Having worked across continents to improve education in public schools, it has become very evident that not enough is being done to support the development of thinking skills in the Early Years. It is quite ironic that so much attention is being paid to thinking skills development when our learners are in the upper primary or secondary schooling phases instead of focusing on building patterns in young brains that will provide a very strong foundation for the rest of their lives.
I worked with a fantastic designer, Tasha Ong, who created these beautiful images and our 10 Little People with Big Ideas. Another talented educator, Rebecca Hayday-Kerr, helped me to develop a fantastic curriculum that provides 50 daily lesson plans and activities for teachers. These activities are cross-curricular, promotes emotional intelligence, literacy and most importantly, 10 thinking structures that will help embed those thinking patterns for lifelong thinking. At the same time, we also developed an activity pack for parents - a set of 50 activity cards that parents can use to plan easy activities (in the car, when shopping, when visiting family, reading a bedtime story etc). It is our hope that by practicing these thinking structures with their young children, that thinking in the family will also be enhanced.
We have completed the development and piloting phase of the programme, and now need the funding to produce the materials. A fully contained box set that has everything the teacher would need to deliver the programme consisting of the Theory and Practice Guide, Curriculum Guide, Teacher Reflection Journal, Student Thinking Journal, a storybook, posters, puppets, bean bag, feely bag and the ThinkWise song. The funds will allow us to pay for the printing and production and will enable us to make the product available to schools in low-socio economic areas and community centres at a heavily subsidised cost. So far I have paid for all the development costs and need public support to make this dream come true.
Our aim is to create a generation of young thinkers who will contribute towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and to help make the world a better place. It might seem utopian, but we think our Little People will spread their ThinkWise ideas across the world.