The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC²) was constituted on November 18th, 1993 at an inaugural meeting held at Simon Fraser University attended by approximately 30 district leaders, academics and educators. This association, then called The Critical Thinking Cooperative, was formed in response to emerging interest in a document about critical thinking commissioned by the BC Ministry of Education in May 1993 and released in September of that year. Written by Jerrold Coombs and LeRoi Daniels of the University of British Columbia and Sharon Bailin and Roland Case of Simon Fraser University, the report laid out a conception of critical thinking for use in guiding curriculum, instruction and assessment.
Although there are countless antecedent events, the "defining moment" was an open meeting of interested scholars at UBC on February 22nd, 1993. The topic of discussion was a then-recent experts' report on the nature of critical thinking. For at least four participants, Jerrold Coombs and LeRoi Daniels from UBC and Sharon Bailin and me from SFU, the meeting crystallized the need for a sound and coherent way of talking about critical thinking that would be accessible and pedagogically useful to teachers across the curriculum and spanning all grade levels. There was, as an earlier Ministry report had observed, no single accepted definition of critical thinking currently in use in British Columbia. The Ministry's own curriculum and policy documents were filled with a spate of overlapping, vague and often muddled ways of talking about thinking and how to nurture it in schools.
-Roland Case, 1999
The conception was formally presented at a keynote address to the BC Social Studies Professional Specialist Association Conference on October 15th, 1993. Initial professional learning offerings began in 1994 consisting of a field-based course in critical thinking offered in Richmond School District and a three-day summer institute in Burnaby School District. Since these early beginnings, awareness of and support for TC²'s conception of critical thinking has grown from a provincial phenomenon, facilitated by a small group of committed individuals, to an internationally renowned non-profit organization built on a network of over sixty educational Partners.
The appeal of the TC² approach is due to the way in which it embeds critical thinking as an approach to teaching the curriculum to make it accessible to teachers and more engaging and enriching for students. TC² has worked with over 175 000 educators across Canada, and in the United States, England, Israel, Finland, China, India, Hong Kong, Dubai, Lebanon, France and the Caribbean. The Consortium has undertaken significant resource development projects for ministries of education in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, and for many notable governmental and non-governmental agencies. It has published numerous award-winning print and online resources to support critical thinking in various subject areas and across grade levels.