A recent tweet of mine kept reappearing over a period of days as it was picked up by others. Someone had asked for tips for the new year and this was mine:
Reading Ron Ritchhart’s latest book (co-authored by Karin Morrison and Mark Church) ‘Making Thinking Visible’ on a recent flight, I made many connections and was reminded yet again of his powerful influence on my approach to teaching and learning.
I first participated in a reading group some years ago, discussing extracts from his earlier book ‘Intellectual Character’ and experimenting with Project Zero’s Visible Thinking routines. Many of our teachers have since attended his workshops. Most found the idea of a ‘culture of thinking’ as transformative as I did.
The first chapter of ‘Making Thinking Visible’ unpacks thinking. This initial list of ‘thinking moves that are integral to understanding’ really resonates for me:
1. Observing closely and describing what’s there
2. Building explanations and interpretations
3. Reasoning with evidence
4 Making connections
5. Considering different perspectives
6. Capturing the heart and forming conclusions
7. Wondering and questioning
8. Uncovering complexity and going below the surface of things
This is what meaningful learning is about.
No wonder I am not a fan of such things as worksheets, over-planned units, prescriptive programs, teacher-centered instruction, content based curriculum and standardised testing.
I want to SEE my students thinking…