Sustained Shared Thinking


Our Nursery School Pedagogy is based upon the Sustained Shared Thinking (SST). Sustained shared thinking has been defined as:


     ‘An episode in which two or more individuals ‘work together’ in an intellectual way to solve a problem, clarify a concept, evaluate activities, extend a narrative etc. Both parties must contribute to the thinking and it must develop and extend the understanding.’ (Siraj Blatchford et al., 2002a:8)

Sustained shared thinking provides opportunities to extend the learning that can result from both inquiry and playful learning (Palaiologou, 2010)

How do we support children’s sustained shared thinking (Siraj-Blatchford, 2002, Early Ed. SST Project)


They may include the adult:

• tuning in (listening carefully to what is being said, observing body language and what the child is doing)

• showing genuine interest (giving your whole attention, maintaining eye contact, affirming, smiling, nodding)

• respecting children’s own decisions and choices inviting children to elaborate (I really want to know more about this)

• re-capping (So you think that…)

• offering your own experience (I like to listen to music when I cook supper at home)

• clarifying ideas (Right Darren, so you think that this stone will melt if I boil it in water?)

• suggesting (You might like to try doing it this way)

• reminding (Don’t forget that you said that this stone will melt if I boil it)

• offering an alternative viewpoint (Maybe Goldilocks wasn’t naughty when she ate the porridge)

• speculating (Do you think the three bears would have liked Goldilocks to come to live with them as their friend?)

• asking open questions (How did you? Why does this..? What happens next? What do you think?)

Further information regarding the SST, please click the following document: