Rotman School of Management

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I-Think Initiative

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Rotman brings Integrative Thinking into K-12 classrooms

The I-Think Initiative brings Integrative Thinking - a core theme in the MBA programs at the Rotman School - into the elementary and secondary school classrooms. I-Think works with educators, schools and school boards who wish to enhance curriculum and expose their students to problem solving strategies that can better equip them to face challenging problems.

A CBC radio profile about I-Think in Toronto schools

The CBC's Julia Pagel has put together a series called "Rethinking School," which looks at how our schools are adapting to long-standing challenges in education.

The I-Think program developed by the Rotman School of Management teaches kids here in Toronto how to think using creative problem solving as opposed to memorization and testing, the traditional learning model in schools today. 

I-Think on Spark

This story was aired on Spark, April 12 2013.


I-Think isn't about teaching accounting or finance to grade-school students (not that we think that would be a bad idea). It is about helping students and teachers engage with an ambiguous and changing world. It is about teaching a particular approach to decision-making, to help students wade through complexity with creativity, rigour and optimism. At core, Integrative Thinking is the ability to reject unattractive trade-offs, working instead to generate new and better ideas from the existing choices. I-Think uses the Integrative Thinking framework to provide educators and students tools to observe and evaluate their own thinking processes, to seek out and leverage new perspectives and to broaden their problem-solving strategies.

The goal is to help students solve the kinds of problems that are messy and complex – that have no answers at the back of the book. We aim to move away from abstract concepts like “innovation” or “creativity” and towards a set of teachable, practical thinking tools for our students.

Through a mix of teacher and administrator training programs, curriculum design partnerships and student leadership programs, the I-Think Initiative works at all levels of the school system to help students and educators create new, better solutions to complex problems. We work with educators, schools and school boards who believe that teaching about thinking and problem solving strategies can enhance curriculum and better equip students to face challenging problems in the future.