Making Thinking Visible

Visible Thinking is a flexible and systematic research-based framework stemming from Project Zero, an educational research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Its original aim is to study and improve education in the arts.

Visible Thinking has a double goal: a) to cultivate students’ thinking skills and dispositions and b) to deepen content learning. The basic idea is to make thinking visible within the context of learning. Post-it notes, construction papers on the walls, taking notes, writing learning journals, keeping blogs; any sort of visible documentation through which students’ individual and collective thinking is revealed and promoted.

Thinking Routines are at the core of the Visible Thinking programme. The underlying idea is that classroom life is structured upon routines which regulate diverse aspects: student behaviour, organization of work and learning process, establishment of rules for interaction and communication. Thinking Routines are flexible, simple structures; a set of questions or a short sequence of steps that when used systematically promote the development of students’ thinking and the classroom culture. They can be used across a variety of context and can be subject to group or individual work.

Art least explores the possibilities of regularly integrating thinking routines attached to meaningful content as a means of nurturing a creative mindset.

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