"Information is like oil, it has no real value until it is refined and used" Ginni Rometty, CEO IBM


We help people structure their thinking to support learning and problem-solving.
We are a small group of educators, researchers, designers and business consultants committed to helping people develop strong reasoning and problem-solving skills.  Our workshops focus on how to use the graphic/verbal Picture Me Thinking Model (PMT) to structure inquiry, problem-solving and persuasive writing.  We offer training and resources to middle and high schools, graduate-student researchers, and corporations.

Structure helps people go from being overwhelmed to thinking clearly.
Anyone, from top executives to students with learning disabilities, can be overwhelmed by too much information.  The PMT Model functions as a graphic and verbal "map" for structuring your thinking. It integrates the verbal left brain and the spatial right brain, which supports conceptualizing. See Einstein's Brain - On the power of Integrating visual and verbal intelligence for reasoning and innovation. The consistent structure it provides makes it more efficient for collaborating groups to organize complex information, solve problems, learn key concepts, make decisions and clearly articulate their arguments in writing.  Argumentative writing is a problem-solving process (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1987; Hayes, 1996; Hayes & Flower, 1980) that involves the use of goal-directed self-regulatory procedures to manage task demands (Graham, 1997; Graham & Harris, 1997).

Picture Me Thinking is an evidence-based and field-tested model.
The PMT Model integrates scholarly research on cognitive development with scientific research methods, Common Core Standards for persuasive essay writing, and corporate consulting practices for problem-solving such as those used by McKinsey Consulting and the Boston Consulting Group.  As a result, this simple but powerful model transfers well from middle school classrooms, through higher education, and on to corporate problem-solving.  Training includes illustrative case studies tailored to academic or corporate audiences.

Our corporate clients are also our mission partners for helping students stay in school.
Our highest-priority goal is to support the success of struggling adolescent students by providing Picture Me Thinking Training to as many middle and high school teachers as possible.  Many vulnerable students fail and drop out of school at the end of ninth grade because their reasoning skills are not strong enough to organize their thoughts for essay writing across subjects.  The PMT Model is a powerful intervention for helping students organize their essays and complete the high-stakes transition from middle school to high school. See For Educators.  When companies engage us for professional development workshops on collaborative problem-solving, they can also designate a school to receive a scholarship to the Picture Me Thinking Training.  See For the Workplace

Karen Amende, MA ED, MA SPED, MBA is our Founder and Executive Director. Karen has delivered workshops on Picture Me Thinking 1) as an instructor at San Francisco State's Graduate School of Education in the course "Advanced Curriculum Modifications" and 2) to Oakland California schools as an Intern Teacher Supervisor where teachers rated the program at 96%.  She is also an experienced mergers and acquisition banker and turn-around consultant for companies in diverse industries.  She developed the PMT Model as a teacher and then in the doctoral program at UC Berkeley.  The model integrates her experience as a corporate executive with research on cognitive development and standards for writing and reading comprehension.  In the corporate arena, Karen delivers workshops on how to use the PMT Model to guide Inquiry into real-world problem-solving applications.

Tim McIntyre recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is our Director of Media.  Tim has been a website content and design manager for the National Writing Project.  Tim also reviews and formats all teacher lesson plans submitted to the Teacher's Exchange on this site to ensure they optimally reflect the PMT model.