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Thinking Schools International

Our History

In 2004 our current CEO, Richard Cummins started working with Professor Bob Burden at the Cognitive Education Development Unit at the University of Exeter.

Their objective was to develop a research informed, whole school approach to the teaching of thinking. They created a unique approach that fused scientific evidence with what actually worked in classrooms. Bob and Exeter University became the accreditor of schools taking this approach whilst Richard and Thinking Matters’ precursor, Kestrel Education, provided schools with training in the approach. 

In 2011, always seeking to remain at the cutting edge of cognitive education, Kestrel formed a partnership with US based Designs for Thinking (DfT). This partnership, Thinking Schools International (TSI), incorporated DfT’s groundbreaking work on metacognitive visual tools into the Thinking Schools approach and took it across the world. Individual schools in New Zealand, South Africa, Norway, Lithuania, Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan and Thailand have since become Thinking Schools and the approach was adopted by the Malaysian government for use in 10,000 of its public schools. 

In 2018 the TSI partnership dissolved and with new investment, Thinking Matters was born. Our aim is to continue to grow the Thinking School movement and to transform the lives of students by offering them evidence informed strategies to develop as independent thinkers and learners.

Find out more about becoming a Thinking School.

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