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Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools
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Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  388 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Discover why and how schools must become places where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted As educators, parents, and citizens, we must settle for nothing less than environments that bring out the best in people, take learning to the next level, allow for great discoveries, and propel both the individual and the group forward into a lifetime of learning. This ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 9th 2015 by Jossey-Bass (first published February 4th 2015)
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Connie Weber
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you were going to read one, just one, book on education, because you were hoping to get a sense for what we can do to bring out the life in learning for all students--and teachers, of course as well--then choose this book. It is a profound read, an unusual combination of high level educational research combined with practical what-to-do-now ideas for launching into a whole new and much better plan for learning in classrooms. Learning with meaningfulness, depth, bustling energy, and full parti ...more
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly, books that inspire my growth as a teacher are some of my favorites, so you'll have to trust me when I tell you that Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools takes that love to a whole new level. Creating Cultures of Thinking is the latest installment in a decade-long conversation that began for me in 2004 with Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It, and continued with Making Thinking Visible in 2011. In t ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education, nonfiction
For my review of this book, I have chosen to use the thinking routine "I used to think...Now I think..."

I used to think it wasn't so hard to create the right kind of classroom culture. Be kind and caring and clear in expectations and prioritize relationships. Now I think there's more to it than that, and it's worth stopping to reflect on the factors that contribute to a culture focused on thinking rather than just doing work.

I used to think that teachers were cultish in their use of thinking rou
Jae Ell
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In my 4th year as an educator at the Washington International School in DC - I thank Ron Ritchhart for helping me work towards achieving one of my professional goals for this school year ==> How can I create a math classroom culture in order to maximize growth mindset and minimize grade anxiety.

I am excited to continue this journey with you and WIS. My students deserve to have thinking and learning made priorities on a daily basis.

I am learning.
I am thinking.
I am making mistakes.
It is messy.

Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read that, appropriately, made me think a lot. I really appreciated the inspiring case studies and the careful analysis of them. I have been seeing thinking and opportunities to promote thinking everywhere since I finished it a few days ago. I am a future teacher, so I expect I will return to this book and get even more out of it later once I am actually in a classroom.
Maria Caplin
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Have to admit I chapter jumped this book. Certain a ones captivated me and I took a thousand notes others helped me reflect on best practices. Highly suggested if the goal is shifting the culture in a school.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very powerful handbook on transforming schools into places where thinking is foremost (rather than completing tasks, being compliant, etc).
Ahed H
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal, inspiring, thought-provoking masterpiece!

Such a “must read”!
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Important read for educators. See my blog review here:
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Ritchhart lays out a framework for examining the cultures of our classrooms and schools centered on eight cultural forces, expectations, language, time, opportunities, interactions, routines, modeling, and environment, with an eye to promoting the development of thinking and understanding.

Steeped in a school and a work community rooted in EL Education and the Deeper Learning network in addition to several years working with Ritchhart's thinking routines, I didn't find a lot new here. Instead th
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ritchart describes and elaborates on what makes a culture of thinking. Specifically, what are the aspects that we can include in our classrooms that not only make thinking visible, but sought after by teachers and students alike.

This is definitely not a beach read. It's a book whose chapters should be read in short bursts and given time to think about for a few days. It's useful as a book study for a faculty at a school, and would benefit from a structured workshop after the majority of a staff
Debby Chris
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for everyone in education, as well as parents and anyone who enjoys learning! Makes you really ponder the question of what “thinking” truly is. Can’t wait to try some of these ideas out at school!
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this with a class and appreciated our discussions and support for changing and developing practice. Some chapters were richer than others. Definitely worth thinking about.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Easy and enjoyable read that explains a little of the history of schools, how change happens and what learning can look like as schools adapt to their learners.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A practical guide to setting up a sustainable culture of thinking in schools. Definitely worth a read for teachers.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best education book I’ve read this year. Pushed my thinking in all the best ways.
Lara May
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this book has changed my approach to teaching - i am more focused on learning, and using thinking routines... my language has changed and i am a better teacher for it.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This has been the best book I've read on schools and teaching this year!
Yasin Denli
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
An easy and informative read. No advertisement or anything. It's pure ideas, research and reflections of classroom applications.
Amanda Amburgey
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The thinking routines in this book are great! Easy to implement in various ways within your class, for example, to increase empathy before reading a chapter in The Boy Harnessed the Wind, students did the See, Think, Wonder Routine with 2 photos I choose that showed 2 young children and 1 dog who were suffering different stages of the diseases of starvation. The routine lead the students to ask important questions.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get to this book. I still wish someone would hand me this book way earlier. I only read it once so far but it feels one of these books that you need to read several times.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This book provides ideas on how to cultivate thinking in classrooms. I particularly liked the section on creating a physical classroom environment that encourages thinking. The thing that I don't like about it is that it is made up mostly of case studies. The downside of this is that the teaching situations are very particular, so you may get discouraged if your school doesn't allow you to do some of the things that the teachers in this book are able to do.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
My rating of this book is lower than the average based on previous reading and conversations. The reading of this book reminded me somewhat of my reading of Friedman's The World is Flat. I'd read so much that referred to the book that it was somewhat anti-climactic when I read the actual book. Plenty of great ideas and a brilliant intro to the rest of Ritchhart's work.
Heather Peace
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I get very frustrated reading many pedagogical texts because they usually lack any practical application. however, Ritchhart does an excellent job balancing educational theory with scenarios and practical applications. I have been implementing many of the practices in my Modeling and Calculus course and I have been pleased with the results.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read as a book club with a small group of colleagues. Great blend of philosophy, research and practice. Offers activities that can be implemented immediately in individual classrooms and suggestions for broader community transformation, as well.
Aaron Bolin
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent topic, but I'm not sure the authors really closed the deal. I had more questions than answers at the end of the book. I'd definitely recommend this book for educators, but the material seems somewhat incomplete.
Tina Ceratti
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book needs to be required reading for universities & school districts. ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Although this book had very good points, it was such a dry read and not very interesting.
Mills College Library
370.152 R598 2015
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think anyone/everyone should read the first chapter or two of this book about culture, structure, and the importance of belief systems in driving behavior. The rest is a lot of detail...
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Bryn Mawr School ...: Creating Cultures of Thinking 4 7 Jul 18, 2016 06:51AM  

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Ron Ritchhart is currently a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero where his work focuses on such issues as teaching for understanding, the development of intellectual character, creative teaching, making students' thinking visible, and most recently the development of school and classroom culture. Ron's research and writings, particularly his theory of Intellectual Character and frame ...more

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In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
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“When we recognize that true understanding of a discipline involves learning its processes and ways of thinking as well as its content knowledge, then we naturally create opportunities for developing those abilities.” 3 likes
“I believe that culture is the hidden tool for transforming our schools and offering our students the best learning possible. Traditionally, policymakers have focused on curriculum as the tool for transformation, naively assuming that teachers merely deliver curriculum to their students. Change the deliverable—Common Core, National Curriculum, International Baccalaureate Diploma—and you will have transformed education they assume. In reality, curriculum is something that is enacted with students. It plays out within the dynamics of the school and classroom culture. Thus culture is foundational. It will determine how any curriculum comes to life.” 1 likes
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