Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities

Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities


Suggested Reading

Here is some suggested reading on the topic of thinking skills. Some of these books focus more on the theory of thinking skills and personal capabilities and its place in the curriculum. Others have practical advice for teachers about implementing skills and capabilities in the classroom.




Beere, Jackie (2009)

The Competency Curriculum Toolkit: A Competency Curriculum Toolkit Implementing the PLTS at Key Stage 3 (Developing PLTS Through Themed Learning)

Practical suggestions for schools, endorsed by Mick Waters

Black, Paul et al. (2003)

Assessment for Learning: Putting it into Practice

A recent update by the founding group of Assessment for Learning (AfL) pioneers, containing a detailed digest of findings

Burden, Robert (2009)

Myself as a Learner Scale

A self-assessment tool for learners to diagnose their preferences and attitudes to learning

Burden, Robert and Williams, Marion(1998)

Thinking Through the Curriculum

Theoretical considerations and arguments detailing the pros and cons of different approaches to teaching thinking and its place in the curriculum, based on research from the University of Exeter group

Buzan, Tony (2003)

Mind Maps For Kids: An Introduction

A ‘How to do it’ introduction to using mind-mapping approaches in the classroom

Costa, Arthur L and Kallick, B (eds.) (2008)

Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success

A recent version of the celebrated Habits of Mind approach suggested by Costa

Coyle, Daniel (2009)

The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born It's grown

A more theoretical and research-informed version of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours

Craft, Anna

Creativity and Education Futures: Learning in a Digital Age

A recent analysis of creativity issues by a leading UK theorist and practitioner from the University of Exeter

Craft, Anna (2005)

Creativity in Schools: Tensions and Dilemmas

A detailed analysis of the issues facing schools that want to introduce creativity across the curriculum

Dawes, Lyn, Mercer, Neil, and Wegerif, Rupert (2004)

Thinking Together: A Programme of Activities for Developing Speaking, Listening and Thinking Skills for Children Aged 8–11 (Second Edition)

A how-to pack of materials for Thinking Skills

De A'Echevarria, Anne (2008)

Teaching Thinking Pocketbook

A handy digest of Thinking Skills techniques

Duncan, Sue et al.(eds.) (2004)

Thinking Skills Through Science

Part of a well-known set of materials in the Thinking Through series by the University of Newcastle group chaired by David Leat

Dweck, Carol S (2000)

Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology)

Dweck is known for her studies on the impact of expectations on educational progress and achievement

Fullan, Michael (2007)

The New Meaning of Educational Change (Fourth Edition)

A standard work on implications and issues of implementing educational reform

Gardner, Howard

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Twentieth Anniversary Edition)

A classic study of diversity in learning styles

Hattie, John (2008)

Visible Learning
a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement

A meta-analysis of a range of studies into effective strategies for teaching, summarising and digesting recent research findings

Johnson Stephen and Siegel, Harvey (2010)

Teaching Thinking Skills (Second Edition)

A debate on the subject of teaching thinking skills: Johnson provides an argument on questions such as Do thinking skills exist? and Can thinking skills be taught? while Siegel contributes a counter argument

Lucas, Bill and Claxton, Guy (2010)

New Kinds of Smart: How the Science of Learnable Intelligence is Changing Education

The leading UK-based practitioners of the Learning Power approach outline strategies for boosting achievement

Petty, Geoff (2009)

Evidence-Based Teaching A Practical Approach (Second Edition)

A collection of suggestions based on extensive research and observation of practice by highly-regarded academics

Pohl, Michael (2007)

Developing a Thinking Curriculum in Your School: A Handbook for Educators

An overview of issues facing schools in putting Thinking Skills at the centre of curriculum practice

Ritchhart, Ron, Church, Mark, and Morrison, Karin (2011)

Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners

A digest of effective outcomes from a Harvard project illustrating how Thinking Skills interventions work to drive school improvement

Rockett, Mel and Percival, Simon (2002)

Thinking for Learning

A record of the work done in the North East of England following the lead of David Leat and the teams associated with the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Newcastle.

Simister, C J (2007)

How to Teach Thinking and Learning Skills: A Practical Programme for the Whole School

A collection of materials aimed at supporting schools in selecting and implementing Thinking Skills approaches that are appropriate to their circumstances

Swartz, Robert and  McGuinness, Carol (2014).    

Developing and Assessing Thinking Skills 

Two commissioned reports for the International Baccalaureate Organisation. It’s downloadable from the IBO website.

Swartz, Robert, et al. (2010)

Thinking-Based Learning: Promoting Quality Student Achievement in the twenty-first century

Up-to-date analysis of implementing Thinking Skills approaches and their effectiveness in driving pupil achievement by leading theorists and practitioners in the Thinking Skills movement

Swartz, Robert, Larisey, Jacqueline and Kiser, Mary Anne (2000)

Infusion Lessons Teaching Critical and Creative Thinking in Language Arts

A collection of teacher-designed (US) lessons that combine deep content learning with careful, quality thinking to enhance content instruction

Swartz, Robert, and Parks, Sandra (1994)

Infusing the teaching of Critical and Creative Thinking into Content Instruction: A lesson Design handbook for the Elementary Grades

A detailed exposition of Bob Swartz' work on the infusion approach to teaching skilful thinking

Wiliam, Dylan (2009)

Assessment for Learning: Why, What and How?

A short overview of Wiliam’s thinking