Potential Development


Example of world class Great Teaching at Northway Primary School: https://youtu.be/mLYGJOg_ZO0 (Afrikaans)

Course layout for teachers


For a quick bird's eye view on Potential development of school children


Also see our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/280845562380703/ This page is for parents to discuss, provide requests and feedback on their child's potential development sessions.


Recent research by dr. Cas Olivier identified 38 Thinking Tools. The thinking tools are approaches to thinking which enable learners/thinkers to understand a topic, solve problems and create new ideas. It is evident that one needs different sets of tools to e.g. master content, to solve problems or to generate creative concepts. Metaphorically spoken one can say that a hammer cannot do it all.

The challenge

Using the hammer metaphor, the tool used by traditional teaching is the MEMORY. The saying goes: “If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In this case, the hammer is the MEMORY is used as the platform to understand content, solve problems and gain insight. The challenge is firstly that the memory is the brain’s weakest function and secondly that the world after school requires problem-solving skills.

The solution

By developing people’s full potential, their stressful dependency on memorizing is replaced by thinking skills which enable them to nurture and master their own thinking in authentic ways.


To empower learners to embrace thinking skills aimed to use the plasticity of the brain to firstly establish neural pathways and secondly to develop the pathways in the same way muscles are developed.


To empower learners to use thinking skills instead of relying on their memorizing skills.


To empower learners to:

  1. Explore and discover content and gain insight.
  2. Relate the content to other subjects and grades.
  3. Solve problems.
  4. Embrace and celebrate meta-thinking which is managing their own learning.

Facilitation methodology

  1. Learners are requested to bring schoolwork they have difficulty to master, etc. When well-managed, this results in major cross subject and cross grade enrichment.
  2. The role of the facilitator is that of a follower and not a leader. This implies that the facilitator needs to determine what each individual learner knows and does not know. This serves as the point of departure.
  3. The process is led by dynamic continuous assessment and providing of thinking scaffolds to accelerate thinking and learning.
  4. Learners introduce their current challenges which also provides the facilitator with an opportunity to gain bird eye’s view on other learners’ strengths. This also provides the facilitator with information on the learner’s default approach to the content, i.e. the surface or deep/detail thinking tools.
  5. Linked to the above, deep and surface thinking is then introduced to enable learners to explore the theme at hand.
  6. Other thinking tools are then introduced as per the context.
  7. Before each regular break, learners provide a take-away on either their progress on the content or how they experienced the session or reflecting on how they learned (meta-thinking). This is done to strike a balance between the cognitive and emotional experiences.
  8. The purpose or the session for the facilitator is to determine gaps, therefor the facilitator must make it clear that a successful question for the facilitator is a question that evokes a ‘wrong’ answer. Learners are never put on a spot or humiliated when they cannot provide an answer. The solution to this is ‘call a friend’, which is a concept they normally grasp easily and is used in a playful way. Although a learner may call a friend, the final answer is expected from the learner to which the question was posed to in the first instance.
  9. Peer learning is important.
  10. The pace is determined by the learners and not by the facilitator.

Typical feedback comments from learners:

"I never thought learning was so easy", "Time passed so quickly", "I never thought I was so clever", "I wish my teachers can teach me in this way", "I start to enjoy making mistakes and learn from them", "I feel successful", "I learned a lot about myself".


These are examples of learners who discovered content and solved problems on the connections of a 3-phase electrical motor. They are explaining the concepts to the trainer, instead of the trainer explaining to them.


Target groups

  1. Groups of learners, who may be in different grades, but in the same phase. Maximum 20 learners.
  2. Corporates who need transformation or problem-solving skills.
  3. Staff who needs motivation.



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