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Teaching Thinking in the Internet Age

Module titleTeaching Thinking in the Internet Age
Module codeEFPM315
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Judith Kleine Staarman (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In this module you will learn about teaching thinking in the context of the new models of education emerging in the Internet Age. You will explore answers to the questions of what teaching thinking means now and what is the relationship between thinking and dialogue and between teaching thinking and communications technology. You will find out about a range of approaches to teaching thinking exploring both the practices and the ideas behind them. The practical approaches you look at will depend on your interests and those of the group of students with you. They will include some or all of: Philosophy for Children, ‘Thinking Together’, ‘Learning to Learn Together (L2L2)’, 21st Century Skills, Metacognition, Group Cognition and Thinking Schools. You will look at a range of different learning theories in an attempt to understand education for thinking and dialogue in the internet age. You will also have the opportunity to experience collaborative knowledge creation mediated by online tools and to develop a specific approach to teaching thinking and dialogue for your own educational context.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will enable you to develop your own understanding of what teaching thinking is, how best to teach thinking and how teaching thinking relates to communication technologies. It will equip you with knowledge and understanding of a range of different theories and contemporary approaches to teaching thinking. It will also introduce you to research on teaching thinking. It will be an excellent preparation for either developing and applying your own approach to teaching thinking in your own educational context or for continuing to further research.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and critically evaluate claims that have been made about teaching thinking;
  • 2. Demonstrate the ability to examine and critically evaluate various accounts of the relationship between cognition, communications technology and culture;
  • 3. Demonstrate a systematic conceptual understanding of theories of social and meditational aspects of learning;
  • 4. Demonstrate the ability to relate this knowledge in a critical and self-aware way to the practice of teaching and learning and furthermore of thinking as a subject in its own right;
  • 5. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and critique the arguments and the ideas around the development of dispositions, habits, skills and strategies in the context of the Internet Age (or 21st Century skills) in order to form their own original synthesis;
  • 6. Demonstrate their originality and self-direction in dealing with complex issues by identifying dispositions, habits, skills and strategies for the knowledge age and applying these to other curriculum areas and to 'real-world' problems
  • 7. Demonstrate the ability to recognise and demonstrate the importance of cultural mediation in teaching children and students to be effective thinkers and problem-solvers;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Demonstrate the ability to review and evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship relevant to the module content through close analysis of practice and theory;
  • 9. Demonstrate awareness of ethical issues in relevant areas of the study and be able to discuss these in relation to personal beliefs and values;
  • 10. Demonstrate the ability to critique theory, policy and research orally and in writing, drawing on relevant reading and research;
  • 11. Demonstrate the ability to apply research-informed knowledge to evaluate ongoing school-based programmes.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 12. Demonstrate the ability to make sound judgements in the absence of complete data based upon critical reflection; and
  • 13. Demonstrate the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

The first cluster of sessions will focus on the theoretical background behind the idea of teaching thinking in the context of the Internet Age. You will engage with theories of thinking and teaching thinking including theories linking communications technology and mentality. In particular you will be asked to reflect on ideas from Piaget, Vygotsky, Bakhtin and Dewey as well as more contemporary theorists.

In these sessions, you will begin writing a formative assessment in which you are asked to reflect on the relationship between modes of communication and education, forming part of a literature review. You will also begin work on a collaborative wiki about approaches to teaching thinking which will focus on the role of social media in education.

In the second cluster of sessions, you will be introduced to a range of approaches to teaching thinking and you will be asked to consider the relationship between thinking and the use of cultural artefacts and media of communication. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss ideas with peers, both through online media and face-to-face (campus students only).

In the final sessions of the module, the teaching for thinking and creativity movement will be explored in its historical context. This will be related to the ideas from the early sessions about the link between technological mediation and cognition and to the theories of thinking taught in the second set of sessions. These final sessions will relate more closely to the practice of teaching and learning Internet Age skills and you will get the opportunity to present practical projects to peers, relating your experience and learning to the identified aspect of professional practice and the literature. The focus will be on critical reflection and evaluation. Each of you will have one peer who will be detailed to give focused feedback, using common prompts, on the work so far and how the critical reflection and associated reading has informed current and future practice. The feedback will form the basis for the redrafting of the written work in the form of an essay.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2010 sessions of 2 hours each. Face-to-face seminars (Campus) and online moderated seminars or webinars (Distance)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities10Commenting online in response to specific tasks given in sessions.
Guided Independent Study10Reading or viewing tasks given as preparation before sessions
Guided Independent Study100Supervised research for the essay task
Guided Independent Study40Supervised research for the presentation to peers
Guided Independent Study50Participation in wiki
Guided Independent Study70Guided online research and discussion


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Outline plan for the literature review500 words3, 4, 5Written verbal feedback from tutor.
Presentation of work to peers15 minutes oral presentation, 5 minute questions1-8Peer and tutor feedback (face to face or online)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Theorised essay704000 words1-13Written
Collaborative Wiki302500 words1-13Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Theorised essayTheorised essay (4000 words)1-136 weeks
Collaborative wikiCollaborative wiki (2500 words)1-136 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Brown, John Seely and Douglas Thomas. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. CreateSpace.

Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential. London: Constable & Robinson Limited.

Flynn, J. R. (2009).What Is Intelligence: Beyond the Flynn Effect(expanded paperback ed.). Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Larkin,S. (2010).Metacognitionin Young Children. London: Routledge

Lucas, B. and Claxton, G. (2010) New Kinds of Smart; How the science of learnable intelligence if changing education. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Littleton, K. and Mercer, N. (2013). Interthinking: Putting talk to work. Abingdon: Routledge.

Perkins, D. N. (1995). Outsmarting IQ: The Emerging Science of Learnable Intelligence. New York: Free Press.

Salomon, Gavriel (1997).Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations. Cambridge University Press.

Trilling, B & P. Hood, (2001) “Learning, Technology and Education Reform in the Knowledge Age, or ‘We’re Wired, Webbed and Windowed, Now What?’”, in C.  Paechter, R. Edwards, R. Harrison, & P. Twining, (Eds.), Learning, Space and Identity, Paul Chapman Publishing & The Open University, London, UK, 2001. Also at:

UNESCO (2005). Towards Knowledge Societies: Unesco World Report. []

Wegerif, R.B. (2011). Towards a dialogic theory of how children learn to think. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 6(3), 179-190.

Wegerif, R. (2013). Dialogic: Education for the Internet Age. London and New York: Routledge.

Wegerif, R, Kaufman, J. C. & Li , L., (2015) Routledge International Handbook of Research on Teaching Thinking. Routledge.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Teaching thinking, Internet Age, Teaching Dialogue

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date