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What is a Thinking School?

There is a global call for action to improve student performance through educating for higher order thinking. What is at stake? Applied literacy, jobs in the global economy, and an engaged and thriving citizenry. Stakeholders advocate for schools shifting from rote-memorization to explicit teaching for skillful thinking and problem solving. This requires equal access to learning at higher levels for ALL students independent of gender, ethnicity, and cultural background. The Thinking Schools International approach is based on three guiding principles that address this need, as described in this video clip.

Principle 1: Innate Thinking
All learners have the innate ability to think and improve their thinking.

Principle 2: Thinking Transfer
All learners need to transfer thinking processes directly to content deep learning.

Principle 3: Student Centered Models
Improving thinking and learning is most effective when student centered models are explicitly implemented across whole schools.

Three Guiding Principles of Thinking Schools

The problem? While there may be an agreement on the need for schools focused on higher order thinking, there are few research based, scalable and sustainable approaches available for schools to meet this challenge.


Thinking Foundation supports this urgent challenge by supporting a proven comprehensive design for implementing, accrediting and disseminating the Thinking Schools International approach. What do we do? We work with local and regional leaders to create a network of model Thinking School sites using the scalable BUILDING THINKING SCHOOLS implementation design. The results are documented and assessed within each school using the Thinking Schools Accreditation Process (TSAP).


Thinking Foundation is a nonprofit group with extensive experience working with individual schools and scaling the Thinking Schools design across whole countries. How can you help? Support comes in a variety of ways: financial contributions for individual model schools and larger projects, providing links to key 'change makers', and participating in our global network of people committed to transforming education locally and world wide. Please support the work by donating now.

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