albert einstein

The Teaching Thinking certificate introduces a variety of strategies designed to challenge students and to help them understand and develop their thinking and allow them to transfer skills developed to other contexts. The strategies are all adaptable to a wide range of scenarios be it educational, business or with other learning organisations. The course also looks at research and thinking into the way the brain works and how this can influence the learning process.

Two important concepts that the course deals with are metacognition and transfer. Teaching Thinking develops both of these.

Metacognition is thinking about and understanding your thinking.

Transfer is being able to apply skills learnt in one context to another. This seems straightforward but it actually rarely happens.

Debriefing is an important concept in developing both of these concepts.

The Teaching Thinking Certificate is 10 – 12 hours in length and this can be over two full days or twilight’s or a combination of both. The course is jointly accredited by RAIS and the Thinking for Learning Unit at Northumberland LEA. It is also possible to gain accreditation from Newcastle University towards an MEd. By the end of the course delegates will have:

•  Tried out a range of strategies and considered how these could be used in the
context of their work

•  Looked at the theoretical framework for teaching thinking

•  Looked at the debriefing process

The Course

Benefits of this course include:

•  It helps students to help and develop their thinking

•  It offers a wide range of flexible, motivating strategies that are enjoyed by

•  The strategies are appropriate for a wide range learning situations

•  They are applicable to many subjects and key stages

•  The strategies encourage a questioning and enquiry based approach to

•  It can have an impact upon student attainment

Furthermore, Teaching Thinking can contribute to the Every Child Matters agenda in the following ways:

•  It can help children and young people in all of the aims under Enjoy
and Achieve

•  It encourages children and young people in developing self-confidence through
understanding their own thinking processes and being able to apply them in a
wide range of situations

•  It can help children and young people to understand and to engage in the
decision making process

•  It encourages young people to engage in further education, employment or
training and helps them to be ready for employment

•  And it can help parents, schools, voluntary and community organisations to
develop the above in children and young people

Further Reading

Thinking Through Series:
A series edited by David Leat, all contain tried and tested strategies with exemplars material. The series is very popular and is an excellent basis for developing thinking in schools. It is linked to the Leading in Learning package, see below

Thinking Through Geography
(1998, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), Ed. David Leat

More Thinking Through Geography
(2001, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), Eds. A. Nichols and D. Kinninment

Thinking Through History
(2002, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), Ed. Peter Fisher and Ian Wilkinson

Thinking Through Primary Education
(2001, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), Ed. Steve Higgins

Thinking Through Religious Education
(2002, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), Ed. Viv Baumfield

Thinking Skills Through Science
(2001, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), S. Duncan; D. Niven and C. Savory

Thinking Through Modern Foreign Languages
(2004, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), Ed. Mei Lin and Cherly McKackay

Thinking Through English
(2005, Cambridge, Chris Kington Publishing), Ed. M. Butterworth and M. O’Connor
Other Recommended Books:

Thinking for Learning
Mel Rockett and Simon Percival
A good introduction to thinking skills

Top Ten Thinking Tactics
Mike Lake and Marjorie Needham
Thinking skills research distilled into ten key tactics. For KS2. Activities are built around cartoon narratives to encourage discussion about which tactic to use

Teaching Thinking and Creativity Journal
Imaginative Minds Publications

Thinking Course
Edward De Bono
Edward De Bono is an internationally recognised authority on the subject of Thinking skills and this is probably a good overview of many of his ideas

Six Thinking Hats
Edward De Bono
Excellent for education, business and other organisations

Teach Yourself to Think
Edward De Bono

The Mind Map Book
Tony Buzan and Barry Buzan

Concept Cartoons
Stuart Naylor and Brenda Keogh
Excellent stimuli, in the form of cartoons, to get pupils thinking about science. The principles could easily be adapted to other subject areas

Changing Children’s Minds
Howard Sharron & Martha Coulter
An account of Reuven Feuerstein’s work. His work underpins almost all of current research and practice into thinking skills

Thinking Together
Lyn Dawes; Neil Mercer and Rupert Wegeriff
A good look at how to develop language and reasoning skills in children, particularly at the KS2 age range
Books from King’s College, London:

Thinking Science: The Materials of the CASE Project
Philip Adey, Michael Shayer and Carolyn Yates
A way of developing thinking skills through the science curriculum. One of the most heavily researched thinking skills programmes, and highly effective

Let’s Think!
P. Adey; A. Robertson and G. Venville

Let’s Think Through Maths!
M. Shayer; A. Robertson and M. Adhami

Let’s Think Through Science!
P. Adey; N. Serret; A. Robertson; F. Nagy and P Wadsworth