Conference programme

The English track includes 10 presentations. Each presenter has shared their presentation and supporting materials on a specially designed padlet board. All the participants are welcome to access the boards from 15 to 29 August, ask questions and participate in the discussions. The synchronous online part will take place on 29-31 August and it will be built upon the results of participants' interaction.

Please log in to this website to be able to see the links to the board. You will be able to see the page with links in the menu on your left under conference programme. This is also where you will find a link for joining online sessions and recordings of the past sessions.

You can find the conference agenda below. 

Monday, 29 August, 17:00 - 19:00 (Riga time)

17:00 - 18:00 What makes a thinking curriculum? Discussion

Participants are asked to think of the following questions before the session:

  • how do you define the thinking curriculum?
  • would you say that the curriculum you follow is thinking?
  • what are the essential features of a thinking curriculum?
  • to what extent do you agree on the guide Alexander proposed for deciding whether a curriculum can be called thinking?

 18:00 - 19:00 Thinking curriculum: philosophical perspective. Workshop by Kristof van Rossem

  • do you agree with the list of competencies proposed by Kristof?
  • are there any competencies you would add / remove? Why?
  • are there other frameworks for thinking competencies you work with? Which ones?

Tuesday, 30 August, 17:00 - 19:00 (Riga time)

17:00 - 18:00 What does it mean to develop thinking skills in maths and science? Discussion

  • what are the commonalities and differences between the approaches to the development of thinking skills in maths and science presented at the conference?
  • to what extent do you think that presented approaches can be complimentary? Why (not)?
  • what are possible progression models for developing thinking skills in a maths curriculum? Is it the same in science curriculum? Does the vision of progresson differ across the presented approaches?

18:00 - 19:00 What does it mean to develop thinking skills in social science and humanities? Discussion

  • what are the commonalities and differences between the approaches to the development of thinking skills in social science and humanities presented at the conference?
  • what and why should we change to move towards a more thinking language curriculum? Is it the same in a social science curriculum?
  • what are possible progression models for developing thinking skills in a language curriculum? Is it the same in a social science curriculum?

Wednesday, 31 August, 17:00 - 19:00 (Riga time)

17:00 - 19:00 What are commonalities and differences between the approaches to the development of thinking skills presented at the conference? Discussion

  • what are the differences between the definition of thinking skills across the presented approaches?
  • what are the differences between the pedagogies underlying each of the presented approaches?
  • are there aspects of the approaches presented by your colleagues that can be beneficial for your approach? 


Reflecting on the thinking curricula: what seems to be essential? Dr. Alexander Sokol, TA Group, Latvia.


More and more curricula around the world focus on key competences. Thinking is often presented as one of such competences. But even when it is not explicitly featured, curricula documents often claim the development of learners’ thinking being an important objective.
How can we decide to what extent this or that curriculum can really support the development of learners’ thinking? Are there any essential features important to all thinking curricula? The author will propose the results of his reflection and invite the audience to critically respond based on their experience.

Curriculum decisions for thinking at preschool level. Dr. Ann Pihlgren, Ignite Research Institute, Sweden.


Preschool is the first stage of the school system. A well-constructed curriculum at this level, including strong implications for children’s thinking, will affect the results throughout the further school system. In Sweden such a national curriculum was presented in 2018. This paper presentation deals with the effects of implementing the curriculum in one municipality in Sweden. It is part of an on-going research project, showing a change in the preschool teachers’ way of approaching teaching and assessing. This report is a close-up didactic analysis of some particular teaching situations to shed light on how the teacher acts and what are the consequences in children’s thinking.

Thinking curriculum: philosophical perspective. Kristof Van Rossem, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Kristof Van Rossem

In this presentation we will discuss a list of thinking competencies that serve as the framework for exercises in critical thinking and philosophical dialogues. This curriculum can be set out in schools or educational contexts but as well within the framework of individual coaching or philosophical practise. It consists of 11 attitudes, 23 competencies on critical thinking and then some questioning skills.
Special attention is drawn to the Socratic style in questioning as it is embodied in 5 Socratic movements : positioning, arguing, listening, concretizing and abstracting and critically questioning. Especially the technique of questioning down and questioning up will be interesting to criticize.

Thinking in Syllabus Design: English as a Foreign Language, Grade 8. Irina Buchinska, Daugavpils Lyceum of Technologies, Latvia.


In modern educational approaches thinking is an integral part of any subject syllabus and consequently the learning and teaching process. Some issues connected with the students’ thinking skills development are how to introduce, develop and assess the thinking skills; how to make the students active participants of their thinking skills improvement within the language syllabus. The presentation will show samples of materials and tools to be used in the English language syllabus for Form 8 (learners aged 14-15 years old).

Thinking in designing language curriculum. Dr. Moharram Aghazadeh, CANI College of Education, Canada.

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In this package, we will offer the theoretical facets of a thinking curriculum with respect to cognitive, metacognitive, and constructivist approaches. Accordingly, actionable strategies and tools will be offered to the language education teachers. The package that we are going to prepare includes all those strategies that are game-changers in language education. Practically speaking, language curriculum objectives and its teaching and assessment methods will be affected by the proposed tools and strategies.
As could be expected, the results of the learned or experienced thought-load curriculum will be competent students and even teachers that are competent in employing their cognitive and metacognitive skills constructively.

Thinking through maths curriculum. Dr. Anna Ermakova, independent consultant, International. 


Traditional approaches to math curricula focus on content mastery, whereby expected learning outcomes (if any) are phrased in terms of students' knowledge and skills. Common improvements essentially retain this approach, while separately adding a list of 'competencies' or 'transversal skills' to the curriculum. This session will discuss an alternative: transposing mathematics competencies onto mathematics content, as an attempt to fully integrate the competency-based approach into expected learning outcomes. Through this model, we will wrestle with the question of whether it is realistic and effective for all expectations for students' learning in the math curriculum to be framed through the lens of competencies.

Physics: chasing the truth (learning physics through solving a chain of open-ended problems). Alexander Kamin, physics teachers, Kharkov, Ukraine.


The key task of teaching is exciting students’ interest. When the material is delivered in a standard way, the interest does not appear, because the basic knowledge is proposed as something ready, students' inquiry is not expected. An alternative is possible: at the beginning of studying the topic an open-ended problem is given. While discussing that problem the students discover the basic knowledge for themselves with the minimal help of the teacher. Thus students act as discoverers. Then the material is consolidated through solving closed problems.
An open problem is an inventive or research situation containing either ambiguity or an obvious contradiction.
In this package we will share examples of presenting the basic topics of the school Psysics course through open-ended problems.

Thinking through Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). Olga Krasheninnikova, Lenguateca, Andorra.


Whoever tried to teach TRIZ or apply OTSM-TRIZ technologies to teaching bilingual learners has come up with a wide range of difficulties such as lack of vocabulary for learning or even basic vocabulary, a huge difference in language proficiency among the students of one and the same group, etc.
The focus of this presentation will be to show how the two approaches, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and OTSM-TRIZ (General Theory of Powerful Thinking based on the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving), can work together to create a relevant, balanced and engaging environment for bilingual learners.

Epistemic inquiry: how to deepen thinking in the science curriculum. Alex Black, ABC Learning, Switzerland

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The concept of Epistemic Inquiry was inspired by and is a fusion of the lesson methodology of C.A.S.E and the ideas of Derek Hodson (2014) where he proposes a science curriculum should involve students “Learning Science, Learning about Science, Doing Science”. The big questions of Osborne and Kind (2016) “What exists? How do things happen? How do we come to Know? What should we do with this knowledge? The workshop shows how this fusion can be a key planning framework for a science curriculum. These ideas will be illustrated by interactive lesson simulations, where participants can understand how dialogic practices can use cognitive conflict and the critical engagement with different explanatory models of scientific phenomena. The final discussion will explore how these ideas can be applied in other curricular contexts. 

References: Hodson, D. (2014). Learning Science, Learning about Science, Doing Science: Different goals demand different learning methods. International Journal of Science Education, 36 (15), 2534-2553. Kind, P. and Osborne, J. (2017) Styles of scientific reasoning: a cultural rationale for science education? Science Education, 101(1), 8-31.

Critical Thinking in Social Studies: Moving Towards an Inquiry Based Curriculum. Lynne Rousom Lee, independent consultant, Canada.

Education continues to evolve from content-based curricula to those that emphasize the importance of critical thinking skills that benefit students in their academic journey and throughout life. An inquiry-based curriculum engages students and activates their curiosity. As teachers take on the role of facilitator, students move from passive to active learners in the process. Social Studies provides rich opportunities to engage students in making real-world connections as they creatively problem-solve, ask critical questions, collaborate with peers, and enhance their communication skills. This presentation will provide an overview of inquiry-based learning as a means to enhancing critical thinking skills in a Social Studies curriculum.

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