Plenary sessions

Friday, 19 September
Conference Hall "Lielupe"


13:30 – 13:45   Official Opening. Welcome from the Ministry of Education & Culture, Riga City Council and Nordic Council of Ministers

13:45 – 14:30   Dr. Alexander Sokol, TA Group, Latvia.

Competences for Teaching Thinking

Despite overall concern with learning, many researchers agree that teachers matter. As people present here are concerned with thinking, one can assume that we believe that a thinking teacher matters. Do we agree, however, who we are speaking about? To what extent are our approaches complimentary? Where can we collaborate and where do we fundamentally disagree? There are many paths one might take to answer these questions. In this talk, I will speak of a thinking teacher and try to draw a portrait of this teacher as understood within the Thinking Approach to teaching and learning.


14:30 – 15:15   Susan Granlund, Kirkonkylä Primary School, Finland & Kirsi Urmson, Rauman Normaalikoulu, Finland. 

A Step towards Implementing the Thinking Approach

The aim of this presentation is to describe the Nordplus-funded STEP course, aimed at helping teachers to introduce the thinking element into their teaching. We organized this in Finland for Finnish teachers.
As relative novices ourselves we were working on the basis of our own experiences of the Thinking Approach (TA), both theoretical and practical, and our aim was to help the teachers as much as possible to actually to start using TA in the classroom.  We will describe the kind of working methods we used, the response of our participants and the outcomes, as well as the problems which we, as trainers, and our participants, as beginners, had along the way. We will present feedback and ideas for the future, with an aim to finding ways of making the process of implementing TA a more genuinely practical alternative for teachers in the classroom.


15:15 – 16:00  Dmitry Kucharavy, Seecore Project, France.

Getting Prescient Knowledge

The paper is focused on a question: What can be done for getting prescient knowledge?  Another question: Why it is inevitable to use prescient knowledge for effective educational management? – is also partly addressed.  The problem of effective management of education is suggested from a certain perspective. Some hypotheses, for predicting the future societal needs reliably, are suggested using systematic and intuitive methods. Practical evidence for suggested hypothesis and some interim results about getting prescient knowledge for socio-technological changes are presented.


16:00 – 16:30   COFFEE BREAK


16:30 – 17:15   Stuart Twiss and Lynda Maple, Let's Think Forum, UK.

Let's Think: Cognitive Acceleration

We will introduce you to the Let’s Think approach and how it developed from evidence based Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education to become an intervention for children from age 4 to 14 across maths, science and English.
We will show you how children are challenged and supported in Let’s Think through collaboration with their peers to construct new reasoning and reflect on their learning. We will describe the model of support used in the training for schools, which is aimed at sustaining and continuing Let’s Think practice beyond the training.
We will justify why this type of intervention is necessary and the evidence of its impact over many years.
You will be challenged yourself and see first hand the challenges students face.
The key note will be a guide into the other two Let’s Think workshops that will also be presented at the conference.


17:15 – 18:00   Prof. Bengt Lennartsson, Linköping University, Sweden.

Thinking-Based Footprints in Scandinavia from the 13th ICOT.

From 1st ICOT 1982, a community has emerged, influenced in particular by de Bono’s Lateral Thinking [1], Senge’s Team Learning [2], and Gardner’s & Perkins’ experience from Project Zero [3]. The concepts were spread by the ICOTs in USA, New Zeeland, Australia and UK, and from 2007 also in Scandinavia. Already before 2007 there were many connections from Sweden to the portfolio assessment used in New Zeeland, and project zero’s Visible Thinking [4] established at Lemshaga Academy. Bill Martin and James Nottingham, both visiting Sweden for the first time, have later been heavily involved in school development efforts in Sweden, within the concept OUR Education Network, OUR [5], as well as in Visible Learning plus, VL+, developed from John Hattie’s Meta Studies [6]. Both OUR and VL+ are multiyear school development packages. OUR is mainly focusing on the change management and VL+ on relations between teachers and individual pupils. The experience so far will be presented shortly.


18:00 – 18:45   Linda O'Toole, Universal Education Foundation, Learning for Well-Being, Belgium and USA.

Naturally Unique: Encouraging Creativity and Metacognitive Skills in Family Environments.

As parents and educators we know that every child is naturally unique. Our challenge is to remember, and find ways to enhance the well-being and creativity of children within the web of relationships in which they live. This presentation explores a perspective for addressing these challenges within families.

The presentation aims to inspire new ways of looking at inner diversity and the context of the family as a mutual learning environment in which adults and children act as co-creative partners.



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