Tools for Assessing Culture of Thinking

In working to create a culture of thinking, it is useful to take stock of how things stand currently as well as to assess progress and change along the way. The Looking at Opportunities reflection tool provides 12 criteria for taking stock of the culture of a classroom. These criteria are grouped around 4 key areas: focus of content, engagement of students, depth of work, and presence of thinking. While the sheet provides a space for self-rating, the key component of the tool is really the personal reflection and identification of specific evidence to back up one’s ratings.

This Looking at Opportunities tool can be used for personal reflection, peer observation, and whole-school reflection on the development of a culture of thinking. Some administrators have even used this sheet to structure classroom observations and discussion. In using the tool, one can base assessment on an individual classroom episode, a unit of instruction, or one’s overall teaching.


(This will download .pdf file of Looking at Opportunities tool)