The Learning Landscape makes learning more enjoyable. The sense of being on a learning journey – exploring the Learning Landscape, taking on Challenge Pits and climbing mountains of expertise – is engaging for learners.
But the Learning Landscape is so much more than a tool to engage students. It is a metaphor for the learning process. It helps students understand how their standards improve year after year. It helps them recognise that they are in control of the learning process. Most importantly, it helps them understand what it takes to build Learner Agency and become better at exploring the Learning Landscape.
At the heart of our journey through the Learning Landscape are Challenge Pits. It’s by taking on Challenge Pits that we learn new things.
As we explored last week, we can map zones onto the Challenge Pit based on a learner’s current standard. Working in your Learning Zone means stretching yourself to achieve a slightly higher standard. You’re trying to climb out of the Challenge Pit a bit higher than where you entered. In this case, you have what I call a Learning Challenge.
But not all challenges are like that. It all depends on which zone you exit the Challenge Pit through!
Sometimes, challenges only ask you to do what you’ve done before – to reach the same standard, rather than a higher one. These challenges exit the Challenge Pit through the Performance Zone. They are Performance Challenges.
In the context of the Learning Landscape, developing Learner Agency is not simply about understanding the types of challenges that put you on a path towards expertise. It’s also about becoming a better climber!
James Anderson is a speaker, author and educator who is passionate about helping fellow educators develop students as better learners. James’ work combines Growth Mindset with Habits of Mind and Practice to create Learning Agility. He puts the growth back into Growth Mindset. And through creating and describing the Mindset Continuum, he provides the cornerstone for effective Growth Mindset interventions.
James is a Certified Speaking Professional and speaks regularly at conferences around the world. He has published several books including Succeeding with Habits of Mind, The Agile Learner, The Mindset Continuum and The Learning Landscape.
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