Aspiring Thinkers


Develop yourself, develop your team

Aspiring Thinkers provides school leaders and teachers with the expert guidance, collaborative network and professional learning pathway required to lead teaching for thinking at your school.

  • Improve pedagogical practices by shifting the focus from knowledge to inquiry, working collaboratively and providing a language of feedback on thinking.
  • Enhance curriculum delivery by planning for student thinking and aligning cognitive verbs and 21st century skills across P-10 learning areas/general capabilities and Year 11-12 subjects.
  • Develop expert teaching teams through a culture of continuous professional improvement and sharing of best practice within school teams and across the Aspiring Thinkers network.

We support your success

Aspiring Thinkers presents your leaders and teachers with an excellent platform for professional growth.

You can also create a school-community partnership with the IMPACT Centre and the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project (UQCTP).

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Members include principals, school leaders and teachers from over 100 schools across all seven regions of Queensland, plus educators from Southern California and British Columbia.

How it works

Step 1: Join via a 2-day foundational workshop.

Step 2: Implement pilot projects.

Step 3: Intentionally collaborate within your school and across the network.

Step 4: Scale up your school’s involvement and engage in action research.

Step 5: Be a thinking leader!

Target audience

Primary and secondary school educators are encouraged to join including:

  • Principals
  • School leaders
  • Teachers.

Small schools/clusters can register one staff member.

Medium-large schools/clusters should register at least 2 members initially, with a view to growing membership across your school. We recommend that you develop a 'Teaching for Thinking Team’ involving representatives from senior management, middle management and the teaching staff. You can still register one staff member if desired.

Prospective members should have the mindset to lead improvement, the interpersonal skills to influence your staff and the dedication to actively participate in the network.

Foundational workshop


​14–15 October 2021 (Thursday and Friday)

Term 4, Week 2 | 9.00am–3.30pm


Allan Border Field, Albion (map​)

​​​Register by 8​ October

​28​29 October 2021 (Thursday and Friday)

Term 4, Week 2 | 9.00am–3.30pm​

​Gold Coast

Links Hope Island (map​)

​​​Register by 22​ October
Semester 2 2021

Brisbane: 1 workshop per term

Regional Queensland: minimum of 20 paying participants required, coordinate with local principal networks, regional office etc.

Brisbane: TBC

Regional Queensland: email to negotiate dates


We are proceeding with face-to-face workshops based on the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 restrictions roadmap (PDF, 247KB). Workshops will be delivered online if lockdowns occur.​

What does membership look like?

Dr Peter Ellerton 


Membership begins with a 2-day foundational workshop—facilitated by Dr Peter Ellerton (pictured) from the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project (face-to-face format).

Content includes:

  • how to develop cognitive skills through a shift in focus from knowledge to inquiry
  • how to think and plan in the language of student cognition
  • how to work collaboratively so thinking can be shared
  • how to facilitate metacognition and provide a language of feedback on thinking
  • learning experience design
  • virtues/characteristics of effective thinkers.

Members then join the network for a minimum of 12 months and enjoy full access to:

  • masterclasses delivered by experts and accessible via hybrid online and face-to-face delivery—with topics including Writing and thinking, Leading pedagogical change, Action research/inquiry cycles and Argumentation
  • online modules e.g. Questioning, cognitions and feedback
  • regular online collaboration with like-minded members and experts, along with member symposiums and other sharing opportunities.

What does membership cost?

  • The membership fee is $1,100 per person—including participation in the foundational workshop and network membership for 12 months.
  • Member subscriptions can be renewed annually at a reduced cost.
  • School principals join for free—no charge for the foundational workshop and no charge to join the network for the first year (not transferable to other staff).

Note: The costs above apply to Queensland state government schools. Teacher Relief Scheme (TRS) and travel costs may be necessary to attend face-to-face workshops.

Last updated 31 August 2021