- Recognising the importance of transfer
One of the major recommendations is that all teachers who will be part of this programme need to realise the importance of, and therefore integrate, transfer as part of the T.S. sessions. This can be done as closure for any thinking lesson. In this way, the pupils will be facilitated and guided towards using and adopting the thinking tools not only in the T.S. session, but also in class while doing other subjects, at home when deciding upon something and so on. The aim is that the T.S. should become a familiar way of solving problems, designing new scenarios or objects, and dealing with any type of situation. Transfer is one step towards developing a culture of thinking, where regardless of age or academic ability, all pupils become good thinkers, not only in the classroom but in a variety of contexts.
- Emphasis on process and not content
When the project was delivered with the Experimental group, too much emphasis was placed on the material. In fact, four lessons were dedicated to the project which was prepared towards the end of the fourteen week T.S. sessions. The focus of the class then shifted from thinking to crafts, with the children eager to work on the project by doing drawings and craft. This should not be allowed to repeat itself as the emphasis in the T.S. sessions should not be on the content but on the process of the thinking exercise. The content should be merely the means whereby pupils are enabled to adopt and use one thinking tool or other.
- Thinking is to be differentiated from intelligence
Thinking is to be differentiated from intelligence and should be viewed as a skill rather than as innate ability. Sigel states that "Intelligence refers to ability or competence, whereas thinking comprises skills for analysis, synthesis, evaluation, problem solving, categorization, and different types of reasoning �."
- Modelling of exemplary behaviour
When teaching thinking teachers should attempt to model the same qualities and behaviour that they would like pupils to develop. In this manner, the impact of the direct teaching of thinking on pupils could be enhanced through imitation and emulation of teachers who pupils could view as good thinkers.
- Reflective Thinking Journals
Teachers should encourage pupils to keep thinking journals in which they can reflect on the process of their thinking. This could facilitate and encourage the transfer of thinking skills to other contexts outside the classroom with questions such as "Where are there similar situations outside school where I can use the thinking tools?"
- Creative Climate
It is evident that the impact of the direct teaching of thinking is improved when a climate is created within the classroom where pupils feel safe in the knowledge that they will not be indiscriminately criticised but, rather, praised for their efforts and individuality. A culture of trust should be developed where risk taking is permitted and encouraged. Risk taking entails an environment that is non-judgmental and where pupils feel that information can be shared without fear that it will be used to evaluate their success or failure.
- The Direct Teaching of Thinking
It is of paramount importance to keep in mind the fact that research demonstrates that "learning how to think is not an automatic by-product of studying certain subjects, assimilating the products of someone else's thinking, or simply being asked to think about a subject or topic." Moreover, "we must employ direct, systematic instruction in these [thinking] skills prior to, during and following student instruction to and use of these [thinking] skills in our classrooms." Otherwise, if teaching thinking is limited to other subjects in the curriculum, pupils will tend to concentrate on the detail of the subject matter being dealt with and the actual teaching of thinking will be obscured with the result that pupils will not master the skills involved in engaging in serious thinking and developing their potential for thinking.
This action research report comprises the initial part of an on-going project which is concerned with improving the T.S. of not only pupils but of the school community and the community outside the school. One major aim is to teach for transfer of the skills learnt by pupils and all those involved in the project to other appropriate contexts. A follow-up report is expected to be prepared during the course of the next scholastic year (2001 � 2002) and it is suggested that research should be carried out separately for Years 1 � 3, Years 4 � 6 and, it is hoped, for Secondary Schools Forms 1 � 3. It would be interesting to conduct a comparative study of the three research groups and to eventually study the long-term impact of the T.S. project.
It is, moreover, the intention of the T.S. team to conduct inter-cultural research which could provide an interesting comparative study and discussions to this effect are being held with interested parties in Taiwan and Australia.