Teachers have summer reading, too!

Mark Church

What are Wooster's faculty doing this summer? In mid-July at Wooster School – the Making Thinking Visible Project kicked off with author and facilitator Mark Church sharing his experience and research work with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. http://www.pz.harvard.edu/

Wooster's faculty took part in a 3 day workshop in which they created the foundational work for the Making Thinking Visible project which will become part of the Wooster learning community.

Mark Church reflected on his time at Wooster. "While working together with Wooster teachers and leaders in our recent Making Thinking Visible workshops, it became clear to me their passion and interest in the students they teach and the success their students experience while in their charge."

Church noted, "The Harvard Project Zero Making Thinking Visible team have been interested in how classrooms become rich cultures of thinking, for both students and teachers, and what difference this makes to near-term and long-term learning. Of course, this question is not an easy one to answer, which isn't all that surprising. The answers to complex questions of teaching and learning are never readily apparent. As it's been said, 'We must learn to love the questions themselves.'"

"As Wooster colleagues gather together in ongoing study sessions over time in the midst of their authentic work with Wooster students, they'll ask of themselves: What kinds of thinking must students make use of in order to deepen understanding? What opportunities are there for my students to develop and explain their theories with one another? What kind of creative solutions do I ask my students to construct? How do I invite students to debate the complexities of a topic or issue? ", Church continued.

Church remarked, "Our experience has been that when educators focus on questions such as these about the learning environments they create, students are more likely to show commitment to their learning, find more meaningful connections between school and outside life, and display the attitudes we most want to see in our learners: open-mindedness, curiosity, appropriate skepticism, and a thirst for wanting to understand."

Why visible thinking? Collaborative learning, among educators and students, across all academic disciplines will cultivate students' thinking skills and deepen content learning.

Students and teachers, together side by side, will have the opportunity to learn by thinking about their own thinking. Teachers will consider their own thinking and their own classroom practices that promote thinking. Visible thinking will make our teachers' work more transparent and also focus on the work of our students.

The 2013-2014 school year at Wooster School is going to be an exciting, engaging, and academically challenging one for both students and teachers! http://woosterschool.org