About Into Thinking

Into Thinking is an education consultancy business founded and directed by Donna Anderson (formerly Donna Cariss).

Founded in 2006, Into Thinking was created in response to a need to implement the teaching of thinking skills and dispositions more explicitly and strategically in classrooms. Developing the critical and innovative thinkers who are able to thrive in today’s society requires that students are provided with opportunities to practice and develop these skills. Into Thinking helps schools to reflect on and refine current teaching practices to give students the best opportunities to become the thinkers that will make active and informed citizens of the world.

About Donna

Donna is an education consultant with over 20 years’ experience in schools and the education systems in Australia and overseas.

Her experience includes:

  • 15 years in primary schools as a classroom teacher, learning and teaching leader and literacy leader
  • 2 years Deputy Principal
  • 6 years as an eLearning Education Officer at Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM)
  • 3 years in the tertiary sector at the Australian Catholic University
  • 10 years as a director of Into Thinking

In her role at the CEM, Donna facilitated professional learning programs for teachers in Inquiry, eLearning and Mulitiliteracies. She worked with lead teachers and PLTs in Catholic primary schools in the Northern region, conducting action research in eLearning and Inquiry. Her work with school leaders included co-facilitating a conference for principals in the NW region and developing and facilitating the CEM Leading for Contemporary Learning Project – an evidence-based action research project for leaders in Catholic Primary schools. In her consultancy role, Donna has also been a mentor for learning and teaching leaders.

Donna’s passion and expertise lie in the areas of Inquiry Learning, Differentiation, Visible Thinking, Multiliteracies and Student Engagement.

Inquiry Learning


Visible Thinking

Student Engagement

Our Approach

Our approach to improving learning outcomes in schools centres around reflection and evaluation. Our approach is to gather evidence and reflect on current practice and use this knowledge to refine priorities and set goals for improvement. Gathering evidence may involve the development of staff and student surveys and collecting video, test data and student work samples. We work at every level to support schools to develop, implement and monitor action plans for achieving their goals.

One approach we use is the Action Research Model. This model of professional learning is a proven and effective way to implement change in an ongoing and practical way.

Our work is supported by a number of processes and tools including:

  • Discussion protocols for examining student learning
  • Protocols for collaborative reflection on teaching practices
  • Staff and student surveys
  • Strategies for making thinking visible
  • Evaluation tools

We have many years’ experience in providing professional learning targeted to the needs of teachers and in planning with teams in order to effect change. In our delivery of professional development sessions, we model the use of tools and strategies that teachers can take back and use in their own classrooms.