To be successfully intelligent in the 21st century, students must be able to think well in at least three ways: creatively, critically, and practically, with complexity and wisdom. Designing classroom systems which support these goals is nowhere more important than in the arts. This monograph explores the importance for developing a balance of students’ thinking skills and dispositions and reports the results of Delane Ingalls Vanada’s mixed model comparative study in art classrooms. Classrooms designed to be more learner centered (utilizing inquiry, connection-making, and self-direction to a greater degree) had a positive effect on students’ overall quality of thinking as demonstrated in a balanced way. Also revealed is the positive effect of more learner-centered art classrooms on students’ self-beliefs regarding their intelligence and understanding in the context of visual art. Dr. Vanada discusses her emerging theory regarding a systems approach to the development quality thinking, as driven by the learning and thinking culture, belief systems, and dynamic classroom environments.