Camtree launches the Think-Talk Toolbox

All News

Close to Practice Research, Educational Dialogue, News and Updates

Camtree launches the Think-Talk Toolbox

Photo of author

By Camtree Team

Camtree has launched a new resource – the Think-Talk Toolbox (TTT) – to help teachers to promote deep thinking, creativity, and effective teamwork. The Toolbox developed by Camtree Researcher Dr. Ji Ying, draws on the work of the T-SEDA collective and the T-SEDA approach to the analysis of educational dialogue can be used alongside TTT to audit existing practice, analyse patterns of dialogue, and identify areas for further inquiry and development.

The Think-Talk Toolbox (TTT) features a balanced emphasis on thinking and talking skills. The ‘thinking’ component is focused on promoting critical analysis, creative problem-solving, and the synthesis of information into coherent understanding. These cognitive processes are vital for students to comprehend complex concepts and apply their knowledge in various contexts. On the other hand, the ‘talking’ component emphasizes articulation, collaborative dialogue, and constructive feedback, enabling students to express their ideas clearly, engage with others’ ideas, participate in meaningful discussions, and build a sense of community.

The Think-Talk Toolbox aligns with the UNESCO and UNICEF frameworks for Transversal and Transferable Skills, and is designed to support the development and demonstration of life competencies (sometimes called 21st Century Skills) in classrooms and other educational settings. As well as providing teachers with models of how these skills and competencies can be developed and supported, it also helps learners to talk about and evidence their own learning.

The Think-Talk Toolbox Pilot

In April and May 2024, the Toolkit has been piloted by schools in Northeast China as part of Camtree’s partnership with Northeast Normal University’s Institute for Teacher Education, led by Professor Li Guang. The pilot involved staff from Northeast Normal University’s Institute alongside primary school teachers from Northeast Normal’s Affiliated School in Changchun and Panshi Experimental School. Teachers in the schools used tools and approaches from the Toolkit in their classrooms and shared their experiences and reflections in weekly online seminars.

On 20th May 2024, Dr. Ying Ji presented the Think-Talk Toolbox to an audience of teachers at the International Forum on Teacher Education, held at Northeast Normal University. A few days later, the Camtree team visited the pilot project schools to meet the teachers, discuss the outcomes of the pilot study, and plan the next steps. The Think-Talk Toolbox has provided teachers with new ideas and insights into their pupils learning, and teachers described how it had transformed their classroom practice.

Dr Ji Ying presents the Toolbox, May 2024
Online TTT Seminar with NENU Teachers and Pilot Schools
Teachers at NENU Affiliated Primary School share their work using TTT
Meeting at NENU Affiliated Primary School, Changchun
Meeting at Panshi Experimental Primary School

Moving forward, teachers will now systematically explore how to integrate the Toolkit into their classroom practice, both in established curriculum areas (Maths, Science, English and Chinese) and in emerging areas such as PjBL (Project-Based Learning) and STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Maths).

The Think-Talk Toolkit will be published in July 2024. Camtree is continuing to develop this exciting resource and is seeking partners to research its application in different educational settings. If you would like to find out more about the Toolkit, or discuss a partnership project with Camtree, please contact Camtree at camtree@hughes.cam.ac.uk.