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School-Wide Culture of Thinking

Developing thinking dispositions—whether it is a disposition to strive for understanding, to figure out the complexities of fairness, to seek truth, or hunt for creative solutions—occurs within a cultural context. It is within cultural contexts that we develop our patterns of behavior and thinking that become our habits. Therefore, Visible Thinking uses an enculturative approach to develop students’ thinking, immersing students in a rich culture of thinking in schools and classrooms.

Within a culture of thinking, students experience school as a place where thinking is valued and given time, rich opportunities for thinking abound in their day-to-day classroom experience, models of thinking are present in the form of seeing teachers and peers as fellow thinkers, and the environment is full with the documentation of thinking. Such environments not only provide for the practice of students’ thinking skills but also help them to foster an inclination toward thinking and to develop a greater awareness of thinking occasions.