Pre conference workshops

Pre-Conference Workshop 1 - THINKING TO LEARN

Robert Swartz and David Perkins

This day-long workshop will help teachers develop their students' thinking abilities and dispositions and deepen their students' content learning at the same time. Its theme of thinking to learn emphasises infusing thinking strategies into regular content learning so that both thinking and content understanding advance.

The workshop interweaves the results of two complementary staff-development projects. One project foregrounds simple thinking strategies called thinking routines for building understanding, along with a range of other practices for creating a culture of thinking in the classroom.  The other project foregrounds teaching students strategies for skillful thinking constructed in the classroom by defining, with the students, ways that specific and important types of thinking like comparing and contrasting, prediction, and decision making can be engaged in with skill. Students are then guided, through the use of a variety of classroom techniques, to apply these regularly in the classroom to think deeply about appropriate curricular content. Both of these approaches move students beyond rote learning, show documented enhancement of deep content learning, and serve to develop habits of analytical, critical, and creative thinking in students.

We will present these as complementary approaches to bringing thinking into a curriculum that are based on three overarching instructional principles:

  • We should make thinking strategies visible and explicit in the   classroom.
  • We should engage students in the use of such active strategic thinking about curricular content.
  • We should help students extend this to develop powerful thinking habits that they use not only in school but in their lives outside of school.

We will show specifically, through concrete classroom examples, not only how each of these principles play out in the classroom in each of these approaches, but also how the two approaches can be combined for very rich content and thinking payoff. 

Participants will have the opportunity to develop their own ideas for the use of these approaches either separately, or in combination, in their own teaching.  Resource material for classroom use in implementing these ideas will be made available to participants.  


Guy Claxton

Building Learning Power (BLP) shifts what happens in schools and lessons so that students experience a gradual strengthening of their confidence and capacity as real-world learners - at the same time as preserving and enhancing their levels of educational achievement. It offers detailed, scientifically-grounded frameworks and practical, tried-and-tested suggestions to help teachers change the requisite habits, and schools to build, over time, strong cultures of enquiry and independence. This workshop offers a condensed introduction to the tools and possibilities of BLP.

Pre-Conference Workshop 3 - PROCESSES FOR LEARNING

Lane Clark

All ‘subject’ learning, requires the attainment of knowledge, skills and processes. Unfortunately, in most curriculum documents, it is only the knowledge and skills that are explicitly identified and catered for.  The exclusion of process outcomes has significant implications on the thinking and learning outcomes achieved by learners. 

 Successful learning requires the knowledge of, and the ability to, progress through a wide variety of learning processes.  Effective problem solving can be promoted through the use of a problem solving process. Quality writing can be enhanced through the use of a publishing process; the ability to engage in effective, valid investigation, can be improved with the use of an investigatory process; the use of a technology process can advance the capacity to produce innovative, quality products.

Processes provide learners with a picture of the ‘whole’ while enabling them to focus their attention on the ‘parts’. When represented graphically, and when owned by the learner, processes de-mystify learning. Confusion and incomplete thinking is avoided; quality is promoted; self-direction, responsibility, accountability and autonomy are explicitly facilitated. What if all learners were empowered with processes for learning?

In this one-day workshop you will:

•examine the following learning processes:

Authorthink publisher’s process:A framework for quality publishing

Sciencethink investigative process:A framework for quality investigation

Solutionthink problem solving process:A framework for solving problems or meeting challenges

Techthink design process:A framework for innovative design and quality production

Thinkit discovery process:A framework for the independent discovery of base characteristics

Thinkitgreat discovery process:A framework that extends and refines the discovery of base characteristics

Futurethink discovery process:A framework for responsible future prediction, ownership and active citizenship

 •explore the ways in which processes for learning promote independence and self direction; address differentiation; advance quality; and facilitate curricular integration

 •develop your knowledge and understanding of a diversity of processes for learning and the learning jobs that each specifically support

 •develop your knowledge and understanding of the ways in which a diversity of  learning processes can layer together to promote more rigorous, powerful learning

 •develop your ability to select the most effective learning process, or processes, according to the learning job required; and transition this skill to your learners

 •learn how to introduce processes for learning to your students and transition learning process ownership from the teacher to the learner

 •develop your ability to design ‘stage’ criteria that will enable your learners to use each learning process at a level commensurate with their specific developmental level

•learn how to facilitate students in the self assessment of their process learning skills; their goal setting, monitoring, evaluation against evidence; and repetition of the process

Don’t miss this session. Learner engagement, enablement and empowerment are only a few learning processes away!



Art Costa and Bena Kallick

Efficient, creative problem solvers display certain dispositions or Habits of Mind.  In this workshop a habit will be defined and twelve of the Habits of Mind that distinguish effective thinkers will be described.   Their origins, their relationship to the curriculum and their place in culture of the school will be discussed.   Teaching for Habits of Mind requires a mind-shift about teaching strategies.   Classroom instructional techniques, teaching strategies and school conditions intended to develop Habits of Mind will be presented and demonstrated.

Minimum numbers are required for workshops to run.  Please click on Registration Details to book these workshops.