“Culture is the hidden tool for transforming our schools and offering our students the best learning possible... Culture is foundational. It will determine how any curriculum comes to life.”
Ron Ritchhart, 2015, Creating cultures of thinking: the 8 forces we must master to truly transform our schools, New York, John Wiley & Sons
Cultures of Thinking, a project of Harvard University, reflects global research around the values, attitudes and skill needed for 21st century learning. The program looks beyond classroom practice to creating a school-wide culture that promotes thinking processes which are:
• deeper and better developed
• more flexible and energetic
• critical and creative
• collaborative and inquiry based
This helps students to become more comfortable in situations where the problem or issue to be explored is uncertain. It encourages the exploration of issues such as equity and fairness by considering a range of perspectives.
In the classroom:
• students are encouraged to become independent and curious.
• questions are used as tools to help unlock thinking and foster collaborative approaches to constructing knowledge.
• students become more forthcoming with their ideas and more willing to take risks, as they know that their thinking is valued and actively promoted by their teacher.
The positive impact of these active and creative thinking skills can be seen in the academic results gained by our students over the last few years, as these crucial skills have become more deeply embedded in student behaviours.