CTT Director’s Message

The National Center for Teaching Thinking became an independent non-profit educational service organization in 1992. In the 1990s it served a wide variety of schools in the USA on teaching thinking. But now, in the 21st Century, things have changed. There is a worldwide feeding frenzy on infusing thinking into content instruction. Hence, NCTT has been serving a wide variety of schools worldwide in training programs to help teachers and schools infuse critical and creative thinking into their standard content instruction. These have included the USA, UK, Spain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, and Venezuela. NCTT is proud of the work it has done, and continues to do, to improve the education of children so that they become both better thinkers and better learners. But now, because of the increased and increasing number of countries that NCTT is serving, it is changing.


First, in name: NCTT will become CTT on July 1st. The dissonance between the name of our organization and the large, international program it now runs, has become unacceptable. We are becoming, simply, the Center for Teaching Thinking, or CTT. CTT will retain its USA main office, but will continue to serve teachers, schools, and universities as the Center for Teaching Thinking from now on.


But second, even though CTT will carry on the central focus of NCTT staff-development now, the Thinking-Based Learning Project (TBL), it will expand its offerings on teaching thinking. TBL is a wide and expansive new methodology for learning now in many schools, not only with regard to classroom instruction, but also in the development of the school as a “Thinking School”. And more and more research about such attempts to infuse thinking into content instruction, especially school-wide, is showing how this methodology boosts student learning. TBL has had a great deal of success cutting across countries, ethnic groups, and religions.


But CTT will also add on programs that explore other projects aimed at bringing thinking into schools. There are a number of new programs related to thinking that many schools are interested in, and we will start offerings trainings, and explorations of their relation to TBL. The first of these will be a an offering of a two-day workshop in which David Perkins, of Project Zero at Harvard, will join me for an offing of what we call Thinking to Learn. In this workshop we look at the roles of TBL and the Project-Zero based Visible Thinking Program, a program which embraces the use of “Thinking Routines” to bring out good thinking in classroom activity. More details about this workshop, to be held in Seville, will be issued after the 1st of September, 2015.


Finally, CTT will become a center for the exploration of ways of enriching and enhancing the processes of problem-solving and decision making in Problem-Based and Project-Based programs.


As a vehicle for these offerings, CTT will offer all of the types of programs it has continued to offer in the 21st Century: its July summer institute, February Seminar, a wide variety school-based projects, as well as a variety of special programs on teaching thinking during the school year.


I look forward to an expansive involvement with schools and teachers in bringing instruction in thinking into their classrooms. CTT will strive to become the major organization in the world to provide this sort of teacher and school development programs.


Robert Swartz
June 22, 2015