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