Books Books Books


James Nottingham is the author of 9 books, with more on the way. Seven of his books are written for teachers, leaders and consultants. Encouraging Learning is written for parents and support staff; and Challenging Early Learning is written specifically for pre-school staff.

James is delighted that his books are published by: Bazalt (Netherlands); Cappelen Damm (Norway); Corwin (USA); Dafolo (Denmark); Natur och Kultur (Sweden); and Routledge (UK).

The versions currently available are listed below. If you have any questions, then feel free to contact us. We can also help you secure healthy discounts if you are buying multiple copies to run alongside training with James or anyone from his Challenging Learning team.


Challenging Mindset

By James Nottingham and Bosse Larsson

This book answers key questions about Carol Dweck’s theory of Mindset – what is a ‘growth mindset’ and what difference can it make? Why are growth mindset interventions not working in schools (yet) and what can be done to change this? What is a ‘failure mindset’ and why is it more influential than an adult’s fixed or growth mindset?


“I consider the book to be compulsory reading in all teacher education. It should be in every workplace where teaching occurs.” (Originally in Swedish, quoted online at Pedagog Mölndal

Annette Olsson, Pedagog Mölndal

Challenging Early Learning

By James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017)

Jill and James Nottingham started an educational company in 1999 to support local nurseries and schools with the development of Philosophy for Children. This evolved into a multi-million pound, social regeneration project to raise the aspirations and abilities of young people in North East England. With the success of this project, early childhood centres across Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand wanted to get involved in the Nottinghams' award-winning approaches to challenge, dialogue, feedback, questioning and progress. This book shares the best of those strategies.


This book shows early childhood practitioners and parents some of the best strategies for helping children grow into even more curious, resilient, happy, articulate and thoughtful learners.

Sophie Ellgaard Soneff, Editor-in-Chief, Dafolo

The Learning Challenge

By James Nottingham (2017)

The Learning Challenge describes the theory and practice of guiding students through the ‘Learning Pit’. It is a practical book filled with ideas for making lessons engaging, thought provoking and collaborative.


This book includes so many worthwhile processes to invoke the various stages of learning, to show the connections between these stages, and to identify evidence of impact from techniques that have been tried and tested in many contexts around the world by James Nottingham and his team. It is a pleasure reading a book that puts the challenge back into learning.

John Hattie, 2017

Learning Challenge Lessons

By Jill Nottingham and James Nottingham 

with Mark Bollom, Joanne Nugent and Lorna Pringle 

Created to accompany The Learning Challenge, the twenty lessons collected in these books grapple with timely concepts and provide teachers with everything needed to run thoughtful, dialogue-driven challenges for students.

Each lesson engages students around an exciting topic of current importance—including social media, health, friendship, space exploration, language, fairness, and other issues—and invites students into the “Learning Pit” to explore their thoughts with others through dialogue.


The Learning Challenge Dry-Erase Posters

By James Nottingham (2017)

Dimensions: 24" x 36"

These large dry-erase posters provide teachers with an easy way to help document students' journey through the Learning Challenge. Based on the book, The Learning Challenge by James Nottingham, these posters feature:

- The four stages of The Learning Challenge: Concept, Cognitive Conflict, Construct, and Consider
- Prompts throughout the Learning Challenge to encourage deep thinking
- Large size allows the poster to be seen from the back of the classroom

Posters are mailed in a large tube.


Challenging Learning Through Feedback

By James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017)

It is well known that feedback is one of the most powerful influences on student achievement. And yet 32% of the studies examined by Kluger and DeNisi (1996) show a negative effect on learning! This book shows you how to avoid all those negative factors so that the type, tone and quality of feedback are fruitful every time.


This was a thought provoking read and one I will reference over and over again. The authors have created a thorough reference for all teachers working to make their feedback impact learning, not only student learning, but their own. This will be a valuable reference for educators for years to come. I think that this reaches beyond classroom walls and will also help administrators model feedback for teachers and make an impact on the growth of student achievement.

Katina Keener, Elementary Principal Hayes, VA

Challenging Learning Through Dialogue

By James Nottingham, Jill Nottingham and Martin Renton (2017)

This book shares some of the best ways to make lessons more interactive, thought-provoking and engaging. It explains the most successful strategies for using dialogue to move students from surface learning to deep learning, and for teachers to support the learning process through instant feedback, guidance and stimulation for learners.



I might sound a bit too excited, but that is because the book manages to point out problematic issues in teaching and to give solutions and strategies to act on them. I give my warmest recommendation to teachers that want to focus more on good dialogues in the classroom.

Kristian Nøhr Jensen, quoted in

Encouraging Learning

By James Nottingham (2012)

This inspiring, humorous and practical book shows what you can do to help children of all ages develop into confident, thoughtful and independent learners. For everyone living and working with children – particularly teachers, parents, carers and youth workers.


I recommend this book to anyone wishing to help children learn. In it you will find some lovely ideas for improving the way we encourage, support and praise all young people.

Professor Carol Dweck, Author of Mindset, Stanford University, USA

James has developed a rare skill for blending arresting anecdotes, hard-edged research and practical advice into a truly compelling narrative.

Professor Barry Hymer, Author of the Gifted and Talented Pocket Book, Cumbria University, UK

Challenging Learning

By James Nottingham (2010) and (2nd Ed., 2016)

The original book by James Nottingham is now widely regarded as a seminal text for all educators wanting to engage, challenge and inspire all students. Praise for the book includes: “An inspirational guide to creating lessons that are thought-provoking and meaningful, and at the same time theoretically sound” (Carol Dweck, 2010) and “James Nottingham has the skills of explaining the complex in a way which is accessible and inviting. He is challenging yet encouraging. The examples of how it could be and the insights into what success looks like will leave the reader wanting to do things differently without a bag of guilt to weigh them down. ‘Challenging Learning’ works at every level.” (Mick Waters, President of the Curriculum Foundation)



Through the use of rich examples of classroom interactions, this book offers strategies that will help pupils to produce their own thoughtful conclusions, develop their own concepts, examine logic and remain open to alternatives. Highlights include: effective teaching strategies including FACTS, the Teaching Target Model and the Learning Pit Models; up-to-date research and theory from leading experts; practical suggestions and principles to help you design and develop your own lessons. Not simply for teachers, this book has relevance for all those who work with children. Jargon-free and accessible, it will be relevant and valuable for all.

Sarah Brew, Parents in Touch