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Think Network

Think Network builds on a long tradition of teaching thinking research at Exeter. We have developed several projects relating to dialogic education (with technology). Other projects have included the facilitation of metacognition and self-regulated learning, including the RE-flect project, which aimed to create metacognitive learning environments in RE classrooms, the MARG project which is working with teachers to create action research projects in their own classrooms related to metacognition and SRL and a project related to the role of metacognition in second language learning.

The network is the main research home of the Masters programme in ‘Thinking, Creativity and Technology’ led by Dr Judith Kleine Staarman. It also hosts the leading book series in the field: Routledge book series on Research on Teaching Thinking and Creativity led by Professor Li Li.

We also have a global ‘Thinking Schools’ network supporting practical teaching thinking projects around the world with evaluation and accreditation.

  1. To promote understanding about developing thinking skills and processes in teaching and learning in different cultural and educational contexts, and across varied phases of education.
  2. To support further research about thinking skills and encourage its members to collaborate in joint research activities.
  3. To provide a platform for staff and students to share and explore ideas and work in thinking skills, metacognition, self regulated learning and dialogic teaching
  • 2-3 meetings per term (1-1.5 hours)
  • Reading and critical discussion of concepts, theories and empirical studies about thinking skills.
  • Informal presentations by staff and students on research ideas, practices and plans.
  • Developing joint publication and share pedagogical practice.
  • Developing projects; funded and unfunded.
  • Hosting visiting students, scholars and external speakers

Our MA in Technology, Creativity and Thinking develops a critical and reflective programme of work for individuals who would like to enhance their understanding and knowledge around approaches to learning and teaching which meet the needs of learners in the 21st century.

Our programme will support you to develop your knowledge and understanding in approaches related to technology, creativity and thinking in education, prepare you for further (professional) research and provide a firm foundation for developing your career in education and associated disciplines.

Find out more and apply.

Thinking Schools @Exeter (TS@Exeter) offer schools in the UK and internationally a route to accreditation through the Exeter Thinking School Award or the Exeter Advanced Thinking School Award.

TS@Exeter collaborates with practitioner networks around the world, including networks of teachers and schools. We also work with organisations such as Thinking Matters, who facilitate and manage training for a whole-school approach to develop Thinking Skills.

TS@Exeter has a strong record of research in Thinking Skills, Metacognition, Creativity and Dialogue in Education, pioneered by Professor Bob Burden and building on the work of current members of staff at the Graduate School of Education.  

Find out more.



Li Li (Network Leader)

Judith Kleine-Staarman (Director of Thinking School@Exeter)

Shirley Larkin

Nasser Mansour

Manoli Pifarre


Xuying Fan (South China Normal University)

Zhaocun Li (East China Normal University

Doctoral Students

Afnan Alawad

Belinda Dan Li

Apple Leelasopawut

Xiaohan Liu

Daniel Northover

Ala'A Salagoor

Dona Shaw

Charmaine Yeung Sze Man

Defang Zhao

Xuan Zhao


Pingyu Liu (Li Li & Shirley Larkin)

Xuying Fan (Li Li & Esmaeel Abdollahzadeh)

  • critical thinking
  • creative thinking
  • higher-order thinking skills
  • metacognition
  • self-regulation
  • group thinking
  • L2L2
  • collaborative thinking
  • Chinese thinking
  • Confucian thinking
  • educational dialogue
  • dialogic teaching
  • cognition
  • thinking process