Creating Cultures of Thinking

The 8 Forces We Must Master To Truly 

Transform Our Schools 

9.00 - 15.30

Exact dates to be confirmed

M Hotel 



This workshop has been postponed due to travel and health uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus.  The new dates will be confirmed soon.  


USD 835 per participant​





Group of 3 or more 

USD 795 per participant


The Cultures  of Thinking (CoT) Project is a global initiative under the direction of Dr. Ron Ritchhart, a Principal Investigator and Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education.  


Since 2000, the CoT Project has worked with hundreds of public, independent, and international schools and museums across North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe to help transform schools, classrooms, and museums into places where thinking is valued, visible and actively promoted as part of the regular day-to-day experience of all group members.  


Three books have documented this work and are useful resources for those interested in developing a culture of thinking:  - Intellectual Character (Ritchhart, 2002) - Making Thinking Visible (Ritchhart, Church & Morrison, 2011), and  - Creating Cultures of Thinking (Ritchhart, 2015).

Potential Audience
This interactive workshop is designed for teachers, administrators and school leaders across grade levels and subject areas who are interested in supporting and developing their students as thinkers and learners.   

Workshop Overview

The CoT initiative considers education to be a social and cultural endeavor whose goal is the development of both the individual and the group as effective learners and thinkers able to engage with and adapt to a changing world. Within this context the most important assessment question we can ask ourselves as educators is:  


Who are our students becoming as thinkers and learners as a result of their time with us?


Learning is a product of thinking. If we want our students to learn well and develop understanding, we must create cultures of thinking that actively engage students in thinking on an ongoing basis. However, this isn’t always an easy task. Schools and  classrooms are not always set up to encourage thinking. Furthermore, by its very nature, thinking is a rather invisible and elusive process.


How do we as teachers promote students’ thinking, recognize it when it occurs, and make thoughtfulness permeate our classrooms? 


To create a culture of thinking, educators must work together to create a school environment whose structure and purpose actively encourage a high level of student thinking, both individually as well as collectively, and where the thinking of all group members is regularly promoted, valued, made visible, and pushed further as a part of the ongoing, shared enterprise of the group. 


We will focus on:

  • The practical and concrete ways educators can create a culture of thinking in their schools and classrooms.

  • Fostering the kinds of thinking opportunities that lead to deep understanding of content.

  • How to look for evidence of student thinking and understanding.

  • Introducing a variety of thinking routines: what they are and how they can be used to create more thoughtful classrooms.


We will explore such questions as:

  • What is a culture of thinking?

  • How can the cultural forces that exist in each classroom support and further develop a culture of thinking?

  • How can educators use thinking routines to structure, scaffold, and support students’ thinking?



Workshop Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • The eight keys to the development of group culture and how they can harness those to create a culture of thinking in their school or classroom. 


  • How to use thinking routines to support students learning, to foster thinking dispositions, and to make thinking visible.


  • How to foster effective classroom discussions through the use of language, questioning, and discourse.

What Do We Mean By a Culture of Thinking ?

9.00 - 9.45  

Welcome & Logistics

6 Principles of the Cultures of Thinking Project & Norms

Introductions (I Used to Think… Routine) 

9.45 - 11.00

A New Vision of the Outcomes of Education (Chalk Talk Routine)

Unpacking Culture: (3,2,1 Bridge Routine)

11.00 - 11.20


11.20 - 13.00

The Story of Learning

13.00 - 13.40


13.40 - 14.45

Introduction to the Cultural Forces

14.45 - 15.15

Unpacking Thinking (Concept Maps)

Looking at Students’ Concept Maps

15.15 - 15.30

Closing Reflections (IQ Routine)

How Can We Make Thinking Visible in Our Classrooms ?

9.00 - 9.45  

Opening Comments and another look at the Cultural Forces

9.45 - 11.00

Exploring Thinking Routines as Tools (CSI Routine)

11.00 - 11.20


11.20 - 12.45

Exploring Thinking Routines as Structures, and Patterns (GSCE & CEC Routine)

12.45 - 13.30


13.30 - 15.00

The Language of the Classroom

Establishing Effective Patterns of Discourse & Questioning to Make Students’ Thinking Visible

15.00 - 15.30

Closing Reflections (Compass Points Routine)

Course Leader

Dr. Ron Ritchhart is a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero and Fellow at  the University of Melbourne, Australia. His current research focuses on developing intellectual character, making thinking visible, and enhancing school and classroom culture. 


Ron's research and writings, particularly his theory of Intellectual Character and his framework for understanding group culture, have informed the work of schools, museums, and organizations throughout the world. 


Ron’s widely acclaimed book, Making Thinking Visible, co-authored with Mark Church and Karin Morrison, has popularized the use of thinking routines worldwide. Ron currently directs the Worldwide Cultures of Thinking Project aimed at facilitating effective learning in classrooms, schools, and organizations. Bialik College in Melbourne Australia, Oakland County Schools in Michigan, and the International School of Amsterdam have been key partners in Ron’s research. 


This combination of private, public, and international schools have served as the prime sites for developing the core practices and school-based evidence that surround Cultures of Thinking. Ron’s recently published book, Creating Cultures of Thinking, couples the real classroom practice of teachers with whom he has worked with recent educational research on learning to illuminate how schools and classrooms can be transformed to develop the learners and thinkers we need for the 21st century.