Thinking Schools Nigeria (TSN) was established after the Greensprings School Drive Team was trained by Thinking Matters, which ended in April 2018. Since then, several training sessions on the Thinking School Approach have been organised for teachers and support staff.
There is much evidence of being a Thinking School in our teaching-learning programme. Every member of the school community is conscious of the new initiative and has imbibed it with great enthusiasm. Some weeks after training on Habits of Mind, a support staff, Miss Victoria, was heard encouraging her colleagues to strive for accuracy persist and think interdependently.
From the student’s perspective, being a Thinking School has been helpful - here are some of their comments:
“It is a good idea. I am learning in different ways, trying out new things and analysing situations constructively. The tools are helping me to summarise my notes and I have gained new vocabularies which I am using in my creative writing”. – Boluwatito Mafikuyomi. “I can now think outside the box and solve problems creatively. I am displaying a growth mindset in my studies; I persevere, strive for accuracy and remain open to continuous learning”. – Ayomide Adejuwon.
Many teachers are now confident to use visual tools and 6 Hats in their daily activities. Thinking is visible around the school - both visually and explicitly. According to a Secondary School teacher/National trainer. Mr Adebusola Adejokun says:
“Thinking skills are helping my students to think about their thinking; they think flexibly and engage in reflective learning. They learn collaboratively using relevant visual tools and solve problems with the application of habits of mind”.
Since the inception of becoming a Thinking School, the teachers and students are using higher order questioning technique; its attendant success in the academic performance of students across the school cannot be overemphasised. Over the last two years, members of the Drive Team have visited Thinking Schools in the UK and on return they have shared their experiences of observable practice in those schools with colleagues.
Awareness has also been created among parents through workshops and they are appreciative of the benefit of TS initiative. Having observed her child recently, a parent – Mrs Folake Ogunnaike said:
“Being a Thinking School is bringing out the best in my child; she is processing information more constructively and her level of creativity has been enhanced. She looks at issues from different perspectives, applies past knowledge to new situations, manages impulsivity and thinks and communicates with clarity and precision”.
During the Open House in March 2018 where we had over six thousand teachers in attendance from different schools across Nigeria, a familiarisation lecture was given and quite a number of schools are showing interest in becoming Thinking Schools. Wherever TS presentations were conducted, the eagerness displayed by teachers is encouraging.
Greensprings School is planning to set up committees to kick start the self-study towards accreditation of Thinking School Nigeria by the University of Exeter. We're feeling very positive about future developments both for our school and for Thinking Schools Nigeria.
Abraham Ogunkanmbi Head, Greensprings Training College, Lagos