The CTI Philosophy

Many teachers are seeking to change their practices to support active learning and critical thinking. They want to challenge their students not just to memorize, but also to question, examine, create, solve, interpret, and debate the material in their courses. Such teaching is now widely recognized as “best practice.” Studies show that active classes, so long as they are purposeful and well organized, are the ones in which students learn the material most fully and usefully. Learning fully and usefully means that students can think about what they learn, apply it in real situations or toward further learning, and can continue to learn independently (Gardner, 1993; Marzano, 2001). Learning that can be used and that endures is a far better investment of the teacher’s time and the community’s funds than learning that leaves students passive, that tires the teacher with its routine, and that is soon forgotten because it is not practiced or built upon.

The work of CTI is dedicated to the practice of lively teaching that results in active learning and critical thinking. We demonstrate and explain a well organized set of strategies for teaching that invites and supports learning. In our workshops we present a large set of teaching practices, but we also help teachers form judgments about teaching and learning so that they can use the right practices with the students in the subject or subjects they teach.

CTI workshops present strategies for teaching and learning that can be used from upper primary school through secondary school and university. The approaches can be used with all subjects in the curriculum, including the study of cross-cutting issues, i.e. important contemporary problems that do not easily fit into traditional academic disciplines.

Since students learn by making meaning--by making sense, exploring and inquiring--teachers should encourage students to inquire. Educators should model and teach how to investigate, question, seek and examine information. Since the act of learning changes learners’ old ideas and expands their capacity to learn new things, teachers should motivate and encourage students to reflect on what they have learned, examine its implications, apply it in some useful way, and modify their way of thinking about the topic.