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Creating Cultures of Thinking: Interactions

Resources for "Creating Cultures of Thinking: The Eight Forces We Must Master To Truly Transform Our Schools" by Ron Ritchhart of Project Zero at HGSE. [Guide by Stephen Taylor for Western Academy Beijing]

INTERACTIONS: Forging Relationships that Empower Learners

The dynamic phenomenon that emerges when two or more objects have an effect upon one another. As a culture shaper, interactions form the basis for relationships among teachers and students, students and students, and teachers and teachers. Interactions knit together the social fabric that binds individuals together in community. The Interactions among group members help to define the emotional climate, tone, or ethos of a place. In a culture of thinking, teacher’s interactions with students show a respect for and an interest in students’ thinking while nurturing their development as valued, competent individuals able to contribute effectively to the group.   [Source: Project Zero]


Chapter Summary

Resources & Links

Development of a Culture of Thinking Self-Assessment


Below is a list of four ideas to consider when creating a Culture of Thinking in your classroom 

  1. Ensure that all students respect each other's thinking in the classroom. Ideas may be critiqued or challenged but people are not. 
  2. Make it clear that mistakes are acceptable and encouraged within the classroom. 
  3. Students are pushed to elaborate their responses, to reason, and to think beyond a simple answer or statement. For example, by using the "What makes you say that?" routine. 
  4. Listen to students and show a genuine curiosity and interest in students' thinking. It is clear your value their thinking.