Thinking Schools

Presenting Information

Thinking Maps give us ability to sort information in different ways

New Perspectives

Thinking Hats give us the ability think beyond our own perspective

Different thinking

Thinking Keys give us the ability unlock critical and creative thinking.

Tools for lasting success

Thinking habits give us the habits for success, now and in the future

Video Gallery

Watch explanations of each of our Thinking Tools, and hear from our students the applications the tools have in the classroom. 

Visual Mapping

There are many different kinds of visual mapping techniques such as brainstorming webs, graphic organisers and conceptual and “systems” mapping.  Usually visual mapping approaches mirror specific kinds of thinking skills or theories of learning. Some of these tools are used in isolated ways for certain tasks, some are open ended. There are also visual “languages” for school-wide use.


Collaborative Working

The techniques for cooperative learning are many and there are models for establishing collaborative groups, classrooms and schools.  The research on cooperative learning in school and the need for high quality collaborative groups in the workplace connect to the recent evolution of social networking through new technologies as learners engage other learners around the globe.

Developing Disposition

Educators interested in the area of developing thinking often start by differentiating thinking “skills” such as cause-effect reasoning and the ability to make inferences from thinking “dispositions” such as persistence, remaining open-minded, and metacognition.  Dispositions are often related to the new field of emotional intelligences and the developing empathy in relationship to others. 

Structuring Environment

How the classroom, school, and surrounding area are physically structured has a great effect on teaching and learning. Positioning of students on the floor, seating arrangements in the classroom, and the accessibility of learning materials are all dimensions of the environment. The use of all the resources available within and around the school and wider community is key to engaging students.

Reflective Questioning

Reflective questioning is the use of prompts and questions to engage students in both thinking about “what” they know (factual memory) and also “how” they know (critical reflection).  High quality questions guide students to think about their thinking (metacognition), dispositions that they are drawing on, and how they are collaborating with others as they are learning.

Thinking Skills

Psychologists, cognitive scientists, and educators have developed many different models and theories for defining and organising a range of thinking skills. Often these models differentiate between “lower” and “higher” order skills.  In general terms, there are fundamental cognitive processes for generating and organising information, skills of analysis and synthesis, and processes of creativity and evaluation.