The Institute of Critical Thinking

The Institute is a multidisciplinary teaching and research establishment dedicated to the study of the human development and the transformation of lifelong education.

The Institute’s scholarly spectrum will be enriched by the work of colleagues from such fields as management, law, medical sciences, engineering, mathematics, economics, computer science, the physical sciences and humanities but will encourage multidisciplinary work and will seek always to build learning communities and to examine challenging issues.

Its inquiries will be broadly defined, but concentrate on the evolutionary, social, historical, and institutional contexts of human development. The Institute will promote the examination of human development issues and contexts from life-span and life-course perspectives with particular attention devoted towards the transformation of the ecology of schooling.


Current Focus

The UWI Institute of Critical Thinking provides Development opportunities for leaders, serves as an incubator for the advancement of tomorrow's leaders and acts as the catalyst for the evolution of leadership locally and regionally.

The Institute facilitates The UWI's Strategic Plan 2017-2022 of Access, Alignment and Agility to revitalise Caribbean Development by creating a gateway to allow stakeholders in the public and private sector the opportunity to collaborate with us. We aim to harness the strengths of the University- vast alumni, deep strategic relationships in the business community, international alliances, excellent facilities and expert faculty to address the area of continuous improvement, economic growth and human development in the Caribbean.

We design and deliver unique, just-in-time, relevant and holistic leadership development interventions; in an open collaboration framework, focused on the constructs of Critical Thinking; to address the pressing concerns of our people, industries and governments.



The concept of an Institute of Critical Thinking was developed in 2002, by then Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor of UWI St. Augustine, Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie who worked with Campus colleagues to host a conference on Critical Thinking. The symposium entitled “Critical Thinking in Teaching and Learning” was hosted at the UWI St. Augustine Campus on January 14-16, 2004 and brought together scholars from around the world. The symposium was geared towards positively affecting the triad of how thinking, teaching and learning occur at UWI and the way they occur at all levels of the education systems in the region. The undergirding reason for this strategic intent was to facilitate the appreciation of the distinction between biologically inherited brains and culturally created minds. Against that background curriculum becomes a mind-altering device and this makes the learning process assume greater significance because that process can help to determine the limits or limitlessness of the mind. Through education then it is possible to use our actual minds to create our possible worlds.

Following this symposium, the Institute sought to introduce faculty members to the concept of critical thinking to stimulate creative interventions in syllabus, curriculum and examination. About 100 faculty members participated in these workshops on “How to teach critical/creative thinking” which were conducted by Dr. Alec Fisher from the University of East Anglia.

In January 2005 the UWI together with the Ministry of Education hosted public lectures by renowned researcher in the field of intelligence and psychology Howard Gardner. These sessions, held over two days, engaged UWI faculty as well as teachers from the secondary and primary school system in an intense dialogue with Professor Gardner.

The Institute was formally declared open on April 4, 2007 by the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor George Maxwell Richards, in an official ceremony. Since then, it has hosted a broad array of activities including lectures by international scholars and conferences in a variety of disciplines including science, environmental law and mathematics. In addition, the Institute has conducted workshops for private and public sector agencies to enhance the critical thinking and problem solving skills of their staff.

In 2007 the Institute was inducted into the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), which was established in 1988 and has a membership of over 132 international centers and institutes. As a member of CHCI, the Institute of Critical Thinking contributes to the development of interdisciplinary humanities and participates in the network for the circulation of information and the sharing of resources.


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