UQCTP for teachers

The award winning UQCTP has established itself as a leader in developing expertise in teaching for thinking, having worked with thousands of educators and hundreds of educational institutions throughout Australia and internationally.

The UQCTP works to theorise and put into practice explicit and transferable schematic understanding of teaching expertise, focussing not so much on what excellent teachers do, but on what they think while they are doing it. Our collaborative networks exist to foster each teacher’s individual learning, focusing on a deep understanding of pedagogical principles to inform practice, and in which clear criteria for success allow for feedback to improve understanding. 

The program developed by the UQCTP is not one for ‘implementation’, but of collaborative learning through individual practice. There is no manual or resource book. There is, however, a focus on processes and systemic change that creates an immediate shift towards expertise development in teaching for thinking.

Teaching experience within the UQCTP

While there is a strong academic focus within the UQCTP, there is also a wealth of teaching experience that informs theory and practice. In terms of practical experience, members of the UQCTP have been or are:

  • State Review Panel Chairs or members in the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA)
  • Lead writers or team members in the current QCAA syllabus redevelopment
  • Curriculum consultants for the International Baccalaureate Organisation
  • Writers for the Queensland Core Skills Test (QCS)
  • Chief examiners for QCAA Senior External Examinations
  • Heads of Department and teachers in private and public schools throughout Queensland.

The UQCTP has also delivered professional learning to all lead writers of the 2019 Queensland syllabuses, and continues to work closely with a large number of schools and teachers in preparation for the implementation of this new suite of syllabuses.

UQCTP research

Apart from significant teaching and curriculum design experience, UQCTP team members are at the forefront of research in fields including Critical Thinking, 21stst Century Skills, Metacognition, Philosophy for Children (P4C), STEM and Critical Thinking, Inquiry Learning, Critical Thinking in Adolescence, Virtues and Values of Effective Thinkers, Effective Thinking and Writing, Argument Mapping, and Argumentation and Critical Thinking in Science.

UQCTP Education partners

The UQCTP has worked closely with a range of institutions to shape and share strategic goals. Our most significant partners are:

  • Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada
  • Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, USA
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, USA
  • Department of Education, Queensland (Solid Pathways program, IMPACT Centre).

UQCTP staff have also been instrumental in developing framing documents on the role of critical thinking in education (see, for example, the National Initiatives & Performance Directorate, NSW Department of Education, occasional paper On Critical Thinking and Collaborative Inquiry).

Many schools have worked with the UQCTP to develop teacher expertise throughout Queensland and overseas. In Brisbane, schools making significant and systemic changes with the support of UQCTP include:

  • Brisbane Grammar School
  • Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie)
  • Brisbane State High School
  • Cavendish Road State High School
  • Victoria Point State High School
  • Boonah State High School

Teachers from many more schools in Brisbane and throughout Queensland have become part of the Aspiring Thinkers network through the Brisbane School of Distance Education IMPACT centre. This network has international reach and forms a basis for collaborative practice and sharing of expertise.

UQCTP professional development clients

The UQCTP has delivered professional development programs to educational and corporate bodies, including:

  • Australian Defence Force
  • Brisbane City Council
  • Office of the Coordinator General
  • Department of Child and Disability Services
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • University of Queensland academic staff across a variety of faculties
  • Public and private schools throughout Australia and South Africa.

Shaping expertise in context

Our partner schools and institutions do not adopt a uniform approach to the development of teacher expertise. Each has a context that is unique and hence requires local leadership. Part of the UQCTP project is to identify key people within schools to lead teaching for thinking based on a shared understanding of expertise in teaching for thinking, and to work with these people to ensure that as their expertise develops they can provide a mentoring role for others to the same end.

The UQCTP maintains that teaching for thinking is a pedagogical project, it is not a curriculum project. Thus, our focus is on teacher expertise and recognising that the most important resource a school has is its teachers.

Teachers do not require a deficit model of improvement. They have significant expertise and understanding. It is in the explicit articulation of this expertise, and the integrating it with what we know works in teaching, that we can construct mechanisms for sharing our expertise and for inducting new teachers into the profession.

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