Since 1958, our award-winning products have helped students of all abilities achieve better academic results with highly effective lessons that sharpen the mind as they teach standards-based reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history. Our products are fun, easy to use, and guaranteed to produce better grades and higher test scores.
We design critical thinking into our reading, writing, math, science, and history lessons so students carefully analyze what they are learning. Deeper analysis produces deeper understanding, which results in better grades and higher test scores. Over time, students who practice critical thinking learn to apply it throughout their education and lives.
"If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless." - Michael Baker, President
We do not teach through drill and memorization or teach to the tests—we empower the mind! Our goals are higher grades, top test scores, and problem solving skills to meet all of life’s challenges. The Critical Thinking Co.™ is recommended by Learning® Magazine, The Well-Trained Mind, College Prep Genius, Creative Child Magazine, Dr. Toy, and used by Sylvan Learning® Centers, Club Z In-Home Tutoring, leading U.S. public schools, and gifted and talented programs in 57 countries throughout the world. We guarantee better grades and higher test scores—or your money back.
Children love our products and you'll love what our products do for your child.
The Critical Thinking Co.™ is committed to developing students' critical thinking skills for better grades, higher test scores, and success in life. We do not teach through drill and memorization or teach to the tests—we empower the mind!
We encourage you to contact us whenever we can provide products, services, information, or support to meet your student’s learning needs.
The company was founded by John Baker in 1958 under the name Midwest Publications as a math and textbook company, combining powerful logic problems with high educational and editorial standards. The Critical Thinking Co.™ now boasts over 600 titles in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies and remains a family-owned business under the guidance of John’s son, Michael Baker.
In 1976, the company changed its name to Critical Thinking Press and Software. The name was further changed to Critical Thinking Books & Software in 1997. The current moniker, The Critical Thinking Co.™ was adopted in November of 2003.
What Is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking is identifying and evaluating evidence to guide decision making. Critical thinkers use in-depth analysis of evidence to make decisions and communicate his beliefs clearly and accurately. Learn More »
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We provide quality educational products that are safe for children of all ages and abilities.
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Higher Grades and Top Test Scores!
We guarantee Higher Grades & Top Test Scores! Our riddles, puzzles, games, and lessons develop thinking skills and improve standards-based learning. Each activity requires students to analyze, synthesize, and apply what they learn. The more students think about what they are learning, the more students understand what they are learning.
Empower the Mind!
Critical thinking doesn’t just guarantee academic success, it prepares children for the countless challenges they will encounter throughout their lives. Empowering the mind through critical thinking is one of the best ways to prepare for life's journey.
Learning Becomes Fun!
Our thinking approach makes learning fun, motivating and effective. Students enjoy our products and ask for them by name.
"My father (John Baker, 1926 – 2008) founded The Critical Thinking Co.™ more than 50 years ago in the basement of our home. I grew up learning the family business and helping package orders after school. It was work, but I usually worked side by side with my father and ended the day with a sense of accomplishment. Since they were little, my sons (ages 15, 17, and 18) have helped me by working activities to improve some of our products in the development process. The Critical Thinking Co.™ remains dedicated to helping children, families, and communities. In memory of my father, The Critical Thinking Co.™ donates two or more products to children in need for every order we receive." -Michael Baker, President
Graphic artists, software developers, education specialists, writers, and editors are employed in the North Bend office, developing the software curriculum and producing the books and catalog. “School teachers use our materials in classrooms, and we do a lot of business with home-schooling groups, too, as well as church organizations who are involved in education,” Michael tells me. The people of The Critical Thinking Co. believe in what they do, and they have happily donated some books and software to local educators. Also, they practice “Critical Giving,” following a “One to Many” model in which with every purchase, two or more products are donated at no charge to children in need via non-profit organizations such as Kids Wish Network, Kids In Need Foundation, Gifts In Kind International, First Book, and many others.
Authors of the material include college professors as well as classroom teachers. A lot of thought goes into developing the curriculum for each subject and grade level. “We look at the education standards for each grade and subject. We’ve got to teach those standards and concepts, but we want to do it in a way that leads the student to analyze the subject a bit deeper,” Michael explains. “It’s a proven fact in education that the more exposure a student has to critical thinking, the more likely they’ll transfer that skill to other areas of their lives.”