When thinking becomes visible – it is clear to students that school is not about memorizing facts but about exploring ideas”.
This is the challenge that our whole teaching staff has adopted as a teaching practice for 2019. Based on the writings of Ron Ritchhart, an educational guru on thinking, and supported by Harvard University Project Zero, teachers across the primary and secondary campuses have completed professional development on various thinking routines to assist student’s learning.
Before classes began this year, teachers studied the theory behind thinking, were introduced to thinking routines and then spent time programming the routines into the curriculum. Students are encouraged to question, make connections, take notes and extend their thinking with a world-wide connection.
Often these thinking routines help students engage in collaborative activity. It is encouraging to see students working in small groups around a large sheet of paper, writing ideas and drawing arrows to show links. There is always plenty of discussion as students explain their thoughts and question each other. Learning is accomplished by ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ rather than just ‘listening’.
By using these flexible thinking routines, it is hoped that students will practice ‘Learning for Living’ (part of our school motto) in a complex world.