Module 5 Review and References (Preview)

Module 5 Review

Module 5 has been all about preparing to use the Top Ten Pit Tools really well. Each of these ‘pit tools’ – found in Section 6.3 of the LC Book – are enhanced by a connection with at least one of the Four Cs of Thinking: Critical, Creative, Caring and Collaborative thinking.


Key Points

  • Pit Tools help students to problem solve and construct meaning so that they can climb out of the Learning Pit.
  • The Four Cs of Thinking are essential for making best use of these Pit Tools.
  • Learning Challenge sessions create the conditions in which to practise these types of thinking in context.
  • Critical thinking involves persistent and careful consideration of reasons and conclusions.
  • Creative thinking should include fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration.
  • Caring thinking includes paying attention to others and providing them with the encouragement and space to engage.
  • Collaborative thinking includes coordinating activities, sharing information, exchanging know-how, and building a community.

Key Actions

    1. Experiment with the Learning Pit Tools
      That’s it really – the whole point of Module 5 – experiment with the Learning Pit Tools as described in Section 6.3 of the LC Book! 😊 Indeed, in many ways, it is pretty much the purpose of the whole Learning Challenge approach: to create the conditions in which students have increased opportunities to build a community that examines important concepts and learns how to problem solve together.There is still room to practise thinking skills in isolation of course – just as there is room for skill drills in PE – but in the end, we also need our students to learn how to apply thinking skills strategies in context. That way, the next time they come across a similar context in their everyday lives, they are better equipped to respond thoughtfully and assuredly. So, go play! Guide your students into the Learning Pit and then introduce a ‘pit tool’ to them so that they can learn how to climb out of the pit themselves.
    2. Use Video Reflection 3 as inspiration for Learning Intentions (LI) and Success Criteria (SC)
      At the end of Module 4, I suggested that you use some of the ideas in video reflection sheets one and two to create Learning Intentions and Success Criteria. You could now begin to do the same with the ideas in VR3. This will have a number of advantages: 1) it will help you to be more intentional about developing a particular aspect of critical, creative, caring or collaborative thinking; 2) it’ll be a clear signal (to your students, their parents, and to your colleagues) how important you think it is to deliberately and systematically teach for improved thinking skills; and 3) it will give your students a language of learning to help them talk about their own – and each other’s – progress (for example, ‘I am checking that my reasons support my conclusions,’ or ‘We are improving our group work by expecting others to give reasons for what they say.’)
      NB: As well as within VR4, there are also sources for inspiration in each of M5c, d and e.
    3. Experiment with the Four Cs strategies
      As well as the Pit Tools in Section 6.3 of the LC Book, you could also experiment with the strategies I’ve shared for developing the Four Cs of Thinking. For example, use the Jigsaw Method (Fig.11) for enhancing your students’ collaborative thinking; or the Six Thinking Hats to developing their creative thinking. To be honest, although this module seems shorter in terms of word count, it probably contains more material – or refers to more material – than almost all of the other modules combined. So, if you spend a whole term / semester trying out the ideas in this part of the BSM, then don’t worry! It will be time well spent.

Module 5 References

Dewey, J. (1909). Moral Principles in Education. Boston: Houghton, Mofflin Co.

Nottingham, J.A., Nottingham, J., Renton T.M. (2016). Challenging Learning Through Dialogue: Strategies to Engage Your Students and Develop Their Language of Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Hattie, J.A., (2021). Global Research Database, Visible Learning Meta. Retrieved from on 21 Jan 21.