Make Thinking Visible


So many of the most exciting trends in education right now are coming from Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. One of those is the idea of Visible Thinking. Visible Thinking aims to document student thinking, help students understand thinking routines, and help students and teachers with their reflective practice.

In an article called, How Making Thinking Visible Helps Teachers and Students, Alan November explains,

“Letting go of control can be very scary for professors and teachers who traditionally have been highly valued for their conductor-like ability to control the flow of knowledge in a classroom where every student receives the same content at the same time. The trick is to strike a balance between empowering students to own more of their own learning while the teacher directs the flow of learning. In this new balance, the role of the educators is more important than ever. All educators do not agree that technology has made their lives easier. What we need is to give them tools that can ease the workload while improving results.”

Luckily, some edtech tools exist to help teachers introduce Visible Thinking to their students. November highlights two of his favorite digital tools:

  • Prism – a tool for collaborative interpretation of texts
  • Verso – Evidence-based high-impact teaching strategies

Have you tried Visible Thinking in the classroom? What tools do you use to help students document their thinking?

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