Our thinking curriculum

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Contrary to popular belief, the brain is not designed for thinking.It's designed to save you from having to think, because the brain is actually not very good at thinking. – Daniel Willingham (cognitive psychologist)

We're not naturally good at thinking — but few things are more important than becoming a good thinker! And we all can become much, much better thinkers. The components of thinking (knowledge, logic, innovation, rationality, and observation) are skills that can be improved, but most schools shy away from training in them.

What if a new kind of school could cultivate the many components of thinking?

To cultivate knowledge, our schools —

  • immerse kids in the riches of history, science, math, philosophy — and more!
  • foster a culture of geeking out.
  • prompt kids to value the most interesting things they've learned.
  • use software to help kids remember the crucial things they learn forever.
  • give kids a taste of what really in-depth, Ph.D.-level understanding really tastes like.
  • coach kids in the art of asking questions, and finding answers.

To cultivate logic, our schools —

  • make math easy by breaking down everything complex into easy-to-process bits — and then connecting them back together.
  • train in computer coding.
  • entrust kids with dumbfoundingly complex issues to puzzle through.

To cultivate innovation, our schools —

  • pepper kids with math riddles that require creative leaps to unravel.
  • provide kids with thought journals, and the time to use them.
  • drill kids in de Bono's thinking tools to prompt out-of-the-box ideas.

To cultivate rationality, our schools —

  • ground kids in the multitude of cognitive biases.
  • engage kids in the scientific method throughout the curriculum.
  • coax kids into, and help them work their way out of, the various ideologies that portray the world as simple.
  • expose kids to a grand diversity of ways of seeing the world.

The goal of our schools is to help develop students who can think clearly, and think wonderfully.

Brandon Hendrickson

Seattle, WA