What Is TeachThought? A Summary
TeachThought is an idea and brand dedicated to innovation in K-12 education. This is pursued by growing teaching through thought leadership, professional development, resource curation, curriculum development, podcast publishing, and collaboration with organizations around the world.
TeachThought’s mission is to innovate education through the growth of innovative teachers.
Our Background & Timeline
TeachThought was founded in 2012 as a blog dedicated to thought leadership and the development of learning models and frameworks to create transparency for new possibilities in teaching and learning for a modern circumstance.
In 2016, TeachThought began offering professional development for schools and districts.
In 2017, TeachThought held its first Grow education conference in Louisville, Ky.
In 2018, TeachThought began the initial development of teaching materials and curricula to support teachers in innovation in their own classrooms.
In 2019, TeachThought began developing TeachThought University, an on-demand learning platform for teachers which will launch in 2021.
In 2020, reeling from COVID like the rest of the world, we focused on streamlining our workflow and becoming more efficient internally in terms of our content, growth, and development.
2021 was spent continuing to update our content, create new resources, and soft-launch TeachThought University which among other resources features online courses for teachers.
In 2022 and 2023, we have been testing different eLearning models to identify the best way to help teachers. You can find more information here.
Moving forward, among other efforts hope to begin planning a series of TeachThought schools based on a TeachThought learning model in 2023 and beyond.
TeachThought was founded and is directed by Terry Heick, an author and former classroom teacher interested in rethinking how we think about K-12 teaching and learning.
One of the underlying principles of TeachThought is that leading should result in personal and social change and that its modes and design can be planned backward from that kind of consideration. Our content, professional development, and all related work are driven by that approach.
We are dedicated to supporting educators in innovation in teaching and learning for a 21st-century audience. This starts with ideas and resources for K-20 teachers through our site and extends to our design of school models, learning models, curriculum, technology, apps, and other learning tools through collaborations with other organizations.
What We Do
Develop content (blog posts, eBooks, eCourses, video, podcasts, etc.)
Provide industry-leading professional development
Develop 21st-century curriculum
Publish physical and digital content (from books to podcasts to video and more)
Create visibility for innovative education products and services
Consult for various education projects
TeachThought can be reached via our contact page.
More About Our Director
Terry Heick is a former English teacher turned education dreamer who is interested in how learning is changing in a digital and connected world. This includes, among other changes, the rise of self-directed learning and the need to evaluate existing content and curriculum in light of modern knowledge demands.
In short, he is interested in what students learn, how they learn it, and what they tend to do with what they learn.
He is also interested in student-centered learning, the power of questions, the role of play in learning, clarifying digital literacy, the flexibility of project-based learning, marrying mobile learning and place-based education (especially through mentoring), the potential of video games and simulations in learning, what it really means to ‘understand’ something, and how all of this produces wisdom and self-knowledge in students.
It is our position that all learning should result in substantive personal and social change (as opposed to academic training).
Our ideas are heavily influenced by a wide variety of thinkers, from Wendell Berry to Elon Musk, Sam Harris to Kurt Vonnegut. This concept includes the relationship between culture, communities, and the institutions and curriculum purported to serve them, as well as emerging technologies and media.
Is TeachThought Reliable?
This is a question you should ask about any platform or publisher, really. It’s wonderful that you’re asking that about our work as well.
The short version is that we hope that, insofar as we reach, we are credible and useful and reliable in that reaching. Our writers are almost all recent or existing classroom teachers. Our founder and director was a classroom teacher with experience on dozens of committees and has traveled the world to see education as it is to help understand education as it might be.
Much of our work is either directly or indirectly informed by research (though that education research has challenges of its own–see The Best Source Of Education Is Your Classroom, Questions Hattie Could’ve Asked But Didn’t, and What Works In Education And How Do We Know? for example).
But more broadly speaking is the idea of function. What we’re hoping to do is to provide a broad spectrum of thinking that supports innovation in education. In addition to research, this effort requires thinking, imagination, models and frameworks, and hope. This is where TeachThought tries to do its best work.
TeachThought is interested first and foremost in the growth of children–in this case, achieved innovation in education through the growth of happy, creative, wonderfully innovative teachers. There are many platforms out there that are far more concise and traditionally ‘effective’ in their work. They have very clear metrics for ‘success’ and wonderfully-worded mission statements that they no doubt believe in and strive to achieve. They create useful textbooks and apps and systems and videos that help you teach. They are wonderful, and we use them ourselves.
In our work, we hope to focus as much on the classroom that could be as the classroom that is. It’s a balance we try to demonstrate in everything we do, and sometimes we miss. But a takeaway here is that we want to push education forward toward its ultimate promise of realizing a fuller, broader, and more substantive concept of human potential. We want to imagine, support, and grow. Put another way, we hope that TeachThought is reliable and credible insofar as we are able to imagine, support, and grow.
This is a complex issue that isn’t easily communicated–and those are the kinds of issues we focus on at TeachThought.
Legal And Related
Though we are first teachers, we also act as publishers. Therefore, we make every effort to both understand and comply with all laws, policies, and regulations. We don’t publish misleading content–in fact, we refuse to publish anything we don’t believe pushes education forward somehow.
If you believe that we’ve made a mistake somehow with the use of attribution, linking, images, etc.–e.g., incorrect use of Creative Commons licensing materials–please contact us, and we will address the matter immediately.
As creatives ourselves, we take the matter of copyright infringement, copy/pasting, content scraping, and other related activities seriously. The digital landscape is an important part of what we do and is a matter of digital citizenship we value. For any such issues, please email us or our Founder and Director, Terry Heick.