Monday, February 27, 2017

Recognizing purpose, exploring practices

Lots of teachers have heard about the visible thinking routines and lots of teachers use them, but these routines and practices are only as powerful as they are connected to their purposes.  Making students' thinking visible is a stance - not a programme - to put thinking onto the front burner.

So while there are different ways that schools are using visible thinking, there are also some commonalities:
  • Core goal is to develop students’ thinking dispositions - their thinking habits - while deepening their subject matter understanding
  • Core belief - dispositions are developed through enculturation in thoughtful settings over time - dispositions cannot be taught, they have to be grown. 
  • Core question - how do we influence and shape classroom culture to make thinking a more central aspect of classroom life? Content elicits thinking opportunities. The content becomes accessible via the thinking.
  • Core practice - developing thinking routines and documenting them. The practices are NOT the goal - they are in service of developing thinking habits/dispositions. Just doing the routines are not the end goal - they are mechanisms towards the goal. They are practical things to do but must be connected to purpose.
Photo Credit: Duke.Box Flickr via Compfight cc

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