What is

We do not always think as well as we could especially to make important decisions in our life; to solve problems; to respond creatively to certain circumstances; to exercise our judgment free from prejudice and bias. But our mind often tends to generate hasty, narrow-minded, vague, and tangled thinking. How can we help our own interests and those of others better by learning to think more carefully and well? And especially how can we teach this to students in school?
Effective thinking and learning requires systematic work to integrate the skills of three types of thinking: analytical, critical, and creative, and to learn how to do this in the context of  decision making and problem solving.
Thinking-Based learning (TBL) enhances the active role of students in doing all of this. The student learns to use complex and effective  thinking procedures to develop. organize, classify and and evaluate  ideas or concepts that they are learning help them in decision making and problem solving.

“It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.”

Rene Descartes

The central principle of TBL is the infusion of appropriate thinking skills and mental behaviors in the educational content of any type of subject. This makes students learn much more than they would have learned had they simply memorized the contents of their textbooks for the sole purpose of passing exams.

These skills are internalized through the frequent use of thinking strategy maps and special graphic organizers, designed to help organize types of thinking in a process that, step-by-step, accumulates information and leads to a well-thought-out and informed conclusion especially about what to do and how to solve a problem. And they get practice in doing this in working on longer projects and extending their thinking into good writing and into modes of figurative expression like developing metaphors.

“If all teachers realized that the quality of thinking, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something no less that a revolution in teaching would result.”

John Dewey

Using special questioning techniques, explicit thinking organizers, and a social learning format to support he careful and well founded extension of their knowledge both inside and outside the classroom

But most important is that TBL helps students practice doing all of this in the context of collaborative thinking, working together in groups of three, four or five with others who share and comment on their ideas, connected by a feeling of empathy and by the desire to seek together the best solution to any problem. Good thinking is social.

To achieve all of this, the role of teachers is key, to guide and motivate their , learning through open questions that activate their thinking, and bring them to a point where they can do all of this themselves, motivated by the desire to think and learn well.