Critical thinking is a very well-known concept and we hear the words often being used. We know that children and indeed also, adults, need to be able to think critically for today’s modern world, but how do we ensure that our students develop these higher order thinking skills as opposed to the lower order skills of recall and application? The foundations for the thinking skills movement have been built by cognitive scientists and developmental psychologists drawing from the works of the pioneers such as Dewey, Piaget, Luria, Feuerstein, Vygotsky and so many others.
Today, the field of developing thinking skills—or cognitive processes in particular–along with dispositions, enquiry based learning, creativity and a range of “intelligences” and uses of technology is blossoming all over. As this field now progresses and matures in this century, the questions become as follows:
● How do we support learners across all of these dimensions of thinking, not just “thinking skills”?
● How do we support teachers across an entire school to integrate these approaches or pathways, so there is consistency as well as flexible use?
● How do we support students to become aware of their thinking (metacognition) so that they may become experts in how their own minds work… so that they have the lifelong capacity to improve their thinking… as the world changes so rapidly?
Source: Thinking Schools International
A Thinking School supports students to think ‘outside the box.’ Students will be able to deconstruct their own learning process and even find out what works best for them. The Thinking School approach is not just a subject but an approach to be used by every teacher in every subject. Thinking will help students tackle difficult questions more creatively.
In 2018, Greensprings School partnered with Thinking Schools International to address these needs as a whole school and also with Cantab Tutors, to develop a written curriculum for our secondary students which will support them and allow them to develop specific higher order thinking of analysis, evaluation and synthesis.
This very exciting initiative forms part of the Greensprings goal of redefining education in Africa. Greensprings’ Thinking School ultimately aims to support our alumni so that they can develop solutions that will help not only their own families and communities but also can help Nigeria and Africa, to move forward.