Media Releases

TDSB and U of T’s Rotman School join forces to bring a new way of thinking to TDSB teachers and students: First-time ever offered in public schools

January 25, 2011

TORONTO, ON – The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and the TDSB are proud to announce a partnership that marks the first transfer of concepts from the world of business education to the public school system.

The Rotman School has developed a new way to think that leads to creative business solutions. “The I-Think Initiative gives students tools to observe and evaluate their thinking processes when faced with opposition or difficult, ‘either-or’ choices,” said Roger Martin, Dean of the school. This approach forms the foundation of Rotman’s MBA programs.

The partnership will see collaboration with both primary and secondary schools throughout the TDSB, using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-based, Time-bound Differentiation) goals and School Improvement Plans (SIP) to align resources and programs to support the initiative.  A train-the-trainer model will help to expand and sustain I-Think.

The TDSB’s Deputy Director—Academic, Donna Quan said that cooperative partnerships like this one impact teaching and learning and instructional leadership and are key to helping students succeed. “We want to build a culture of innovation and high expectations to help every school be an effective school and to improve student achievement,” she added.

John Polanyi CI (JPCI), a TDSB school located at Lawrence & the Allen Expressway which will open in September 2011, will be the first public high school to offer the program. “Polanyi CI students will have truly unique and valuable exposure to the training that makes Rotman one of the world’s most respected business schools,” said Howard Goodman, the Trustee for Eglinton-Lawrence where JPCI is located. “The Rotman I-Think program will help our students take a big step towards success throughout life.”

JPCI Principal Arnold Witt said that the I-Think initiative will be one of the crown jewels at the school. “We’re expanding our academic, sports, arts and partnerships programs to help students reach their potentials with no limitations on creativity and support,” said Witt. “This is one of the partnerships that will make a huge difference for our students by providing a cutting-edge initiative that teaches how to problem solve at all levels.”

John Polanyi CI is named after the renowned Canadian scientist and humanitarian, who is also on the U of T faculty in the Chemistry Department. Mr. Polanyi and two colleagues won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 for their work on the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.


For interview opportunities and more information, please contact:

Shari Schwartz-Maltz
Manager, Media and Issues Management
Communications and Public Affairs
Toronto District School Board

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto