Whilst reading ‘The Expert Learner’ (Stobart 2015), I came across a fantastic model about our ‘deliberate practice involving risk taking’, and how excellence is achieved from stepping out of the comfort zone, into the learning zone, (Colvin 2008). I had a long think about many academies and educational establishment’s targets, representing a greater degree of challenge for pupils across the ability spectrum, creating a strong, solid learning environment. If we stay in this comfort zone, it can lead to a measure of apathy towards learning, and its only when we stretch the pupils that they can enter the learning zone, master new skills and knowledge.
I wanted to adapt it to look at the element of challenge, and how easy it can be sometimes to misjudge the balance between the two zones, pushing learners too much and forcing them into the panic zone. The battle as an educator is to foster challenge and an ethos of acceptance towards failure, whilst maintaining a positive outlook on learning as a whole. This is a model I will share with my classes, and discuss through pupil voice where they feel they are in lessons.