ThinkerAnalytix (TA) is a non-profit startup working with professors, teachers and policy makers to improve critical thinking skills on a broad scale. Our online course, How We Argue, specifically builds reasoning skills so students can discuss controversial issues with precision and care. At the core of TA’s work is argument mapping: a simple, powerful tool for visually constructing and analyzing arguments. Research from universities such as Carnegie Mellon and Princeton shows that learning to map arguments significantly improves students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills, as measured by large gains on the LSAT and other standardized tests. ThinkerAnalytix is developing materials specific to Social Studies, English and Science as well as college level critical thinking and writing classes.
ThinkerAnalytix (TA) started in 2014 when a group of teachers, professors and graduate students from Harvard developed and taught a pre-college ethics course. We quickly observed how students struggled to understand and discuss ethical issues because they lack critical thinking skills, specifically, basic reasoning. We set out to fill this gap with argument mapping, a powerful tool for visually constructing and evaluating arguments.
2015 – 2018
TA’s team of experts in logic and reasoning, pedagogy, and digital learning build a beta version of our online course, How We Argue. We introduce and test the course in teacher workshops, all-school presentations and classroom visits. We also train cohorts of Instructional Coaches from local high schools who recruit and train their colleagues. We develop more classroom resources to complement our course. Based on user feedback, we refine our course and resources.
TA distributes our course, How We Argue, to more than 35 schools, universities, enrichment programs and professional organizations. We estimate our materials have reached over 2500 students. TA presents at conferences nationwide and forms partnerships with school, district, state and national educational organizations.
We will further cultivate our user base while expanding to more schools, colleges and professional organizations. We will develop new online tools and materials (e.g., a mobile game, and digital modules for Social Studies, Civics, ELA, Science, Ethics, discussing controversial issues), and begin to generate revenue toward sustainability.