Definition : "The teacher extends and promotes higher levels of thinking in literacy learning."

In the study, challenge was the least observed teaching practice, not only within the differentiation dimension, but also in the whole repertoire of teaching practices. When it was observed, it was in the classrooms of the more effective or effective teachers.

The literature suggests that the concept of challenge is multi-faceted and involves the quality of interaction, the nature and structure of the task and the level of teacher expectation.

Effective teachers challenge children through the provision of demanding tasks and the interaction which occurs in and around those tasks. They plan demanding tasks based on their knowledge of children's levels of attainment and they challenge children to use higher levels of thinking through the use of higher order questioning.

It has been argued that, while competent teachers may challenge some children some of the time, experts find ways to challenge all children to stretch their understanding of ideas. The more effective teachers seemed to move between different levels of questioning, confirming and extending thinking when appropriate. They appeared to be constantly urging children to move to a higher level of thinking.