CTT Summer Institute

CTT 2017 Summer Institute

“I couldn’t imagine that my students would be able to come up with such amazing ideas”

Ángela Guerrero
Colegio Aixa, Palma de Mallorca

This is what most of the teachers find out when applying TBL methodology in their regular classrooms. Thinking Based Learning has been adopted in schools all over the world for more than 20 years. It allows students to develop important thinking skills, and not just memory, that they use as they engage with the regular curriculum. That’s what prompts them to come up with ideas their teachers never thought they were capable of.

The digital era demands more of our students than rote, individual, learning. It demands of them that they are able to solve problems creatively and effectively working in teams, not alone, and drawing upon a variety of sources of information. For this they need to use a variety of analytic, critical, and creative thinking skills. All teachers, from teachers of 3 and 4 year old students, through 18 year old students, need to make teaching students these skills as important as teaching them important curricular content.

Program Overview:

Week 1: A basic introduction to Thinking-Based Learning that focuses on how to help students use important critical and creative thinking skills to deepen and extend their content learning. TBL lessons will be demonstrated and serve as a basis for participants developing their own TBL lesson ideas. In addition, during week 1 we will have a special presentation by Jose Blas and Antonio Marquez who are specialists in learning and inclusion classrooms.

Week 2: An exploration of ways of applying TBL to long-term curricular units, action-oriented project-based units, and to help students develop their emotional intelligence. Frameworks for skillful decision making and for creative problem solving will be introduced to facilitate the planning and design of such units.

Participants in the CTT Summer Institute 2017 can attend either Week 1 or Week 2 or both. Those that complete any of these options will receive a special certificate of completion by CTT and signed by Dr. Swartz.

Please visit http://teach-think.org/events/ctt-summer-institute for more information and to register!

Week 1

3rd July through the 7th of July, 2017.

Thinking-Based Learning in the Classroom

Instructors: Robert Swartz and Viridiana Barban

Graphic Organizer

Many schools today have recognized that the standard instructional methodology that emphasizes memory and rote learning, reinforced by standard textbooks, is ineffective in leading to either deep or lasting learning on the part of most of their students. The first week of the 2017 CTT Summer Institute will be devoted to an in-depth examination of the instructional strategies that have made Thinking-Based Learning extremely effective as an alternative in schools around the world.

In this first week we will focus on the important thinking skills that we need to teach students to become better thinkers, and the tools and techniques that you need to use in the classroom to make this kind of teaching effective. We will examine how to apply these in different grade level and content contexts for all learners in order to make learning these thinking skills meaningful and long-lasting. And we will show you can help your students to use these thinking skills to enrich their learning as they use them to engage with important curricular content. Thinking skills of analysis, of creative thinking, and of critical thinking will be covered during this week.

Teacher working with graphic organizer

Our approach in the institute is to do this through the demonstration of actual TBL lessons that teachers have developed on each of the thinking skills we cover. This will allow us to practice and analyze every TBL tool and technique through different examples, including the unique “graphic organizers” that provide students with organizational structures that can be used for each specific thinking skill as they engage with curricular content. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their own ideas for TBL lessons they can teach at their own grade levels and in any subject-area using TBL materials.

The way the TBL methodology helps students learn and use these thinking skills will improve their capacity to work cooperatively, build learning on their prior knowledge, enhance their reading, writing and communication skills, and in general, make learning meaningful and long lasting.

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

Week 2

From the 10th to 14th July, 2017

Extending Thinking-Base Learning

Instructors: Robert Swartz, Viridiana Barban, and Carol McGuinness

Graphic Organizers

This week will focus on translating the understanding of TBL methodology and of the specific thinking skills developed in Week 1 into organized and extended classroom practice that includes the use of coordinated clusters of thinking skills to make long-term curricular units, and extended problem-solving and project work more effective. We will emphasize the use of both creative thinking and critical thinking in such units. And we will explore ways of assuring the effective inclusion of all students in such TBL learning experiences.

In our exploration of ways of creating such units we will pay special attention to new curriculum innovations that focus on teaching for the future: on 21st Century issues like preservation of the environment and the challenges of forming multicultural communities. These themes are often undertaken today without the specific use by students of thinking skills that can enrich and deepen the learning accomplished in such units and the effectiveness of their results.

Organized planning strategies for the efficient development of such extended units by teachers will be presented and reviewed, and participants will have the opportunity to develop their own plans for sequencing the use of TBL skills into such units.

Apple Graphic Organizer

We will also introduce into this week an exploration of how thinking can interweave with the emotional lives of our students to help them develop high levels of emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is an increasingly high-demand skill for both future professionals and ordinary members of society. But is there any way we can help our students to develop such an skill? Thinking and emotions are strongly related to the point that our beliefs affect our emotions and our emotions affects our actions and achievement. Many students struggle or underachieve at school due to a emotional issues. In this course you, as teacher, will learn how to work, improve and develop a healthy relationship between your students and their emotions so that they can work in favor of their development. But further, you will get the needed tools to identify some possible hidden emotions that could be affecting your students’ behavior or achievement. These will become valuable tools to help students solve problems like bullying, loss of motivation, and anxiety when passing tests.

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.

2017 Summer Institute Faculty:

Robert Swartz

Robert Swartz

Robert Swartz, Director of the National Center for Teaching Thinking, USA, with two branch offices in Spain. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1963 and is an emeritus faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Boston (retired in 2002), where he was chairman of the Philosophy Department and founded the master’s program on Critical and Creative Thinking. He has worked extensively over the past thirty years with teachers, schools, school districts, and colleges internationally in staff-development projects on restructuring curriculum and instruction by infusing critical and creative thinking into content teaching. His most recent published book, of which he is the lead author of a team of five, including Art Costa, Bena Kallick, Barry Beyer, and Rebecca Reagan, is Thinking-Based Learning, published in 2007, reprinted in 2010, and translated into Spanish in 2013. He has also written numerous other books, articles and publications.

Viridiana Barban

Viridiana Barban

Viridiana has a master’s degree in education and her undergraduate major was biology. She has had more than ten years’ experience as a science and biology teacher. She is also experienced in diagnosis and education of gifted students, and in evaluating the effectiveness of teaching thinking infused into content instruction. Viridiana is a certified thinking-based learning teacher, coach, and trainer and she has trained extensively in Spain and other countries in Latin America. She is a researcher and specialist in the use of TBL material in the classroom and in TBL-infused curriculum development. Among other projects she has worked on translation for the book, “Thinking-Based Learning: Promoting Quality Student Achievement in the 21st Century” (Spanish version) and she is one of the co-authors of the book “Thinking-Based Learning in the Classroom: A Lesson Design Handbook for Grades 5 and 6” forthcoming during the fall or winter of 2015. Viridiana has also been the presenter of numerous different educational congresses and presentations.

Carol McGuinness

Carol McGuinness

Carol’s research is on the application of psychology to educational contexts with a specific focus on developing students’ capacity to think across-the-curriculum. She has devised professional development programmes for teachers who are about to embark on thinking developments in their classrooms and schools. She was director of the ACTS (Activating Children’s Thinking Skills) research project in Northern Ireland and helped to launch similar projects in Wales, England and Scotland. She is a regular faculty member of the Centre for Teaching Thinking Annual Summer Institutes in Boston, and now in Spain. With Bob Swartz, she has completed three reports for the International Baccalaureate Organisation on developing and assessing thinking in their three international programmes. She has a specific interest in early years education and has co-edited a recent book with colleagues on Playful Teaching and Learning (Sage, 2017). She has been invited to contribute to discussions on the OECD’s Education 2030 project on key competences in the curriculum.

José Blas García Pérez

José Blas García Pérez

Jose am currently a teacher with a degree in Psychopedagogy from the University of Murcia and I have a master’s degree in Education and Audiovisual Communication by the UNIA (Universidad Internacional de Andalucía). Currently, I work as a teacher in the Hospital Classrooms of the Region of Murcia and as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of Murcia. You can read more about Jose at, http://www.jblasgarcia.com/p/autor.html


Antonio Marquez

Antonio Marquez

Antonio Marquez has been a teacher specialized at inclusive pedagogy for the last 12 years. He works in the team for Blind and Visual Disabled students at Granada. He is also a coordinator at online movements in favor of real inclusion as “Tertulias con Sabor a Chocolate”, “MesasNEE” and “Equipo de Visuales de Granada”. From his blog, http://www.siesporelmaestronuncaaprendo.blogspot.com.es, he works in favor of making inclusion a reality at our classrooms by proposing strategies, methodologies and a new view on how to really organize our schools to be inclusive and offer effective learning for everybody.

Please visit teach-think.org/events/ctt-summer-institute/ for location and pricing information and to register!