Last week, my Principal introduced the staff to Making Thinking Visible, a book by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison. I’ve only just finished the first chapter, but wanted to share my thoughts bit by bit to help keep things clear.
Thinking is a term that we use to encourage students along the learning process, but do we really understand what is meant by thinking? The authors make a point of analyzing, or unpacking thinking, making distinctions between its traits as well as those of learning and understanding.
What kinds of thinking do you value and want to promote in your classroom?
The authors strive to build an awareness for educators; one that helps us dig much deeper into the purpose of our lesson planning and daily activities. When I read the types of thinking that were integral to understanding, I thought about the connections between their list and the critical analysis process that is used in my art classes. You may also see similarities to your own curriculum:
- Observing closely and describing what’s there
- Building explanations and interpretations
- Reasoning with evidence
- Making connections
- Considering different viewpoints and perspectives
- Capturing the heart and forming conclusions
By being clearer in our own minds as teachers about the kinds of thinking we want our students to do, we can be more effective in our instructional planning. (p.15)
While browsing through blog posts over the past few days, I happened to spot a few reflections related to this topic. Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen are two of the nicest people you’ll meet, and they are absolutely brilliant. Take a peek at Brenda’s post, “Making Thinking Visible — Getting Started With Routines“, and Peter’s post, “Knowledge Building: What is it Really?”