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Venturing into the Learning Pit…

Friday 23 Nov 2018

By: Darren Bilton – Academic Deputy Head, Framlingham College Prep School


Throughout my teaching career, I have worked with teachers and students who believed learning should be easy.

If the class doesn’t ask many questions and dutifully completes a colourful double-sided worksheet in silence, then the lesson can be deemed a triumph! By its nature, learning involves being on the very edge between knowing something and not knowing something. Therefore, a key aim of teaching should be to create situations where there is some disharmony. A quiet classroom is not always a good thing, neither is a teacher that talks all the time!

Next Monday evening colleagues from across the school will come together to discuss a book written by James Nottingham entitled ‘The Learning Challenge’.  A key concept is called the ‘learning pit’ and constructing lesson situations where students struggle, develop perseverance, deeper learning, have that eureka moment and gain transferable skills so they can better solve future problems.  There is nothing more satisfying in teaching than when a student comes out of ‘the pit’ and realises what they have just achieved.

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