.50 to 1.44; when they hold low expectations, it is as low as d = –0.03 to 0.20 (Rubie-Davies, 2006; Woolley et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2018). One key difference is expecting every single student, no matter where they are starting from, to make excellent progress. Small adjustments, however – to displays, rewards and reports – are often necessary to bring this vision alive.

Adapting questioning. Teachers ask 100-350 (Clinton & Dawson, 2018) per day. The most common pattern, however, of Initiate-Respond-Evaluate (IRE) engages just one third of students (Cazden, 2001). Making small changes to a more exploratory approach and improving thinking time (particularly at Wait Time 2) can significantly improve outcomes for all students – and even more so for vulnerable groups.

During the Topic Expert 2 session, James will cover these three examples, together with an overview of equivalent adjustments to student collaboration, desirable difficulties, growth mindset, peer assessment, learning intentions & success criteria, pupil engagement, flipped classrooms, and collective / self-efficacy.

Ask a question or leave feedback

JAMES NOTTINGHAM

Consultant, Author, Keynote Speaker

This site represents two tradenames:

THE LEARNING PIT®

This trademark is held by James Nottingham (reg. No. 6.381.157) Uses of the Learning Pit for educational and not-for-profit purposes are usually permitted when seeking permission via this site.

CHALLENGING LEARNING

This is the name of the group of companies founded by James Nottingham (full details shown on the Contact Us page). It is also the name of his first book.

Get in touch