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Thinking Schools International

Our History

Thinking Matters dates back to 2004 when its CEO, Richard Cummins, (then CEO of Kestrel Education) started working with Professor Bob Burden at the Cognitive Education Development Unit at the University of Exeter.

Influenced by the pioneering work of Gill Hubble of St Cuthbert’s College, New Zealand, Richard and Bob developed a novel, whole school approach to the teaching of thinking. In order to expand the approach into countries beyond the UK, in 2011 Kestrel Education formed a partnership with Designs for Thinking, a US based organisation, and created Thinking Schools International (TSI). By 2015 the Thinking Schools network had grown into the hundreds.

In 2018 Kestrel Education and Designs for Thinking separated and with new investment, Thinking Matters was born. Thinking Matters has partnerships with organisations in Norway, Lithuania, Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan, Thailand and China. In the UK it is the leading organisation working with schools on a whole-school approach to the teaching of thinking and supporting them in their journey to become Thinking Schools. Working with the University of Exeter, who provide Thinking School accreditation, Thinking Matters continues to grow both in the UK and overseas.

Thinking Matters provides hands-on support to schools wishing to take a whole-school approach to the teaching of thinking. High quality training and advice is allied to an approach which leads to schools developing a culture which places the development of thinking at the heart of the curriculum.  The network of schools in the UK and the countries listed above means that expertise is shared across national boundaries.

Young people are leaving these schools equipped to flourish in whatever environment they enter on leaving school. They have a high level of metacognition and a range of cognitive skills which can be used in any context. The recognition that young people need these skills in order to take their place in a modern society is spreading across the world.

Many countries are adapting their education curricula to meet the challenges young people will face and we, at Thinking Matters, will continue to offer support to those schools choosing to take a whole-school approach to the teaching of thinking.

Find out more about becoming a Thinking School.

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