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The Learning Challenge

How to Guide Your Students Through the Learning Pit to Achieve Deeper Understanding
By: James Andrew Nottingham

Foreword by John Hattie

Challenge makes learning more interesting. Nottingham shows you how to promote challenge, dialogue, and a growth mindset for student success in The Learning Challenge.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506376424
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Teaching Essentials
  • Year: 2017
  • Page Count: 280
  • Publication date: April 17, 2017

Price: $40.95

Price: $40.95
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Embrace challenge and celebrate eureka!

Challenge makes learning more interesting. That’s one of the reasons to encourage your students to dive into the learning pit—a state of cognitive conflict that forces students to think more deeply, critically, and strategically until they discover their “eureka!” moment. Nottingham, an internationally known author and consultant, will show you how to promote challenge, dialogue, and a growth mindset through:

  • Practical strategies that guide students through the four stages of the Learning Challenge
  • Engaging lesson plan ideas and classroom activities
  • Inspiring examples from Learning Challenges across the world

If you and your students focus on grades alone then rich learning opportunities might be missed along the way. A more rigorous and exploratory path to learning leads to a deeper understanding of concepts. When students experience The Learning Challenge, learning lasts for a lifetime.

"Nottingham shows us how to use generative concepts as focal points for engaging deep student thinking and discourse. His visual model of 'pits and peaks' helps us realize that cooperatively grappling with cognitive conflicts in the pit is necessary to eventually reach new peaks of understanding. Nottingham provides a wealth of strategies, tools and examples to aid the teacher. The vast array of questions to stimulate student thinking is second to none."

H. Lynn Erickson, Educational Consultant
Author, Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom, 2nd ed.

"Nottingham has provided a clear, concise, and research-based approach to creating cognitively challenging classrooms that captivate, activate, and invigorate learners. This book takes every reader through the learning pit, challenging their prior beliefs, and leads them to construct and consider an innovative way to promote stronger and deeper learning for their students."

John Almarode, Professor of Education & Co-Director of the Center for STEM Education and Outreach
James Madison University, College of Education, Harrisonburg VA

Key features

Teachers will find:
  • Detailed explanations & graphics of the Learning Pit & the Learning Challenge
  • Several lesson plan ideas across grade levels and subject areas
  • Practical strategies for guiding students through each stage of the Learning Challenge
  • Classroom activities
  • Examples from Learning Challenges across the world


James Andrew Nottingham photo

James Andrew Nottingham

James Nottingham is co-founder and director of Challenging Learning, a group of companies with 30 employees in 6 countries. His passion is in transforming the most up-to-date research into strategies that really work in the classroom. He is regarded by many as one of the most engaging, thought-provoking and inspirational speakers in education.

His first book, Challenging Learning, was published in 2010 and has received widespread critical acclaim. Since then, he has written 6 books for teachers, leaders, support staff, and parents. These books share the best research and practice connected with learning; dialogue; feedback; the learning pit; early years education; and growth mindset.

Before training to be a teacher, James worked on a pig farm, in the chemical industry, for the American Red Cross, and as a teaching assistant in a school for deaf children. At university, he gained a first-class honours degree in education (a major turnaround after having failed miserably at school). He then worked as a teacher and leader in primary and secondary schools in the UK before co-founding an award-winning, multi-million-pound regeneration project supporting education, public and voluntary organisations across north east England.

Skolvärlden (Swedish Teaching Union) describes James as “one of the most talked about names in the world of school development” and the Observer newspaper in the UK listed him among the Future 500 - a “definitive list of the UK's most forward-thinking and brightest innovators.”

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Hattie


Chapter 1: Introduction to the Learning Challenge

Chapter 2: The Learning Challenge in Practice

Chapter 3: The Learning Challenge Culture

Chapter 4: Concepts

Chapter 5: Cognitive Conflict

Chapter 6: Construct Meaning

Chapter 7: Consider Your Learning

Chapter 8: Mindset Matters

Chapter 9: Links and Perspectives

Chapter 10: The Learning Challenge in Action


Index of Concepts





Price: $40.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.