James Nottingham is the creator of The Learning Pit as well as a sought-after keynote speaker and author of 11 books about teaching, learning and leadership. He is best-known for creating the Learning Pit®, a world-renowned model for enhancing curiosity, determination and strategy. He co-founded Challenging Learning in 2006 to share some of the best ways to strengthen learning in schools, nurseries, and colleges. HIs company now employs 10 staff in seven countries: the UK, the USA, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and most recently Japan.
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. At 16, his father kicked him out, leading to an itinerant life of farm and factory work before finding his feet as a school volunteer in squatter camps in apartheid South Africa. On his return to the UK, he took a job as a teaching assistant at a school for deaf children before training to be a teacher.In 1999, James appeared in a TV documentary about Philosophy for Children (P4C), leading to many invitations from schools wanting to learn more about how he was leading learners. It was his quest to reach more and more educators and learners that led to his founding of Challenging Learning and his work around the world.
Keynote Address: Leading in a Growth Mindset Culture
When leaders amplify healthy mental models, and design out the problematic ones, then everyone - staff, students, and community - gain significantly. The problem is those mental models often lie hidden from everyday view and can be resistant to change even when they are uncovered. In this keynote, James Nottingham - a former school leader and now owner & director of six companies - will share the best strategies he has discovered for creating a growth mindset culture through the wise reshaping of mental models. He will pay particular attention to common mental models about challenge, progress and grades, behavior, and collective efficacy.
He will help participants to think about leading a growth mindset culture by reflecting on the following questions:
1. How can leaders best support the development of growth mindset in their school?
2. What mental models underpin the successful use of growth mindset and which ones get in the way?
3. Do you have a performance-related or learning-related focus in your school (NB. growth mindset is only compatible with the latter!)
Dr. Chris Domaleski is a nationally-recognized leader in the design, implementation, and evaluation of assessment and accountability systems. Chris uses his extensive background in psychometrics and policy to advise education leaders on complex technical problems and identifies solutions to improve practice. He currently serves as Associate Director for the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, a non-profit working with states and district education leaders to help develop and validate innovative and effective assessment and accountability systems.
Chris serves on several national technical advisory committees; is the coordinator of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) State Collaborative on Accountability Systems and Reporting; and regularly provides technical support to a variety of agencies, organizations, and policy-makers at the state and national level.
He received a Ph.D. from Georgia State University in Research, Measurement, and Statistics and he has taught numerous graduate courses at multiple institutions. He is a former associate editor for the prestigious Journal of Educational Measurement and regularly publishes his research and presents at national conferences.
Prior to joining the Center, Chris was Associate Superintendent for Assessment and Accountability at the Georgia Department of Education, where he was responsible for the development and administration of the state’s K-12 testing program and accountability systems.
Keynote Address: A Balancing Act: The Role of Balanced and Coherent Assessment Systems in Promoting Student Success
These are extraordinary times! The pandemic, the urgency of equity, and many other factors demand new ideas and practices. Educational assessment can be a vital part of an overall system to promote improved outcomes for students, but to achieve that, we must focus more deliberately on balanced and coherent assessment systems. Such systems are characterized by assessments that are not only well suited for clear and limited purposes but that work together coherently to serve a range of important purposes such as instructional utility, progress monitoring, and program evaluation. Additionally, the system should be supported by a strong theory of action that links assessment to curriculum and instruction with attention to supporting the conditions and resources necessary to promote change.
Arizona Department of Education (ADE) program area leaders take great pride in offering exceptional technical and customer support to schools and districts, helping to ensure schools have the tools they need to support the success of all Arizona students. Behind the scenes, ADE leaders meet often to ensure they are supporting one another, whether it is collectively meeting state and federal requirements or sharing insight into their support of schools. In this keynote session, an ADE expert panel will share their experiences and perspectives, demonstrating their collaborative nature and how it is important to come together! The panelists will be asked to respond to various questions, providing insight into the connections between Assessment, Standards, and Accountability as well as efforts to ensure equity and excellence for all Arizona students.