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Research and Documentation

Thinking Foundation supports quantitative and qualitative research on cognitive process development, creativity, dispositions/Habits of Mind, problem solving and critical thinking from early childhood and adult learning. When Thinking Foundation was established in 2004, our main focus was research and dissemination of Visual Learning/thinking tools and Thinking Maps® as a language for learning. We have funded qualitative research and doctoral research, piloted new resources, published professional books, multi-media case studies, videos, and documentary films. Click on the links below to reference research in each area. 

When reviewing research, consider such issues such as the validity of the design, the number of students in the study (n=?), the amount of time and degree of implementation that was involved, and other factors that may be influencing the stated results. For example, with Thinking Maps, there is an expectation that all teachers are trained in a school and receive follow-up professional development support. Additionally, students’ rarely reach fluency, or automaticity, with the language of Thinking Maps until well into their second year of exposure. This is true of most approaches to the development of thinking in students: it takes time, modeling across disciplines, and the intention of teachers to ensure that all students gain a degree of fluency with the processes. There is much to be gained by reviewing the quantitative and qualitative research in the sections linked below, along with insights from authors writing about the conceptual and theoretical foundations of different approaches and how to nurture the diverse range of thinkers as learners.

Making Thinking Visible
in Public School 359, New York City

Our research and documentation supports implementation and the dissemination of high quality practices in schools around the world.  Here is a short video documentary from Public School 359 in the Bronx, New York City US, where Thinking Maps® has been central to the success for students and teachers. Principal Alexa Sorden and her teacher colleagues present what happens when a school integrates the Thinking Maps® model across the entire learning community. 

          (This video was produced by the New York City Board of Education.)

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