Making Thinking Visible

Ms. Paminder Kohli | 2nd August, 2016 Back to Blog

Visible Thinking is framework for enriching classroom learning in the content areas and fostering students' intellectual development at the same time. Its key goals are:

  • • Deeper understanding of content
  • • Greater motivation for learning
  • • Development of learners’ critical thinking abilities.
  • • Development of learners' attitudes toward thinking and learning
  • • A shift in classroom culture toward a community of enthusiastically engaged thinkers and learners.

Visible Thinking by Project Zero

Good thinking involves abilities, attitudes, and alertness. Visible Thinking is designed to foster all three. It is adaptable to any subject area and/or age level. At the core of Visible Thinking are routines that help make thinking visible. These routines help students explore ideas from any subject area. There are more than 20 routines which can be used according to the type of thinking that the teachers wish to elicit. There are routines for introducing and exploring, for synthesising and organising and for digger deeper into ideas. These thinking routines can be used individually, in a group discussion or as a written assignment.

Teachers at RBKIA PYP use with their students a number of "thinking routines" for exploring ideas -- around different topics. It includes a number of ways of making students' thinking visible to themselves, to their peers, and to the teacher, so they get more engaged by it and come to manage it better for learning and other purposes. As you walk in our PYP classrooms you can see students explaining things to one another, offering creative ideas and using the language of thinking. When thinking is visible, it is clear that school is not about memorizing content but exploring ideas and students show interest and commitment as learning unfolds in the classroom.

Teachers can see students' thinking and misconceptions, prior knowledge, reasoning ability, and degrees of understanding and can then address these challenges and extend students' thinking by starting from where they are.