When I work with schools over the course of a year or two we have the time to really dig into each of the eight cultural forces over time, but in typical two-day workshops we only get to explore a few of the forces. That is why I am so excited for this unique opportunity to have six sessions together to explore the processes, strategies, frameworks, and tools for creating a culture of thinking.
Senior Research Associate,
Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero
Dr. Ron Ritchhart
Ron Ritchhart , Ed.D is an award-winning teacher and researcher, a sought-after speaker, and a prolific and influential writer. Ron began his career in education as an elementary teacher in New Zealand before returning to the states where he taught art, third, and fourth grades, and middle school mathematics before commencing his career as an educational researcher. Ron spent over 25 years at Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero, where his work focused on the development of school and classroom culture as prime vehicles for developing students’ as powerful thinkers and learners. His research has always been classroom-based, learning from the best practice of teachers to better understand how they create conditions for powerful learning.
Ron's work has informed the efforts of schools, school systems, and museums throughout the world as they seek to foster more creative, engaged, and thoughtful learners.
Though recently retired from Harvard, Ron continues his research, writing, and teaching. His best-selling books include Intellectual Character, Making Thinking Visible, Creating Cultures of Thinking, and The Power of Making Thinking Visible. His most recent book, Cultures of Thinking in Action, is due out in 2022.
Increasingly, we are recognizing the importance of the culture of the classroom as foundational for learning. And yet, we often don’t give teachers many tools for or understanding of how to create group culture that can foster deep learning and build understanding. During the workshop, we will focus on the practical and concrete ways educators can create a culture of thinking in their schools and classrooms, foster the kinds of thinking opportunities that lead to deep understanding of content, and develop our skills of how to look for evidence of student thinking and understanding. This workshop offers a unique opportunity to explore the cultural forces of: interactions, modeling, environment, routines, language, opportunities, time, and expectations. Throughout the workshop, participants will use a variety of thinking routines to facilitate their own learning and explore how each of these can be used to create more thoughtful classrooms.
Participants will explore and build their understanding around:
What is a culture of thinking? What does it look like and feel like?
The role messaging plays in both understanding and shaping of group culture
How can we assess, understand and shape the culture of our classrooms and schools to most effectively build a culture of thinking?
How can the cultural forces that exist in each classroom support and further develop a culture of thinking?
How can educators use thinking routines to structure, scaffold, and support students’ thinking?
This highly interactive virtual workshop is designed for teachers, administrators and school leaders across grade levels and subject areas who are interested in supporting and developing their students as thinkers and learners. Participants will learn:
The eight keys to the development of group culture and how they can harness those to create a culture of thinking in their school or classroom.
How to use thinking routines in to support students learning, to foster thinking dispositions, and to make thinking visible.
How to foster effective classroom discussions through the use of language, questioning, and discourse.
"Learning is a product of thinking. If we want our students to learn well and develop understanding, we must create cultures of thinking that actively engage students in thinking on an ongoing basis.
To create a culture of thinking, educators must work together to create a school environment whose structure and purpose actively encourage a high level of student thinking, both individually as well as collectively, and where the thinking of all group members is regularly promoted, valued, made visible, and pushed further as a part of the ongoing, shared enterprise of the group."
-- Ron Ritchhart
OVERVIEW & GOALS OF CULTURES OF THINKING PROJECT
The Cultures of Thinking Project is a global initiative under the direction of Dr. Ron Ritchhart. Since 2000, the CoT Project has worked with hundreds of public, independent, and international schools, and museums across North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe to help transform schools, classrooms, and museums into places where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted as part of the regular day-to-day experience of all group members.
Four books have documented this work and are useful resources for those interested in developing a culture of thinking: Intellectual Character (Ritchhart, 2002), Making Thinking Visible (Ritchhart, Church, & Morrison, 2011), Creating Cultures of Thinking (Ritchhart, 2015), and The Power of Making Thinking Visible (Ritchhart & Church 2020). A fifth book, Cultures of Thinking in Action, is currently in the works and will explore the ten guiding principles that lay a foundation for the creation of a culture of thinking.
Learning is a product of thinking. If we want our students to learn well and develop understanding, we must create cultures of thinking that actively engage students in thinking on an ongoing basis. However, this isn’t always an easy task. Schools and classrooms are not always set up to encourage thinking. Furthermore, by its very nature, thinking is a rather invisible and elusive process. How do we as teachers promote students’ thinking, recognize it when it occurs, and make thoughtfulness permeate our classrooms? To create a culture of thinking, educators must work together to create a school environment whose structure and purpose actively encourage a high level of student thinking, both individually as well as collectively, and where the thinking of all group members is regularly promoted, valued, made visible, and pushed further as a part of the ongoing, shared enterprise of the group.
The CoT initiative considers education to be a social and cultural endeavor whose goal is the development of both the individual and the group as effective learners and thinkers able to engage with and adapt to a changing world. Within this context, the most important assessment question we can ask ourselves as educators is: Who are our students becoming as thinkers and learners as a result of their time with us?