Ian is an award-winning writer, editor, speaker, innovator and the founder of Independent Thinking. He has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia and has a privileged view of education and education systems globally.
How Do I Know What I Think Until I Hear What I Say?
A new app has caught our eye which you might find useful
The developmental link between talking and thinking has been the subject of a great deal of study when it comes to understanding how to help children be better at both. And with younger children especially, as once explained to me by Independent Thinking Associate and paediatric neurobiologist Dr Andrew Curran, there is little difference between the two.
Talking is what little children do to think.
Which is why we were intrigued when we were approached by a young man called Kavin Wadhar to have a look at the prototype of a new app he was developing to help parents get their kids thinking by having great conversations prompted by great questions.
Based around 12 key cognitive skills – empathy, collaboration, critical thinking, researching and creativity – The app is full of questions to start conversations along with prompts and guides to keep the conversations going and is based around 12 key cognitive skills:
- Critical Thinking
And why is now such a good time to develop these skills? As Kavin says:
“I’ve learned that any challenging time is the perfect time for learning and developing new life skills such as resilience and empathy. Families can use tough moments positively as an opportunity to talk about what is happening, and if the right questions are asked, we can gain some fantastic soft skill development for the kids, despite the adverse circumstances.
A family member or pet passes away — You could ask: “What is the happiest memory you have of them?” (Positivity and gratefulness.)
The child performs poorly in an assessment due to lack of revision — You could ask: “What would you do differently if you could go back in time?” (Organisation and reflection.)
The child’s team lost an important sports match — You could ask: “What would you say to the team in the dressing room if you were the manager right now?” (Leadership and critical thinking.)
We know that emotions create memories. I remember better my first day of school (when I cried my eyes out) more than my first day of university, even though it was much more recent. During tough times when emotions are high, like Covid-19 or when someone close to us passes away, parents and teachers have an opportunity to use that time positively to develop rounded skills that will at the time and stick for life.”
We’ve even given Kavin the loan of a few Thunks as they very much fit the model he is using.
He has created it with parents in mind but we can see it working well in a classroom setting too. The full app is due out later this year and you can get on the waitlist by signing up here but Kavin is also happy to provide early Beta access to ten teachers who would like to review this sooner and discuss how to make it available for their school - just email him at email@example.com.
And no, we’re not on commission for this. We just like the app and want to help in what should be an important part of every child's development.
Let us know what you think won’t you.
Make a booking, ask a question, panic. All acceptable.
Give us a call on +44 (0)1267 211432 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We promise to get back to you reassuringly quickly.