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Thinking Skills and Creativity in the Internet Age

Module titleThinking Skills and Creativity in the Internet Age
Module codeEFPM916
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Judith Kleine Staarman (Convenor)

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 and creative 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, what the relationship is between thinking, creativity and dialogue and between teaching thinking, creativity and networked technology.

You will find out about a number 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, creativity and dialogue in the internet age. You will also have the opportunity to experience collaborative knowledge creation mediated by online tools and to develop knowledge about specific approaches to teaching (creative) thinking and dialogue for your own educational context or future.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will enable you to develop your own understanding of what thinking skills and creative thinking are, whether and how we can teach for thinking and creativity and how teaching thinking relates to dialogue and networked technologies. You will also learn about the implications of the Internet Age for teaching and learning. The module will equip you with knowledge and understanding of a range of different theories and contemporary approaches to thinking skills. It will also introduce you to research on teaching thinking and creativity within the context of the internet age. 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 and you will gain a good understanding of issues around thinking skills and creativity.

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, and creativity;
  • 2. Demonstrate the ability to examine and critically evaluate various accounts of the relationship between cognition, networked communication technologies and social context;
  • 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 your own original synthesis;
  • 6. Demonstrate your originality and self-direction in dealing with complex issues by identifying dispositions, habits, skills and strategies for the Internet Age and applying these to other curriculum areas and to 'real-world' problems;
  • 7. Demonstrate your originality and self-direction in dealing with complex issues by identifying dispositions, habits, skills and strategies for the Internet Age and applying these to other curriculum areas and to 'real-world' problems;

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:

A number of sessions/topics will focus on theories and current ideas around teaching thinking in the context of the Internet Age. You will engage with ideas and theories around thinking and teaching thinking, as well as creativity and creative thinking, including current thinking around linking communications technology and social networks, group learning and theories of cognition and meta-cognition.

In other sessions/topics, you will be introduced to a number of more practical approaches to teaching thinking, including group thinking, and creative thinking and you will be asked to consider the relationship between teaching thinking and the wider school culture. In these sessions, you will link the theories and ideas to more practical approaches. You will be able to discuss and reflect on possible education futures in relation to teaching thinking and creativity and focus on new directions in teaching thinking and new research on thinking skills and cognition.

You will be provided with opportunities to discuss ideas with peers, both through online media and face-to-face in seminars throughout the module.

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 Activities3030 hours of face to face and/or online seminars (1-3 hours)
Guided Independent Study100Preparation for assignments
Guided Independent Study50Set readings
Guided Independent Study120Engagement with specific online materials, videos, preparations for academic tutorial, preparing for seminar activities, responding to seminar, collaborative group tasks


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay outline/plan500 words1-13Written feedback from tutor
Presentation 5-10 minute presentation (500 word equivalent) 10 minutes questions 1-8Oral peer and tutor feedback

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 essay604,000 words1-13Written
Digital assessment302,500 words1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12Written
Reflective summary of contributions to online discussions10500 words1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9,12, 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 (4,000 words)1-136 weeks
Digital assessmentIndividual digital assessment (2,500 words)1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 126 weeks
Reflective summary of contributions to online discussions500 word reflection on a topic discussed on the module1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 136 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Banaji, S. & Burn, A. (2010) (2ndedition) The Rhetorics of Creativity: A Review of the Literature, London, Arts Council England.

Beghetto, R. A., & Kaufman, J. C. (2007). Toward a broader conception of creativity: A case for 'mini-c' creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1(2), 73-79

Boden, M. (2004) The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms, (2nd ed) London: Routledge

Brown, John Seely and Douglas Thomas. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. World Future Review (World Future Society), Vol. 3(2), p115-117

Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in schools:  tensions and dilemmas. Abingdon: Routledge Falmer.

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 is changing education. Buckingham: Open University Press.

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

Sternberg, R. (ed). (1999). Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge:  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


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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