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Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools

ISBN: 978-1-118-97460-5
384 pages
March 2015, Jossey-Bass
Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools (1118974603) cover image

Description

Discover why and how schools must become places where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted

As educators, parents, and citizens, we must settle for nothing less than environments that bring out the best in people, take learning to the next level, allow for great discoveries, and propel both the individual and the group forward into a lifetime of learning. This is something all teachers want and all students deserve. In Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools, Ron Ritchhart, author of Making Thinking Visible, explains how creating a culture of thinking is more important to learning than any particular curriculum and he outlines how any school or teacher can accomplish this by leveraging 8 cultural forces: expectations, language, time, modeling, opportunities, routines, interactions, and environment.

With the techniques and rich classroom vignettes throughout this book, Ritchhart shows that creating a culture of thinking is not about just adhering to a particular set of practices or a general expectation that people should be involved in thinking. A culture of thinking produces the feelings, energy, and even joy that can propel learning forward and motivate us to do what at times can be hard and challenging mental work.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

Acknowledgments xi

About the Author xiii

INTRODUCTION Demystifying Group and Organizational Culture 1

A New Standard for Education 5

The Forces that Shape Culture 6

Tools for Transformation 10

ONE The Purpose and Promise of Schools 13

Thinking Differently about Outcomes 16

Teaching as Enculturation 19

Culture as the Enactment of a Story 20

Enacting Our New Story, Realizing Our Vision 34

Uncovering the Story of Your School or Classroom 35

TWO Expectations: Recognizing How Our Beliefs Shape Our Behavior 37

Focusing Students on the Learning vs. the Work 43

Teaching for Understanding vs. Knowledge 47

Encouraging Deep vs. Surface Learning Strategies 50

Encouraging Independence vs. Dependence 54

Developing a Growth vs. a Fixed Mindset 55

Exploring and Developing Expectations 59

THREE Language: Appreciating Its Subtle Yet Profound Power 61

The Language of Thinking 68

The Language of Community 71

The Language of Identity 74

The Language of Initiative 75

The Language of Mindfulness 78

The Language of Praise and Feedback 81

The Language of Listening 82

Leveraging Language 84

Becoming Proficient Users of the Languages of the Classroom 85

FOUR Time: Learning to Be Its Master Rather Than Its Victim 87

Recognizing Time as a Statement of Your Values 96

Learning to Prioritize and Always Prioritizing Learning 98

Giving Thinking Time 102

Investing Time to Make Time 105

Managing Energy, Not Time 107

It’s Time to Rethink Time 110

Getting a Better Perspective on Time 112

FIVE Modeling: Seeing Ourselves through Our Students’ Eyes 115

Dispositional Apprenticeship: Being a Role Model of Learning and Thinking 125

Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Our Thinking Visible 129

Gradual Release of Responsibility: Modeling for Independence 132

Interactive Modeling: Learning from Examples, Practice, and Reflection 135

Learning from Models 136

Modeling for the Development of Thinking, Learning, and Independence 138

SIX Opportunities: Crafting the Vehicles for Learning 141

Constructing Character: Using Mathematics to Understand Othello’s Iago 144

VoiceThread: Using Storytelling to Understand Migration 150

Music 2 Save Music 154

Categorizing, Recognizing, and Realizing Learning Opportunities 159

Analyzing and Creating Opportunities for Learning 169

SEVEN Routines: Supporting and Scaffolding Learning and Thinking 171

A Routine Is More Than an Activity 177

Using Claim-Support-Question to Delve Into Number Theory in Fifth Grade 179

More Than a Game: Differentiating Mathematics in Second Grade 185

Making CSQ Fly in Secondary Mathematics 188

Tools, Structures, and Patterns: Establishing Routines in the Classroom 190

Making Thinking Routine in Our Classrooms 196

EIGHT Interactions: Forging Relationships That Empower Learners 199

New Roles for Students: Empowering Disenfranchised Learners 204

Beyond Sit and Get: Teaching Students to Build on One Another’s Ideas 212

Building Culture through Affect and Actions 218

Shaping Interactions through Roles 220

Asking “Good” Questions 221

Creating New Patterns of Discourse 223

Promoting Interactions That Support Thinking and Learning 225

NINE Environment: Using Space to Support Learning and Thinking 227

New Learning in an Old Container 231

Curating a Classroom 234

Designing for Thinking 242

Creating Environments to Enhance Learning and Build Culture: Four Fronts 247

Creating Environments That Bring Out the Best in Learners 259

TEN Moving toward Transformation 261

A Close Look at Substantive Change 263

Supporting Change on a Large Scale 267

Building a Vision across a School District 276

Learning Together for the Long Haul 281

Creating Opportunities 287

Building the Capacity of Teachers to Teach One Another 293

Using Inquiry-Action Projects to Go Deeper 298

Sameness and Difference in the Journey to a Culture of Thinking 303

APPENDIX A My Reflections on the Learning Activities in This Class 307

APPENDIX B Ladder of Feedback 309

APPENDIX C Success Analysis Protocol 311

APPENDIX D Looking At Students’ Thinking (LAST) Protocol 313

APPENDIX E Six Key Principles of the Cultures of Thinking Project 315

APPENDIX F Laying the Foundation for a Culture of Thinking 317

APPENDIX G Leading a Culture of Thinking at My School 319

APPENDIX H The Development of a Culture of Thinking in My Classroom 323

APPENDIX I Assessment Ladder 327

References 329

Subject Index 351

Name Index 361

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Author Information

RON RITCHHART is a senior research associate with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he directs the worldwide Cultures of Thinking Project. He is also a fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching.

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