So that the Learning Pit could be used as a framework for lesson design, I added four stages: 1) Concept; 2) Conflict; 3) Construct; 4) Consider. I named this framework the Learning Challenge.
When talking about the feelings of confusion or frustration someone feels when trying to learn something new, they could be said to be ‘in the Learning Pit’. When referring to a lesson design that guides students from surface knowledge through the Learning Pit to deeper understanding, then this is better referred to as the Learning Challenge.
Being ‘in the pit’ represents a state of cognitive conflict.
Cognitive conflict occurs when a person holds two or more contradictory opinions or ideas; for example, I believe that stealing is wrong, but I also believe that Robin Hood did the right thing.
Learners are not in the pit when they have no idea. To be in the pit is to have many ideas that are as yet unsorted.