Creating a Culture of Thinking
Professional Development with Ron Ritchhart, from Harvard’s Project Zero
by Julie Rousseau, Director of Learning, Creativity & Innovation
During our January professional development day, York House faculty had the pleasure of hosting Ron Ritchhart, author and Senior Research Associate of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
His presentation, “Making Thinking Visible” focused on the introduction to cultures of thinking and the use of thinking routines. Ron’s work with us focused on empowering teachers to create learning environments that empower intellectual stimulation; where students are encouraged to think, plan, create, question, and engage independently as learners.
Ron engaged teachers in actively practising visible thinking and questioning routines. His interactive session enabled teachers from JK to Grade 12 to consider the following questions as it pertains to their subject and grade levels:
- What are thinking dispositions
- How do teachers help students develop powerful thinking dispositions?
- How do we assess thinking dispositions?
Since Ron’s visit to our school, it has been a pleasure to work alongside many of our teachers as they deepen their understanding and application of thinking routines that support our girls in:
- Making connections;
- Describing their learning;
- Building explanations;
- Considering different viewpoints and perspectives;
- Capturing the heart and making conclusions; and
- Reasoning with evidence.
At York House School, we continue to empower girls to think critically and to not only solve problems, but also to find them. Such skills and competencies are essential as we prepare them for post-secondary studies and future employment opportunities. We will continue to expand our learning and apply instructional strategies that enable our girls to bring their creative thinking to new heights both in the classroom and beyond.