Create Cultures of Thinking

Decorative: A circle with "Creating Cultures of Thinking" written inside


1. "Cultures of Thinking" (web page and links) outlines the 8 cultural forces that define a classroom (pdf) and how they might be directed towards thinking (coloured poster versions).

Each hyperlink leads to specific strategies and suggestions for in-class application:

  • "Time: Allocating time for thinking by providing time for exploring topics more in depth as well as time to formulate thoughtful responses."
  • "Opportunities: Providing purposeful activities that require students to engage in thinking and the development of understanding as part of their ongoing experience of the classroom."
  • "(Thinking) Routines & Structures: Scaffolding students’ thinking in the moment as well as providing tools and patterns of thinking that can be used independently."
  • "Language: Using a language of thinking that provides students with the vocabulary for describing and reflecting on thinking."
  • "Modeling: Modeling of who we are as thinkers and learners so that the process of our thinking is discussed, shared, and made visible." 
  • "Interactions & Relationships: Showing a respect for and valuing of one another’s contributions of ideas and thinking in a spirit of ongoing collaborative inquiry." 
  • "Physical Environment: Making thinking visible by displaying the process of thinking and development of ideas. Arranging the space to facilitate thoughtful interactions."
  • "Expectations: Setting an agenda of understanding and conveying clear expectations. Focusing on the value for thinking and learning as outcomes as opposed to mere completion of 'work.'"

2. Instructor Self-Assessment Chart for Development of a Culture of Thinking (pdf)

"Imagine someone were to stop into your classroom on any random day or time. How likely would this visitor be to notice each of the following actions described below. For each statement assign a rating between 5 and 1 ...."

  • Expectations (5 statements)
  • Language (5 statements)
  • Modeling 5 statements)
  • Time (5 statements)
  • Opportunities (5 statements)
  • Routines (5 statements)
  • Physical Environment (5 statements)
  • Intercations (5 statements)
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