Sandra Parks




BA,  English, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida (1967)

MEd, Curriculum, University of South Florida, Tampa Florida (1975)

Completed coursework, PhD, Secondary Curriculum, Gifted and Talented Education, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana (1980)

Certificate of Advanced Study (Education Specialist), Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge Massachusetts (1996)

Professional Experience

Co-Author, forty+ books on instruction to improve students’ thinking, including the Thinking Skills & Key Concepts series, the Building Thinking Skills series, Organizing Thinking, Organizing My Learning, Learning On Purpose, and Infusing Critical and Creative Thinking into Elementary Instruction. Critical Thinking Company, Pacific Grove, CA (1981- 2019)

Curriculum consultant to school districts on thinking instruction and/or gifted and talented education in 40 states, Virgin Islands, and two Canadian provinces (1977-2017)

In-service instructor and curriculum consultant, Project Bright Idea, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Duke University 

(2000- 2017)

Founding Co-director, National Center for Teaching Thinking, Newton, MA Wrote teacher training manuals, organized three summer institutes, organized and marketed regional workshops, program development consulting for the Ministry of Education of Malaysia, hosted the 1994 International Conference on Thinking, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1991-1995)

Adjunct instructor, gifted education and/or instruction to improve students’ thinking, University of North Florida (1982-86), University of Miami (1988-89), University of Massachusetts (1989-1990), Institutio Polytechnico, Monterrey, Mexico (1989), University of East Anglia, Norwich, England (1994), University of Alaska, Anchorage, AL (1979),

Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (1979) 

Gifted education teacher, Julington Creek School, Fruit Cove, FL (1982)

Federal grant reviewer, United States Department of Education, Office of Gifted and Talented (1979-1980) Co-authored the USOE grant to fund the Indiana Department of Instruction Gifted/Talented program.

Project Director, Title IV-C innovative program, Indiana State University Laboratory School and Vigo County School Corporation (1977-1979).

Professional Experience continued

Wrote three funded federal grants to establish, implement, and evaluate a middle school gifted program.

Instructor, Indiana State University Laboratory School (1976-1978)

Teacher, Independent Day School, Tampa, Fl  (1973-1975)

Community resources organizer, gifted and talented education, Polk County Public Schools, Lakeland, FL (1971-73). Matched volunteers with gifted/talented students for special projects or instruction. Founding organizer of the Lakeland Mayfaire Art Festival. 

Professional Organizations

Association for Supervision and Curriculum, Alexandria, VA (1978-2017) Conducted thinking instruction seminars for 13 years, wrote articles for ASCD books and Educational Leadership magazine; wrote and produced a videotape on thinking instruction. Chairman of the Teaching Thinking network. 

Indiana Association for the Gifted. Founding President, (1977-1980)

Public Office

Commissioner, City of St. Augustine (1983-1987) Member, Tourism Advisory Board. Convened the arts/-culture community with tourism leaders and elected officials, to pass the Tourism Development Act. 

Current Cultural Organizations

Stetson Kennedy Foundation, Fruit Cove, FL, Founding Director, (2003-2004, 2011-2019)

St. Johns Cultural Council, Board of Directors, (2002-2003, 2009-2012) 


Florida Heritage Book Festival, author selection committee and outreach committee chairman (2008-2017) 

Florida Historical Society, Board of Directors, (2011-2019)

Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, Board of Directors, 2019