In The Classroom

Each Let’s Think lesson starts with the teacher introducing a context with which pupils can engage. This stage is called concrete preparation. This context for learning leads to the setting a challenge or a problem, known as cognitive conflict, that the pupils are motivated to solve.

After this all members of the class (including the teacher) work collaboratively to come up with solutions to increasingly challenging series of problems or ‘episodes’ which produce cognitive conflict for pupils. This collaborative learning is called social construction, an idea taken from the work of Lev Vygotsky. All pupils’ ideas are valued and accepted at the beginning. Pupils then sift and refine their ideas, trying to develop general rules or draw conclusions.

Pupils then analyse the way in which they have tackled the problem and worked together, discussing how this might help them in other lessons. This is called metacognition.

In Let’s Think lessons the teacher mediates pupils’ discussion, making sure everyone has a chance to participate but does not provide the answers or judge the success of pupils’ responses. Instead the pupils are supported to justify their own and evaluate each other’s responses, creating their own solutions.

Teachers normally teach a Let’s Think lesson once a fortnight, either as a discrete learning experience or on a topic that relates to the rest of the week’s learning. In this way, Let’s Think does not replace everyday learning but supplements and reinforces it. The lessons enable pupils to move through Jean Piaget’s stages of development.

Lessons are available in English, maths and science and for Early Years, Key Stage 1, 2, 3 and 4.