As the idea of teaching thinking as a distinct element arose from the curriculum morass during the 1970s, principally through the gifted education fi eld, a number of specifi c learning programmes, designed to develop thinking skills within school-age children, were established and implemented within schools and school systems. Whilst many were conceived and developed by the schools and educational systems themselves in various countries, others were actualised by independent bodies that, by and large, promote their services to schools as an external provider. Consequently, one aspect of the educational ‘diaspora’ facilitated by the modern phase of globalisation has been the emergence of globally based programmes designed to develop thinking skills within school students. The way in which thinking has been taught and is being delivered as part of this globalised context can be seen as belonging to one of two streams: international school programmes (ISP) and international education programmes (IEP).