Improving independent learning for post-16 and adult learners

Think-FE (Further Education) combines theory on learning approaches with practical, worked examples to develop critical, collaborative and independent thinking habits in 16-19 and adult education students.

It is an innovative, rigorous and engaging professional learning programme, which aims to improve students' independent learning through excellence in teaching.

We believe that to have the best possible opportunities for success in life, students need to be equipped with the tools for life-long learning.

Our interactive certificate courses provide, and model, pedagogical strategies which encourage students to think independently, show initiative, face challenges and take responsibility for their own learning.

About the Course

The Level One course combines theory on the Teaching Thinking approach with practical, worked examples...

This certificated course will run over one full day and two half-days, introducing exciting strategies to engage, motivate and challenge your students! Discover how to develop independent, resilient learners by improving the students' thinking and reasoning ability. Along with practical, thinking tools we explore how students learn, how the brain works, and how dialogue is the most valuable tool in constructing learning.

There is plenty of opportunity between the taught sessions to trial the teaching thinking strategies, and each half-day session begins with a reflection on professional learning, making the Teaching Thinking course engaging, interactive and rewarding. Delivered by Martin Renton and Mark Bollom.

What the Course Covers

Practical strategies that support student engagement, encourage motivation and prompt substantive conversation.

How we can encourage students to share their opinions and improve their ability to make reasoned judgements.

Explore how we learn, what engages us, and how we are all different.

The development of skills for life-long learning, developing independence, resilience to challenge and higher-order thinking.

How debriefing learning can promote independence, and help students construct deeper understanding.

Martin will discuss the value of meaningful student dialogue and highlight the importance of developing skills for life-long learning in our colleges today.

This course combines theory on the teaching thinking approach with practical, worked examples. A teacher-research element between the taught days allows you to trial strategies with students in the classroom. Reflecting on your own experiences is a key factor in the success of this professional development programme. The course is certificated and can be accredited for master's study.


I thought the course was excellent and I really enjoyed the activities.   For me learning new teaching strategies and the opportunity to share ideas is vital for us to continue to up our offering to the students, keep them engaged and of course develop their thinking skills. Knowing that Mark had experience of teaching a client base with similar and diverse needs was evident in that he could empathise with us and also give ideas of how to tweak the different strategies according to learning needs and difficulties and also subject. I would recommend that the training be rolled out to all staff and can see how some of the strategies would work in practical work based environment or for one to ones.

Sue Patterson

Vocational Training Officer

I found the training informative and enjoyed the teaching suggestions to implement with the group and tailor to their needs. I enjoyed the group work and listening to other people’s opinions and how they would implement the strategies in their job role in different ways.

Helen Gamble

Youth Outreach Worker

The training went well, it was great how we were able to out pen to paper and think about how we would use it in our own roles.  In terms of our services, it was actually great for us all to share ideas and be under one roof. I got a lot out of it, looking forward to the next one.  Was a really interesting day and I feel Mark provided activities that can definitely be catered for Employment Services’ clients

Stepping Stones Training

UK, 2018

Contact the ThinkFE Team

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