Teaching Thinking: An Agenda for the Twenty-First Century

Teaching Thinking: An Agenda for the Twenty-First Century

Teaching Thinking: An Agenda for the Twenty-First Century

Teaching Thinking: An Agenda for the Twenty-First Century


Comprehensively addressing the development of thinking from a wide variety of perspectives, this volume presents original work from cognitive psychologists, curriculum specialists, federal government and business leaders, politicians, educational theorists, and other prominent figures specializing in this complex field. These experts provide directives for teacher education, textbook development, classroom activities, administrative policies, publication procedures, business connections, community education strategies, and whole school projects as sample plans of action. Designed to spark adoptions of the solutions it proposes, this book suggests significant steps that can be taken to move toward more advanced thinking instruction in our educational systems.


For most people, thinking represents a true contradiction. These individuals know how to think, but know little about what thinking is, how they learned to think, and whether or not they are good at thinking. They would agree that it is a crucial ability, but yet these same persons are not concerned that they know so little about thinking.

Why this is so is certainly a matter of conjecture. Consider if you will, however, the following circumstances. Most adults received little or no education or training in how to think. The teaching of thinking per se is not part of the preparation process for either elementary or secondary teachers. The majority of school curricula do not significantly address the topic. Most people probably have more erroneous, than correct, ideas about thinking.

At present, thinking is the purview of neither parents nor educators. Parents know little about thinking, and assume that if it needs to be formally taught, then the schools will handle it. Some parents also incorrectly believe that thinking can't be taught. They would contend that either a person has or does not have the ability to think well.

Educators similarly operate with a false set of assumptions. Many teachers know little about thinking. It has not been part of their own education, and they are unsure as to which content area owns thinking. Also, because in most schools thinking is not taught as a separate entity, some individuals then feel it is not meant to be taught in the schools. Others may contend that since it is not taught as a discipline, then every teacher probably deals with some dimensions of thinking. Regrettably, even if this were true, what is frequently everyone's business becomes no one's business. Thus, the teaching of thinking does not occur in . . .

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