St Peter's is Thinking Deeper

  • February 18, 2019 | Kaila Melvill-Smith, Bronwyn Peake and Mel Aspeling

The Learning Pit – Encouraging Deeper Thinking

St Peter’s welcomed James Nottingham, to Royce Hall on Wednesday, 13 February, to share and inspire over 230 educators from 45 schools throughout Gauteng with his anecdotes and vision for the future of Education.  James hated school.  The fact that he is a champion activist for forward thinking and deeper learning is in itself a phenomenon.  He is the co-founder and executive director of the company Challenging Learning, the goal of which is to transform the most up-to-date research into strategies that can be used in the classroom. James is a well-known author who has penned many books to help educators and parents deal with the demands of making schooling pleasant for their children.  James studied Philosophy of Children on which he has based many of his lessons, books and inspirational talks. He believes that his research and learning has revealed three pillars; children need to think more; they should be encouraged to go beyond their answer and to make connections in order to reach a deeper understanding and curiosity for the unknown.  James explained how we can use challenge to develop resilience, higher-order thinking skills and a growth mindset. His advice to teachers and parents with regards to their children is invaluable – ENCOURAGE RATHER THAN RESCUE!  

James Nottingham, author and entrepreneur developed The Learning Pit Model in order to help students through the process and stages of engaging in a collaborative way. This leads to progress through pioneering challenges designed to invoke various thought processes.  St Peter’s is already an accredited Thinking School and James’ presentation complemented many of our learning and teaching strategies.  This form of Positive Psychology is yet another example of how we are making our teaching visible at our school.

He encourages parents to get involved with their children.  Help create the excitement around learning.  Get a preview of what is happening in the classroom so as to give children a greater appreciation for what they are learning.  Make connections with their environment so as to make learning more apt and meaningful.

It was a thought-provoking, motivating conference which allowed the opportunity for the professional development of St Peter's Prep staff as well as the showcasing of the Thinking Skills work done at St Peter’s. Excited teachers came away empowered and inspired to reflect on their approaches and stratagems in the classroom knowing that sometimes a slight change can make THE WORLD OF difference.