Innovations in Thinking and Learning
Building a Thinking Classroom
The purpose of this resource is to introduce educators to three approaches that lead to deep learning: Knowledge Building, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, and Integrative Thinking. This type of learning is essential to prepare students to be happy and successful now and in their future lives because it focuses on problem solving and developing critical modes of thinking. Each pedagogy helps students develop the competencies they need to become responsible and contributing global citizens.
This resource introduces the key ideas of each approach through the words of the founding thinkers. Primary, junior, intermediate and senior classroom examples illustrate what effective teaching and learning might look like through the lens of each approach.
You will see co-learning, collaboration, inquiry, authentic learning, real-life application of learning, deep thinking and reflection, self-assessment, cross-curricular application of the approaches, technology as a tool, students as change agents, and more.
You will hear diverse voices of cutting edge educators and learners pushing themselves to be the best they can be. Educator, parent and student reflections add personal stories that illustrate the powerful impact of these approaches. Lastly, you will see how these three approaches compliment each other and how they engage all learners.
New Pedagogies for Deep Learning is a global innovation partnership dedicated to transforming learning by building capacity within classrooms, schools, districts and countries so that every child can develop the global competencies of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, character and citizenship. This resource explores how NPDL is fostering deep learning and features learners who are contributing to the common good, addressing global challenges and flourishing in a complex world.
Together with educators, students and families as partners, we will “engage the world to change the world”.
Knowledge Building empowers learners of all ages to work creatively with ideas, solve problems collaboratively, and create community knowledge together. Grounded in research by Dr. Marlene Scardamalia and Dr. Carl Bereiter, the 12 Knowledge Building Principles provide a flexible framework for educators to cultivate a community-oriented classroom where all voices are respected and honoured and all ideas are viewed as improvable. Knowledge Building brings collaborative innovation into classrooms, while helping young learners develop 21st century skills essential for success in our increasingly globalized world.
Integrative Thinking is an approach to creative problem solving. It is at once a mindset, a methodology and a pedagogy. Developed by Roger Martin, Integrative Thinking is based on the insight that tension – the struggle we feel when we have to make our most difficult decisions – is an opportunity for innovation and creativity. Fundamental to the practice is the ability to see our ideas for what they are — our own interpretations and simplifications of the world around us — and as only one piece of a much larger puzzle. We approach problem solving in a collaborative environment, seeking other points of views and insights to open new possibilities.
With a focus on collaboration and critical thinking, Beth Grosso, grade 4 teacher, reflects on how she sets the conditions for learning in her classroom using an approach blending Integrative Thinking, Knowledge Building and New Pedagogies for Deep Learning.