The National Center for Teaching Thinking (NCTT) is an educational service organization providing workshops, staff development programs, and resources for schools and colleges interested in incorporating an emphasis on critical and creative thinking into their curriculum. NCTT has been in operation since 1992 when it became an independent non-profit organization. It was initially established in 1989 as a three-year pilot project that was supported by the Northeast Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement, one of the six federally funded education laboratories in the United States at the time.
NCTT has now established itself as a world leader in this field. One important specialty of NCTT is infusing the teaching of thinking into content instruction. Robert Swartz, presently an emeritus faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, directs the center. Since the early 1980s Professor Swartz's research, based on close work with a large number of classroom teachers, has focused primarily on this technique and he has published a number of books on this topic. Art Costa, former president of ASCD and faculty member at Sacramento State University, and David Perkins, of Project Zero at Harvard University, both active researchers in this field as well, are long-standing members of the board of directors. NCTT prides itself on basing its practical work, and the educational strategies and techniques it promotes in its workshops, on well-researched educational ideas and principles and well-tried and honed educational practices.
NCTT actively promotes instruction in schools and colleges that helps to develop students' thinking skills, intellectual habits of mind, and sensitivity to the need for good thinking on the job, in professional work, and in the course of our everyday lives. This is accomplished by an active program in which we work with and provide resources for educators at all levels using well-researched techniques for staff-development. NCTT conducts such programs year round.
One important message that NCTT-trained educators bring to their students is that they can become quality thinkers no matter what their social, ethnic, or economic backgrounds are. Hence, NCTT works at every level of the educational spectrum.
NCTT offers a number of different programs to schools and educators inclding but not limited to:
- custom-designed staff development programs
- specialty courses
- workshops and trainings
- and our yearly February Seminar and Summer Insitute
All of our programs draw upon a staff distinguished in the field from the USA and abroad. Teachers can earn certification as Thinking-Based Learning Teachers and schools can earn certification as a Thinking-Based Learning School. NCTT programming is both practice and research based and NCTT is happy to offer our programs anywhere in the world.
Our website offers a multitude of free resources, lessons, and units that can be used as models and tools for teachers and schools interested in trying out the techniques of Thinking-Based Learning. We also provide articles, research studies and other important resources related to the field. We also offer books and CD/ROMS written by some of the most distinguished names in the field.