Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Learning Pit

At the beginning of this year, in Term 1 2017, I decided to bring to my class the Learning Pit to compliment the use of Growth Mindset. James Nottingham created the Learning Challenge or Learning Pit to enhance challenge and inquiry based on the works of Butler and Edwards in Transformational Learning  who described the process of learning and transformation as going through a pit.

James Nottingham loved the pit analogy and named four different stages:
1.- Concept- The learning challenge begins with a concept which was found in the local news, in a book, a child brought in, a teacher suggested it. This stage is the equivalent to the Uni-Structural stage of the SOLO Taxonomy.
2.- Conflict- At this stage the students are brought 'into the pit' by creating a conflict in their minds. When the children are at the bottom of the pit, they can be encouraged to use Growth Mindset ideas and self talk to build up resilience and to get ready to climb out of the pit. This stage is equivalent to the Multi-Structural level of the SOLO Taxonomy.
3.- Construct- After students are in the pit for some time gathering information from peers and by quality teacher questioning, the students start to build new meaning which leads to a sense of 'I got it!' (labelled by Nottingham as 'Eureka'). At this stage children help peers come out of the pit. This is the equivalent of the Relational stage in the SOLO Taxonomy.
4.- Consider- Once the children are out of the pit, they reflect on the journey through the different stages of the pit (and the SOLO Taxonomy) and how they can apply this process to different concepts and / or contexts. This is the equivalent to the Extended Abstract Stage of the SOLO Taxonomy.

The Learning Pit A video exploring the concept of what a tourist is.

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