In addition to TS@Exeter's specific role of evaluating and accrediting thinking schools, TS@Exeter provides support and advice related to research on teaching thinking, group thinking and dialogue, creativity, metacognition, and teachers’ professional development. Research in these areas has been a specific focus at Exeter University for a significant time and TS@Exeter has strong links with the Centre for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Education, the Centre for Research in Professional Learning, and the Creativity and Emergent Educational Futures Network. All our accredited schools are invited and encouraged to join the Exeter Professional Learning and Inquiry Network (ExPLAIN).
The Thinking Schools educational approach was devised by Professor Bob Burden, who alongside TS@Exeter evaluators and Thinking Matters, established the ‘Thinking School’ incorporating the principles of a wide range of approaches to teaching thinking (viz. Lipman; Hyerle; De Bono; Costa; Gardner) into school curriculum practice principles. TS@Exeter continues to collaborate closely with Thinking Matters and sharing practice with Thinking Matters hub schools, meanwhile remaining an independent University-based unit. We continue to develop our world-leading research into Teaching Thinking and related areas, for instance through the work of Professor Anna Craft in Creative Thinking, Professor Rupert Wegerif in Dialogic Education, Professor Vivienne Baumfield in the professional development of teachers and Dr Judith Kleine Staarman, the current director of Thinking Schools @Exeter, in Digital Technology and Group Thinking.
The Graduate School of Education offers an affiliated Master’s specialism in Technology, Creativity and Thinking (for 2018 entry) and, from 2019, an MA Technology, Creativity and Thinking, led by Dr Judith Kleine Staarman. In this programme, offered full and part time on campus and part-time via distance learning, students explore how teaching and learning needs to adapt to meet the needs of future learners, with a particular focus on new technologies to develop students’ Thinking Skills and Creativity.