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Thinking Skills and Creativity in the Internet Age

Module titleThinking Skills and Creativity in the Internet Age
Module codeEFPM916
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Dr Judith Kleine Staarman (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In this module you will critically explore the notion of ‘21st Century Skills’, such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and dialogue, and problem solving, and learn about teaching approaches that aim to develop these skills. Dialogue and interaction are key aspects of our networked lives, and therefore, you will explore how teaching and learning happens through dialogues, both online and offline, and you will consider the relationship between (online) social contexts of learning, and teaching and learning processes, You will engage with different learning theories to critically understand education for thinking, creativity and dialogue.

You will find out about a number of approaches to teaching and learning that are rooted in networked and dialogue-based ideas about education. These may vary year to year, but might include approaches such as Dialogic Teaching, group cognition, Thinking Together, Thinking Schools and maker-pedagogies; and we critically explore both the practices and the theoretical ideas behind them. You will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of these approaches, their underlying learning theories and possible implications for practice for your own educational context or future.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will enable you to develop your own critical understanding  of concepts such as Thinking Skills, Creative Thinking, 21st Century Learning, Dialogic Teaching and you will learn about the affordances and challenges of a social approach to teaching and learning. The module will equip you with knowledge and understanding of a range of different theories and contemporary approaches to teaching and learning, through engagement with current research and different perspectives from around the world. It will be an excellent preparation for either developing and applying your own approach to teaching thinking in your own educational context or for continuing to further research.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and critically evaluate claims that have been made about 21st Skills, including teaching thinking, creativity, collaboration;
  • 2. Demonstrate the ability to examine and critically evaluate various accounts of the relationship between cognition, technologies and social context;
  • 3. Demonstrate a systematic conceptual understanding of theories of social and meditational aspects of learning;
  • 4. Demonstrate the ability to relate this knowledge in a critical and self-aware way to the practice of teaching and learning and furthermore of thinking as a subject in its own right;
  • 5. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and critique the arguments and the ideas around the development of dispositions, habits, skills and strategies in the context of discussions around 21st Century skills, in order to form your own original synthesis;
  • 6. Demonstrate your originality and self-direction in dealing with complex issues by identifying dispositions, habits, skills and strategies for social approaches to learning and applying these to other curriculum areas and to 'real-world' problems;
  • 7. Demonstrate the ability to recognise and demonstrate the importance of cultural mediation in teaching children and students to be effective thinkers and problem-solvers;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Demonstrate the ability to review and evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship relevant to the module content through close analysis of practice and theory;
  • 9. Demonstrate awareness of ethical issues in relevant areas of the study and be able to discuss these in relation to personal beliefs and values;
  • 10. Demonstrate the ability to critique theory, policy and research orally and in writing, drawing on relevant reading and research;
  • 11. Demonstrate the ability to apply research-informed knowledge to evaluate ongoing school-based programmes;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 12. Demonstrate the ability to make sound judgements in the absence of complete data based upon critical reflection; and
  • 13. Demonstrate the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

A number of sessions/topics will focus on theories and current ideas around teaching thinking in the context of the Internet Age. You will critically engage with ideas and theories around 21st Century Skills, including thinking skills and teaching thinking, creativity and creative thinking, computational thinking, group learning and theories of cognition and critical thinking.

You will be introduced to a number of more practical approaches to teaching thinking, including group thinking, collaborative learning and creative thinking and you will be asked to consider the relationship between teaching thinking and the wider school culture. In these sessions, you will link the theories and ideas to more practical approaches. You will be able to discuss and reflect on possible education futures in relation to teaching thinking and creativity and focus on new directions in teaching thinking and new research on thinking skills and cognition.

You will be provided with opportunities to discuss ideas with peers, both through online media and face-to-face in seminars throughout the module.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3030 hours of teaching sessions (comprising of lectures, workshops and seminars), including on campus teaching and/or asynchronous online teaching for relevant topics.
Guided Independent Study100Preparation for assignments
Guided Independent Study50Set readings
Guided Independent Study120Engagement with specific online materials, videos, preparations for academic tutorial, preparing for seminar activities, responding to seminar, collaborative group tasks


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay outline/plan500 words1-13Written feedback from tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Theorised essay603,000 words1-13Written
Digital assessment402,000 words equivalent1,2,4,6,8,11,12Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Theorised essayTheorised essay (3,000 words)1-136 weeks
Digital assessmentIndividual digital assessment (2,000 words)1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 126 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Alexander, R. (2018). Developing dialogic teaching: genesis, process, trial. Research Papers in Education, 33(5). pp. 561-598


Beghetto, R. A., & Kaufman, J. C. (2007). Toward a broader conception of creativity: A case for 'mini-c' creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1(2), 73-79

Brown, John Seely and Douglas Thomas. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. World Future Review (World Future Society), Vol. 3(2), p115-117


CASTELLS, Manuel (2000). The Rise of the Network Society.  Blackwell.

Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in schools:  tensions and dilemmas. Abingdon: Routledge Falmer.

Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential. London: Constable & Robinson Limited.

Flynn, J. R. (2009). What Is Intelligence: Beyond the Flynn Effect(expanded paperback ed.). Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Gormley, K. (2020) Neoliberalism and the discursive construction of ‘creativity’, Critical Studies in Education, 61:3, 313-328, DOI: 10.1080/17508487.2018.1459762

Higgins, S. (2015) 'A recent history of teaching thinking.', in The Routledge international handbook of research on teaching thinking. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 19-28. The Routledge international handbook series.

Kirschner, P. & Stoyanov, S. (2018). Educating Youth for Nonexistent/Not Yet Existing Professions. Educational Policy. Pp. 1-41.

Kleine Staarman, J. & Ametller, J. (2019). Pedagogical link-making with digital technology in science classrooms: new perspectives on connected learning. In The Routledge International Handbook of Research on Dialogic Education. Mercer, N., Wegerif R., Major, L. (Eds). London: Routledge

Larkin, S. (2010). Metacognitionin Young Children. London: Routledge.

Lee, C. and Soep, E. (2016). None But Ourselves Can Free Our Minds: Critical Computational Literacy as a Pedagogy of Resistance. Equity & Excellence in Education 49.

Lucas, B. and Claxton, G. (2010) New Kinds of Smart; How the science of learnable intelligence is changing education. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Littleton, K. and Mercer, N. (2013). Interthinking: Putting talk to work. Abingdon: Routledge.

Mercer, N., Hennessy, S., & Warwick, P. (2019). Dialogue, Thinking Together and Digital Technology in the Classroom: Some Educational Implications of a Continuing Line of Inquiry. International Journal of Educational Research

Pithers, R. T., & Soden, R. (2000). Critical thinking in education: a review. Educational Research, 42:3, 237-249.  DOI: 10.1080/001318800440579

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved from, R.B. (2011). Towards a dialogic theory of how children learn to think. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 6(3), 179-190.

Wegerif, R. (2013). Dialogic: Education for the Internet Age. London and New York: Routledge.

Wegerif, R, Kaufman, J. C. & Li , L., (2015). Routledge International Handbook of Research on Teaching Thinking. Routledge.


Weare, K. (2014). Mindfulness in schools: Where are we and where might we go next? In A. le, C. T. Ngnoumen, & E. J. Langer (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell handbook of mindfulness (pp. 1037-1053). : Wiley-Blackwell.


Williams Woolley, A. et al. (2010). Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups. Science 330 (pp 686-688).


Wing, J. M. (2006). Computational Thinking. Communications of the ACM, 24(3), 33.

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Key words search

Teaching thinking, Internet Age, Teaching Dialogue

Credit value30
Module ECTS


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