In this episode author, teacher and consultant James Nottingham joins Gordon MacLelland to discuss ‘The Learning Pit’ – understanding how our children learn and what that may mean for us as sports parents.
During the conversation they discuss amongst other things:
- The fact that we are all capable of improvement and progress
- Understanding the importance of self-efficacy and helping to develop it with our children
- Asking great questions and developing our listening skills as sports parents
- Embracing the reality of disappointment and setbacks
- Normalising with our children the ups, downs and cha-cha’s of learning and sporting development
- How we can help our children analyse, respond and effectively plan the next stages following disappointment and any mistakes they make
- Supporting our children to be brave to step out of their comfort zones
- Helping our children take ownership of their learning and development
- Understanding the motivations of our children
James Nottingham is the creator of the Learning Pit, a model used widely to help students articulate their learning progress. He is also the author of 11 books on teaching and leading.
He started life by failing – firstly at school (he was expelled from two high schools) and then at pig farming and factory work. However, after some charity work in apartheid South Africa gave him the shake he needed, he returned to the UK to work as a teaching assistant in a school for deaf children.
Growing up, James was one of the ‘naughty kids’ at school; he spent more time on detention than he cares to remember and was expelled twice from secondary school.
In 1999, James appeared in a TV documentary about Philosophy for Children (P4C), leading to an invitation to set up a social regeneration project in North East England. This multi-million-pound initiative won many prestigious awards for strengthening young people’s lives, including “helping young people to become clearer, more accurate, less self-contradictory and more aware of other arguments and values before reaching a conclusion.” Independent research by two universities also found strong correlations between project inputs and national test improvements.
As the European funding for this project wound down, James set up an independent consultancy to share the best practices with a wider audience. This company engages with educators on every continent (except Antarctica!). James splits his time between giving keynote speeches, leading his team, writing books, and offering demonstration lessons (give him any class, any age, and he’ll show some of the best ways to move students from surface to deep learning).
James has written 11 books for teachers, leaders, support staff, and parents. Many are bestsellers, and most have been translated into Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish (with Japanese titles coming soon)