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Teach Brilliantly

Small Shifts That Lead to Big Gains in Student Learning

By: James A. Nottingham

This comprehensive guide for educators offers insight into the most effective teaching methods and research-based practices you can apply to best support student success. Connect the why behind five key topics in education to what you can do to bring them to life in your classroom.

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The big book of quick tips every K–12 teacher needs to improve student learning outcomes

Identify the quick instructional wins that will help every student be successful. This in-depth action guide by James A. Nottingham, creator of the renowned teaching model the Learning Pit, distills cutting-edge research and best practices from classrooms worldwide. Flip to any chapter to access just-in-time strategies for engaging students, providing optimum challenge, ensuring meaningful feedback, raising expectations, and building equity for all students.

This book will help you:

  • Make small changes to your instructional practice that will lead to significant gains in student learning
  • Boost the engagement of all your students
  • Provide optimum levels of challenge
  • Ensure your students use feedback brilliantly
  • Lift expectations so that all students make excellent progress
  • Use lessons from a broad range of meta-analyses to strengthen equity
  • Justify your pedagogical decisions through the confident use of empirical data

Related Topics

InstructionStudent EngagementTeacher Efficacy


Additional Information

Product Code: BKG198

ISBN: 9781960574749

Published By: Solution Tree

"With a clear, reflective, and contextualized review of meta-data, James Nottingham’s Teach Brilliantly provides educators and schools with a level-headed, practical approach to applying research to any educational setting. Teachers will love the plethora of easy-to-implement tweaks that research proves will make a big difference to practice. Leaders will love the comprehensive strategies they can share and embed with all staff. A must-read for school leaders and educators who are truly committed to improving the quality of teaching and learning in their schools."

Becky Carlzon, author of Powering up Children and leader of the Learning Pioneers community

"Teach Brilliantly brings together so much of James's vast knowledge, skills, and experience with an in-depth analysis of education and, most importantly, a rich insight into what works. At its core is how to successfully engage children so they can make significant progress, grow, develop, and thrive. An excellent resource and powerful vehicle to support us in striving to Teach Brilliantly."

Judy Martyn, professional partner at aHead Service, Devon Schools Leadership Services, North Devon

"Teach Brilliantly offers essential and actionable wisdom for the practical development of classroom practice. Small-scale, evidence-informed approaches strategically support progression for all students, which makes them both powerful and manageable."

Pippa Leslie, senior lecturer, University of Cumbria

"An illuminating masterpiece! James Nottingham brilliantly shines a light on what teachers and students do together 'inside the black box' to transform student learning. Offering invaluable insights and clarity into optimal approaches, Teach Brilliantly is an inspiring read and an absolute game-changer, enabling educators to confidently choose which stars to navigate their teaching by . . . James shares his extensive experience, cultivating a profound understanding of effective strategies and a keen ability to translate theory into practice . . . James exemplifies the principles he advocates, and this book serves as a comprehensive resource to empower others to emulate."

Jacqui O’Donnell, principal, North Harrisdale Primary, Harrisdale, Western Australia

"Teach Brilliantly provides a critical reminder that student growth comes amidst uncomfortable and challenging learning experiences. James Nottingham presents teachers with important considerations and applicable tools to ensure that high expectations and multifaceted learning opportunities lead to the development of students who are less resistant to complex tasks and more engaged in their learning. This book will greatly help teachers determine the best tools and strategies that lead to appropriate levels of classroom rigor and increase student achievement."

Julie Dutko, professional development supervisor, Cherokee County School District, Georgia

"James Nottingham understands what is needed in the modern post-COVID classroom. Teach Brilliantly provides educators with the resources to challenge and engage their learners by making small tweaks to their practice. This book will undoubtedly become a staple on my shelf, dog-eared and lovingly littered with sticky notes."

Julia Scrimshaw, head of academics, learning, and innovation, Richard Johnson Anglican School, Oakhurst, New South Wales

"James Nottingham always has engaged me in a thoughtful conversation through his writing and Teach Brilliantly is no different! I appreciate the easy-to-navigate chapters and practical next steps as an educator, and I always look forward to reflecting on my own practice through James’ books."

Nancy Shi, instructional leader, McMicken Heights Elementary, Washington

"As a coach who works across a network of schools in Southeast Asia, East Africa, and Southern Africa, I feel like I have just found a brilliant, comprehensive tool that I can’t wait to use and share with colleagues. Teach Brilliantly strikes a perfect balance, offering practical strategies supported by solid research and clear guidance on effective application, complemented by relatable examples, anecdotes, practical templates, and QR codes linking to multimedia resources, enriching the reading experience. This feels like a transformative tool, filled with actionable takeaways for anyone who wants to Teach Brilliantly! "

Natasha Haque, teacher coach, Aga Khan Academies

"James Nottingham’s journey through education has provided him with the professional and personal experience to clearly identify, and succinctly express, strategies to make teaching and, more importantly, learning successful. Save yourself 35 years, read Teach Brilliantly and start making small shifts toward big gains today."

Frazer Westmorland, headteacher, Mundella Primary School, Kent

"James Nottingham's magnum opus is a wonderful distillation of his decades spent immersed in the science, art, and craft of education. The book’s structural architecture is admirable, the content informed and measured, and the style just scintillating—a masterful blend of sharp anecdote, well-marshalled research evidence, and practical classroom implications that leaves the reader amused, inspired, challenged, and engaged. I have no doubt that teachers who put just a fraction of the ideas contained in this work into classroom practice will add immense value to their students’ learning and bring about a great sense of vocational satisfaction en passant."

Barry J. Hymer, emeritus professor of psychology in education, University of Cumbria

"In Teach Brilliantly, James Nottingham encourages us to break through the complexity of teaching and provides us with a strategy for success by focusing on the small tweaks to teaching that can make big impacts to student learning."

Jennifer Pleszkoch, senior learning architect, IB Professional

"At once deeply intuitive and tenaciously evidence-based, James Notttingham’s Teach Brilliantly is a tour de force for anyone with a passion for teaching. In this highly nuanced and, at times, personal work, he offers both a breadth and depth of practical knowledge that will support any teacher or group of teachers trying to be better at what they do. "

Brendan Spillane, teacher, principal, and leadership consultant, Western Australia