Visible Thinking

Making Thinking Visible… What is it?

Educational research conducted by Project Zero at Harvard Graduate School of Education has led to a flexible and systematic approach to learning. Using an extensive collection of practices, called “thinking routines”, learners’ thinking is made visible through active processing, and in turn, deepens content learning across subject areas.

I wonder, how could this approach be integrated into your classroom practices? Would it be worth further investigation? What makes you say that?


Thinking Routines are mini strategies that guide learners’ thought processes…

Thinking routines help extend and deepen learners’ thinking. They are tools and must be applied, practiced and repeated in the right context, thus becoming part of the make-up of everyday classroom life.

Creating a culture of thinking enables visible thinking to take place. To value thinking, we have to unpack it and identify what it involves in different teaching and learning situations. In this way, learning results in connecting new ideas to one’s own thinking. Integrating thinking routines into teaching and learning practices deepens our understanding and drives further inquiry.

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CSI thinking routine for synthesizing and organizing ideas by capturing the heart through metaphors


Creating a Culture of thinking that is school-wide

“Cultures of thinking is creating a place where a group’s collective as well as individual thinking is valued, visible and actively promoted.” – Making Thinking Visible, Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison

Any time a group of people come together where learning and intellectual growth are identified as part of the group’s mission, there is the opportunity to create a culture of thinking.

I wonder, what kind of opportunities could you create such that your classroom reflects a culture of thinking? Could your school’s mission statement and beliefs promote a school-wide culture of thinking? I wonder, how could it be valued, visible and actively promoted? 

Below is Graded School’s mission statement… 

What words and/or phrases resonate a culture of thinking? What actions could take place to ensure a culture of thinking is created and actively promoted?

Graded School’s Mission Statement
Graded is an American School that serves an international community of learners by inspiring individual excellence in a collaborative setting, fostering intercultural competence and empowering students to become engaged ethical citizens in a dynamic world.

Ron Ritchhart – Cultures of Thinking Project

Ron Ritchhart is the Principal Investigator for the Cultures of Thinking Project and the Senior Research Associate for Project Zero at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Visit his upcoming events page to see when and where he’ll be presenting in 2014.

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3 thoughts on “Visible Thinking

  1. Pingback: » @GradedBR is GROWING! MSprincipal @jefflippman sta… Langwitches Twitter Feed

  2. Pingback: A Journey through Change, Compassion and Thinking | Ms. Arcenas' Physical Education Hub

  3. Pingback: Making Assessments Visible | Ms. Arcenas' Physical Education Hub

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