A glimpse into what the National Thinking Classroom Award means for a school:
The best thinking takes place in a collaborative classroom, where pupils are all aiming to better understand the subject matter rather than individually compete to give the right answer.
Good thinking goes hand in hand with good questioning. Even when we are thinking on our own, we question ourselves. In class questions help students to reflect on and re-evaluate their own and others' thoughts to move beyond their initial assumptions into a more nuanced position and deeper understanding.
Critical thinking needs demystifying for teachers and pupils. Words like argument, analysis, conceptualise, synthesis and evaluation are used but what do they mean? And how can we teach them? Through years of practice and research on The Philosophy Foundation’s method of philosophical enquiry TPF have answered these questions and are already delivering change in schools across the UK.
The National Thinking Classroom Awards are set up to support schools to enable students to think philosophically – that is, to think well for themselves, to help them guard themselves against fake news, propaganda, and the influence of others.
The Awards celebrate and support schools that provide a ‘space to think’ for pupils to practice thinking critically and hone skills that they can then apply across the curriculum, and a place to use their democratic voice and to learn to use it responsibly.
A National Thinking Classroom Award school allows pupils to practice thinking well and to develop critical thinking skills to help them do so, but mostly, it gives pupils permission to think for the sake of thinking.