Previous Events & Workshops

Launch Event

Turning Learning Around: Infusing the Teaching of Thinking into Content Instruction

A One-Day Workshop on 27 September and repeated 28 September 2013, Queen's University Belfast

Conducted by Robert Swartz, National Centre for Teaching Thinking, USA with Carol McGuinness, Queen’s University, Belfast.

International Conference on Thinking icon

15th International Conference on Thinking

20 - 24 June 2011, Queen's University Belfast

This conference brought together leading thinkers, researchers and practitioners to debate and discuss the nature of high quality thinking - how it can be cultivated and valued in education, in business, for healthy living, for sport and leisure, for sustainability, and for working and living in a democratic and just society.


RTU Summer School in Belfast:

Teaching and Assessing Thinking: Advancing classroom practice with reference to the NI Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities Framework

Led by Professor Carol McGuinness and Carol Weatherall

19 and 20 August 2014

The two-day workshop will focus on designing, teaching and assessing children’s thinking skills, with reference to the Northern Ireland Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities Framework.  It will be led jointly by Professor Carol McGuinness (School of Education, Queen’s University and Teaching Thinking Network in Ireland) and Carol Weatherall (Belfast Education and Library Board).  

The first day of the workshop will concentrate on how to design and teach thinking lessons, with specific reference to (1) finding contexts for embedding thinking skills into lessons, and (2) the teaching methods and approaches that can best  promote  how children learn how to think.   Special emphasis will be given to the role of metacognitive thinking.   Primary school teachers from Belfast schools, who have recently been working on the Thinking-Based Learning approach will showcase their work in the afternoon of the first day.   

The second day will concentrate on how to design criterion-referenced rubrics for assessing children’s thinking skills.  Rubrics for both thinking skills, thinking dispositions and metacognitive thinking will be introduced, with reference to progress maps in the NI Thinking Skills Framework.  Teachers are welcome to bring examples of their current thinking lessons and/or examples of children’s work that focus on their thinking, for discussion at the workshop.  The examples in the workshop  will be mostly from primary school teaching  though post-primary teachers (particularly from Key Stage 3) could also benefit from the workshop .

Further information and normal registration details for RTU Summer School at

Thinking-Based Learning Summer Institute in Benidorm, Spain 

Led by  Dr Robert Swartz from the National Centre for Teaching Thinking in Boston,  who presented a workshop for the TTNI in Belfast last September 

8-18 July 2014   

Each year the National Centre for Teaching Thinking (NCTT)  holds a Summer Institute, normally in Boston.  Because of the current levels of activity in Spanish schools, the NCTT Summer Institute will be held in Benidorm. 

The first week of the summer institute (8-12 July)  will be devoted to an in-depth examination of the instructional strategies that have made Thinking-Based Learning effective in schools around the world. These concepts will be introduced through demonstrations of TBL lessons on a number of different thinking skills infused into significant curricular content. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their own TBL lesson ideas for feedback in the course.

The second week (14-18 July) will focus on ways that TBL instruction can infused and assessed school-wide. The second week will also focus on how Thinking-Based Learning can be sequenced and coordinated across a school curriculum and subject areas for maximum effectiveness in achieving student internalization and regular use of the various critical and creative thinking skills that contribute to good thinking and good learning. It will also look at how thinking skill development be assessed both at the classroom level as well as school-wide.

For more information

Thinking Based Learning (TBL) Workshops:
Infusing the Teaching of Thinking into Content Instruction

Two workshops at Riddell Hall, Queen’s University, Belfast

Workshop 1: Monday 19 January 2015 (requires no previous TBL experience)

Workshop 2: Tuesday 20 January 2015 (requires some previous TBL experience)

Conducted by Robert Swartz National Centre for Teaching Thinking, USA, with Carol McGuinness Queen’s University, Belfast 

Robert Swartz is a leading international educator on thinking-based learning and has worked with teachers and schools around the world. He is an emeritus faculty member of the University of Massachusetts and Director of the National Centre for Teaching Thinking (NCTT). He has published numerous books and articles on this subject. Carol McGuinness is Professor of Psychology at Queen’s University and has previously worked with Northern Ireland teachers, developing thinking lessons through infusion (the ACTS project), and has advised CCEA on thinking aspects of the Northern Ireland curriculum. 

Robert Swartz

The workshops will show, through classroom demonstrations, how lessons can be designed and taught using an infusion methodology, where thinking and curriculum content are taught simultaneously. Participants will have the opportunity to come up with their own ideas about similar lessons in their own instructional context. Model lessons and lesson-design material, including specially-designed thinking organizers for use in such lessons, will be made available. The thinking-based learning approach is consistent with the Northern Ireland Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities Framework, and with the new emphasis on thinking in the Junior Cycle in the Republic of Ireland.

Carol McGuinness
 Both workshops are suitable for foundation stage teachers, primary and post-primary teachers, curriculum co-ordinators, curriculum designers, and teacher educators. Workshop 1 assumes no previous experience of TBL approaches (e.g., teachers have not attended previous workshops by either Robert Swartz or Carol McGuinness) while Workshop 2 is more advanced and assumes some previous attendance at workshops. Teachers can attend both workshops. Participants from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, and across the UK are very welcome to join the network and to attend the workshops.


The fee is £90 for a one-day workshop. If at least two teachers from the same school register for a workshop, the fee is £80 per teacher per day. If a teacher wants to register for both workshops, the fee is also £80 per day. Enrolment is limited to 40 participants per day.

How to Register

For registration information contact or register directly here.