The criteria for the evaluation and accreditation of ‘Thinking Schools’ have been derived from a number of sources. They begin from a social-interactionist perspective which itself is grounded within socio-cultural theory (see Williams and Burden (1977) Psychology for Language Teachers, Cambridge University Press). This perspective proposes that all learning occurs as a result of the dynamic interaction between expert mediators, novice learners, learning tasks/activities and the contexts within which these processes take place. Within the sphere of education this generally translates into teachers, pupils/students, aspects of the curriculum, classrooms within schools and the whole school environment.

Thus, to understand whether a school is functioning as a thinking school, it is necessary to identify the level of commitment and expertise that teachers within the school are displaying in facilitating the thinking skills and strategies of the broad range of students by means of a wide range of thinking programmes and techniques. It is important to note the reactions of the students to this input in terms of their pleasure in learning, their sense of autonomy as independent learners and their reflective, caring behaviour, as well as their improved academic learning outcomes. It is important also to record the whole school ethos and overall commitment to cognitive education as a central means of achieving these outcomes. As in many schools this may represent an aspect of innovative practice, further reference in drawing up these criteria has been made also to the vast literature on school improvement and systems change.

There are currently two levels of Thinking School criteria, A Thinking School and an Advanced Thinking School.  Please follow the links below for the criteria for each level.  

Level One Criteria - A Thinking School

Level Two Criteria - An Advanced Thinking School

Copywrite: RLB