Cognitive Programmes and Tools

At one extreme thinking is impossible without some information on the subject. At the other extreme, perfect information would make thinking unnecessary. (Edward deBono)


The understanding of the development of children's thinking and learning skills has been an area of growing interest across the world in recent years. As Robert Fisher (2005) writes, 'thinking skills are not mysterious entities existing somewhere in the mind.  Nor are they like mental muscles that have a physical presence in the brain.  What the term refers to is the human capacity to think in concious ways to achieve certain purposes.  Such processes include remembering, questioning, forming concepts, planning, reasoning, imagining, solving problems, making decisions and judegments, translating thoughts into words and so on'. Consequently there are, today, a number of thinking skills programmes that can be employed to enhance a child's learning.

Some of the leading programmes are listed on this website, giving a brief overview and details of where to go for further information.  Thinking Schools International also offers a wide range of free resources for these approaches. 

Habits of Mind

Instrumental Enrichment


Philosophy for Children

Thinking Hats

Thinking Maps



CEDU has also been involved with the development of techniques to measure and interpet thinking skills which can be used by teachers, psychologists and researchers.

Myself as a learner

Group Thinking Measure