Posted in MAET: CEP 810

Learning and Understanding: A Practical Discussion

As part of our back to school professional development, one of my colleagues offered a training session on the cultures of thinking. While working through several visible thinking routines, it became clear that by asking students to illustrate their thought processes, either through visuals or oral explanation, students are more likely to consider complex aspects of a concept and draw connections previously ignored. In the text, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition, education experts discuss the necessity for students (and all learners) to move beyond a novice state toward mastery. Visible thinking routines are just one way that this can occur. In the following essay, I have explored the differences between learning as a novice and an expert, as well as reflected on some of the ways that this can occur in my own practice.

The full essay can be found here. I look forward to engaging with other educators to discuss the best practices for implementing these concepts in my classroom and overall school community.

Cover image: “Thinking Man”  is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.


3 thoughts on “Learning and Understanding: A Practical Discussion

  1. I like your theme of how visuals help students solidify those connections they need for mastery. Do you have examples of the visual thinking routines? I was thinking recently about some of the Waldorf school practices that embed logical thinking and kinesthetic learning as brain exercises in addition to the content. Best practice says students should be explicitly involved in their learning because if they understand how their brain learns, it helps strengthen critical thinking and mastery of skills. I can’t wait to see what other teachers are trying in their classrooms this year!


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