“Visible Thinking has a double goal: on the one hand, to cultivate students’ thinking skills and dispositions, and, on the other, to deepen content learning. By thinking dispositions, we mean curiosity, concern for truth and understanding, a creative mindset, not just being skilled but also alert to thinking and learning opportunities and eager to take them.” (visiblethinkingpz.org)
Too often, I have been guilty of repeating my old story as a teacher—the story where I play the lecturer or spoon-feeder of information, and students take down notes ferociously without processing or sharing their understanding, curiosity, or emotional responses. Weeks later, on a test, I find out what they understood or didn’t.
Imagine a lesson that is accessible to all levels of learners. Students are actively engaged and believe their voices matter. Imagine a lesson where students have easy-to-use structures in place that support independence and thinking dispositions such as curiosity, open-mindedness, reflection, critical thinking, creativity, and innovation. As students collaborate, they realize learning is not just an individual process driven by the teacher but a social endeavor where understanding grows from a community of students making their thinking visible to one another. Last, imagine a lesson where you have time to observe students closely, reflect on their thinking and learning, and create curriculum that truly grows from their needs and interests.