PZ Thinking Routines from Sue Borchardt on Vimeo.
To help make these ideas more concrete, Ritchhart and his colleagues have been working to hone in on a short list of “thinking moves” related to understanding. To test whether these moves were really crucial, researchers asked themselves: could a student say she really understood something if she hadn’t engaged in these activities? They believe the important “thinking moves” that lead to understanding are:
- Naming: being able to identify the parts and pieces of a thing
- Inquiry: questioning should drive the process throughout
- Looking at different perspectives and viewpoints
- Reasoning with evidence
- Making connections to prior knowledge, across subject areas, even into personal lives
- Uncovering complexity
- Capture the heart and make firm conclusions
- Building explanations, interpretations and theories.
These thinking moves all point to the conclusion that learning doesn’t happen through the mere delivery of information. “Learning only occurs when the learner does something with that information,” Ritchhart said. “So as teachers we need to think not only about how we will deliver that content, but also what we will have students do with that content.”