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Thinking Schools Accreditation Process (TSAP)

By engaging the entire school community in a process of action research, becoming accredited as a Thinking School provides a meaningful opportunity for continuous learning and creates an enduring culture of reflective practice. Schools choose to participate in an accreditation process in order to reflect on, deepen, and sustain their development as a Thinking School.

Becoming a Thinking School

This video excerpt is from chapter 6 of the LUMIBook

School faculties use the accreditation process to improve students' success, implementation and for self assessing their development as a Thinking School over time. Schools use the 5 Areas for Reflection and the 15 Criteria to guide self assessment and gain status as a certified Thinking School. TSAP has been co-developed with Exeter University (UK) and Thinking Schools International.

5 Areas for Reflection and 15 Criteria





Student Centered


School Leadership Team

Student Fluency





Learning Centered





Professional Development

Differentiation for Educators

Collaborative Inquiry






to Inform

Whole School Culture

Reflective Thinking

Interactive Assessment

Collaborative Community

Global Networking

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Accreditation Process

The continuous improvement within each school generally passes through 3 developmental stages over several years as shown below:


Schools at this level have formally initiated the process of developing as a Thinking School. A “drive team” has been formed representing a broad spectrum of stakeholders from the school community and an initial plan of action has been designed. Professional learning opportunities have been undertaken to engage the school community in forming its identity as a Thinking School. Professional learning opportunities in specific pathways in student-centered models have also been introduced and these models have begun to be used in the classrooms and the school as a whole.


At this stage, schools are continuing to refine its practices and use of student-centered models for developing thinking, inquiry-based learning and dispositions associated with successful learners. Evidence of the integrated use of these practices is apparent both in how they are used together and also in the way they have become part of the practices used throughout the school and across roles and ages. Levels 1 and 2 are the formative stages during which schools are forming their identity as a Thinking School and introducing, expanding and refining their repertoire of practices. Schools at these levels can elect to work with a Reflective Coach (RC) to assist them in moving thoughtfully toward formal accreditation.


Level 3 is the point at which a strong foundation has been established, a clear sense of purpose and intention has become evident in the school, and the structures and processes are in place through which the school can continue to embed, deepen and sustain its efforts. It is at this stage, too, that a school becomes a resource to other schools on their journey of becoming a Thinking School.

Schools at Level 3, while continuing to grow and develop as a Thinking School, demonstrate a consistent level of attainment across all 5 Key Areas for Reflection and the 15 Criteria associated with those areas.

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