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 by sharing best practice within your school team and collaborating across the Aspiring Thinkers network.​

We support your success

The Aspiring Thinkers Network is facilitated by the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project​ (UQCTP) and the Department of Education’s IMPACT Centre.

​We encourage you to develop a school-community partnership with us.

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You can also collaborate with principals, school leaders and teachers from over 120 schools across all seven regions of Queensland, plus educators from Southern California and British Columbia.

Target audience

Principals, school leaders and teachers from mainstream, special education, environmental education and other alternative settings are encouraged to join the Aspiring Thinkers Network.

  • Medium-large schools 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 your teaching staff.
  • Small schools often register 1 staff member.

Foundational workshop

Dr Peter Ellerton 


Membership begins with a 30-minute online induction, followed by a 2-day foundational workshop facilitated in-person by ​Dr Peter Ellerton (pictured) from the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project (face-to-face format).

Peter is a Senior lecturer in Philosophy and Critical Thinking at University of Queensland. He has been a teacher educator and a syllabus designer for the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) and Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)​. Peter was 1 of 3 academics who redeveloped the 2021 ACARA Critical and Creative Thinking General Capability.​


​17–18 February 2022 (Thursday and Friday)

Term 1, Week 4 | 9.00am–3.30pm


Allan Border Field, Albion (map​)

​​​Register by 14 February

​​3–4 March 2022 (Thursday and Friday)

Term 1, Week 6 | 9.00am–3.30pm​

​Gold Coast

​​Minimum 20 participants required
​​​Express interest​ by 22​ October

​19–20 May 2022 (Thursday and Friday)

Term 2, Week 5 | 9.00am–3.30pm


Allan Border Field, Albion (map​)

​Register by 13 May​

We are proceeding with face-to-face workshops based on the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 restrictions roadmap (PDF, 281KB). Workshops will be delivered online if lockdowns occur.​

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Foundational workshops 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 and virtues/characteristics of effective thinkers.

Ongoing opportunities

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 in-person delivery – with topics including Writing and Thinking, Leading Pedagogical Change, Virtues and Argumentation.
  • Online modules, e.g. Questioning, Cognitions and Feedback.
  • Regular online collaboration with like-minded members, along with member symposiums and other interactions.​

Membership fees

  • The membership fee is $1,100 per person—including participation in the foundational workshop and access to all network masterclasses, activities and resources for ​12 months.
  • Member subscriptions can be renewed annually at a reduced cost.

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 10 December 2021