I’m revisiting my highlights in Ron Richhart’s Creating Culture of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools. A revisit to any great text surfaces new questions. One of my biggest questions drawn from the text is What kind of intellectual life are we surrounding our children with at home, school and in the classroom?
You’d think the “intellectual life” would be a natural focus of our schools, but creating a culture of thinking is confounded by the fact that the natural disposition of many schools these days is to act as a sifting and sorting mechanism. From p. 23:
- you either fit in or you don’t
- there’s no place for dialog and conversation
- learning requires individual seat work and practice
- learning is competitive, not cooperative
- being fast means you’re smart
- there’s no time for questioning
- learning is all about getting the grade
How many of our learners have a fixed mindset reinforced by the culture of the “school”? How many of our teachers are the same way? I think it might be interesting to have conversations with teachers, students and parents like those shared in the article How can students be successful in a high stakes world? The author suggests many of the issues above can be addressed through the “ABCs of engagement”: affective, behavioral and cognitive engagement, with cognitive being the one lost in most of our schools. I think the ideas in Creating Cultures of Thinking can help us move toward better engagement in all three areas, particularly the cognitive.
Join Erin Murphy (@MurphysMusings5) and me on Wednesday, August 26, 8 PM, on #currichat to talk some more about cultures of thinking.
What kind of intellectual life do you surround your children with at home, school and in the classroom?