CTT Summer Institute




bob becky carol viridiana Fernando Trujillo


The much-acclaimed CTT Summer Institute is in its 25th year and is designed for educational practitioners at all levels.

2016 topics will include:

  • Infusing Critical and Creative Thinking Across the Curriculum
  • Deepening Project-Based Units by Infusing Thinking Skills
  • Thinking for Emotional Intelligence


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Week 1: Thinking Based Learning: Lesson Designa nd Instructional Techniques


Monday, July 11, 2016 – Friday, July 15, 2016 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

2 boys working on a cmopanre and contrast excercise

Instructors: Robert Swartz, Rebecca Reagan, and Viridiana Barban


The following topics will be covered during Week 1:


  1. What is Thinking-Based Learning (TBL)?
  2. How can we teach skillful critical and creative thinking?
  3. How can thinking skills be infused into content instruction?
  4. Basing Good Writing on Good Thinking.
  5. How can effective TBL lessons be designed and taught across the curriculum?


Many schools today are recognizing that the standard instructional methodology that emphasizes memory and rote learning is ineffective in leading to either deep or lasting learning on the part of most of their students. This week of the 2016 CTT Summer Institute will be devoted to an in-depth examination of the instructional strategies that have made Thinking-Based Learning effective as an alternative in schools around the world.


TBL will be introduced to the participants in this course through demonstrations of TBL lessons on a number of different thinking skills infused into significant curricular content.


In particular we will show how you can weave the following together to produce a powerful classroom methodology that yields rich thinking, deep understanding, and lasting learning when students use these newly-developed thinking skills to engage with important content:


Teacher Assisting Student to write on graphic organizer

  • Developing explicit strategies for making thinking skillful
  • Recording our thinking on special graphic organizers
  • Working together in collaborative thinking groups
  • Making the classroom into a community of thinkers working together
  • Self-guidance based on metacognitive refection
  • Basing good writing on good thinking


The classroom demonstrations of TBL lessons will include a number of analytical, critical, and creative thinking skills infused into content instruction at different grade levels and in different subject areas. Participants will have a chance to develop their own ideas for TBL lessons based on what they regularly teach.


Week 1 is the first step in the process of being certified as a TBL teacher.





Monday, July 18, 2016 to Friday, July 22, 2016 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM


Instructors: Robert Swartz, Fernando Trujillo, and Carol McGuinness


The following topics will be covered during Week 2:


  1. Organized Mapping of TBL into Curricular Units for Deep Understanding.
  2. Infusing TBL into Problem/Project – Based Units
  3. The Role of Thinking in Helping Students Manage their Emotions: Opportunities in the Curriculum to Help Develop Emotional Intelligence


This week will focus on translating the understanding of the TBL methodology and of the specific Adding material to a graphic organizer for the rest of the class thinking skills developed in Week 1 into organized and extended classroom practice. This includes:


  • Long-term curricular units that aim at students’ deep and extended understanding of important curricular themes
  • Students’ extended problem solving or project work that aims at effective solutions to problems and the development of important products
  • Education that aims at students’ awareness, understanding, and the effective and intelligent guidance of their emotions through the use of both critical and creative thinking.


This course will move beyond designing and teaching individual lessons that infuse specific critical and creative thinking skills into content instruction and demonstrate how you can select and implement an organized sequence of thinking skills into extended student-based instructional units. Models of such units that emphasize curricular themes at various grade levels will be analyzed, and participants will have the opportunity to develop their own plans for sequencing the use of TBL skills to promote achieving deep, accurate, and original understandings in exploring similar themes.


In addition, we will focus on the development of new project-based units, now often undertaken without the explicit integration and use of specific thinking skills, and show how you can also structure important sequences of creative and critical thinking skills into the operation of such units to make them more effective. Models of such TBL infused units will be demonstrated and participants will have the opportunity to develop their own unit plans.


To close the couGroup of students working on Graphic Organizers.rse we will explore ways of structuring extended units on the theme of emotional intelligence. This theme stresses helping students use appropriate thinking skills in contexts that are charged with emotion in ways that help them develop distanced management of their emotions. A model for thinking-based emotional intelligence will be developed and illustrated through examples from the curriculum. We will then consider ways of helping students transfer these techniques to focus on the role of emotions in their lives, including their lives in school. Participants will, again, be given the opportunity to develop their own ideas for infusing TBL thinking skills into such curricular contexts in their own classrooms.


This course is a natural complement to Week 1. It will be structured so that participants who have not attended Week 1 but have had some experience with TBL in other contexts will also be able to participate fully. These applicants who have had experience with TBL will be given priority over applicants for the course with no experience in TBL,


Cost, Accomodation, and Location Information


This year we have decided to have the 25th annual Summer Institute in Madrid, Spain which is a more centrally located city and we hope you will enjoy your stay. Madrid is one of the most vibrant and wonderful cities in the world and we do hope you can join us in July to enjoy the beautiful weather, the flowers, and the other participants in what we are sure will be a highly engaging Summer Institute!



The cost of the 2016 program depends on when you register and for how many weeks. We received feedback from last year asking for discounts if you select both weeks when you register so we have implemented that for you. Also, as usual, if you register before April 15, 2016 you receive a discount as well. Please follow the directions below if you fall into one of these groups, discount packages cannot be combined.

Early Bird Special: If you register before April 15, 2016 you will receive $50.00 off your registration.

Please use the Early Bird pull down menu to register below.

If you register for both weeks at once you will receive $195.00 off your registration price. Please use the pull down menu for both weeks below.

For all others the cost is $795.00 per week.



We have partnered with the NH Hotel Group and are offering rooms at the NH Paseo de la Habana in Madrid for the following rates:

Single room: 81 € (breakfast included)

Double room: 104 € (breakfast included)

The address of the hotel is

Paseo de la Habana , 73

28036 Madrid

Please use this link to book your rooms, www.nh-hotels.com.


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