Visible Thinking

At Kilvington, we want to build and develop in students the cognitive processes to enable them to think about their own thinking. It means being focused beyond the skills of memorisation, replication and retention through rote learning. While these skills are needed, they are not the skills of deep and purposeful thought incorporating understanding, curiosity, truth and evidence, fairness, moral reasoning, creativity, self-management and decision making.

The use of thinking routines makes thinking visible to students so they better understand their learning. In nurturing thinking in our students, they will grow into adults who can meaningfully and purposefully engage in the world around them from a well-informed empathic perspective.

Kilvington Grammar is proud to be involved in Harvard University’s Project Zero pilot program involving cross-curricular thinking routines. The following are some examples of thinking routines at Kilvington:

1. Year 9 Geography – Atlas and Map Activity

Thinking Routine – Think Pair Share

Students investigate the map of Victoria in pairs. One of the pair investigates ‘Locations and Regions’ and creates a presentation. The other investigates ‘Significant Physical Features’ and creates a separate presentation. The students are then asked to share their presentations with each other, combine and submit to their teachers. This approach teaches students to think about something, such as a problem, question or topic, and then articulate their thoughts. The Think Pair Share routine promotes understanding through active reasoning and explanation. Because students are listening to and sharing ideas, Think Pair Share encourages students to understand multiple perspectives.

2. Year 10 Ethics and Leadership – Virtues Discussion

Thinking Routine – Step Inside

Students read the quote below and then research Aristotles Virtues.

“Although tempted to act wrongly, someone may nevertheless do the right thing.”

With reference to one of the virtues recognised by Aristotle, students are asked to explain how he would judge this person. Students refer to these key questions for this thinking routine:

1. What can the person or thing perceive?
2. What might the person or thing know about or believe?
3. What might the person or thing care about?

This routine helps students to explore different perspectives and viewpoints as they try to imagine things, events, problems, or issues differently. In some cases this can lead to a more creative understanding of what is being studied.

Year 1 IT – Cyber Safe Activity

Thinking Routine – What Makes You Say That?

Year 1 students are asked questions or shown images related to Cyber safety such as:

“You are playing Minecraft and one of the other kids playing starts a chat asking you for your name, address and phone number. Should you give these details to them?”

Students are in a circle. Those who thought “yes” are asked to step forward, students who thought “no” are asked to step back, students who did not know are asked to stay where they were.

Going around the circle, the teacher asks those who stepped forward and back two key questions – What do you know or have seen that makes you step forward? What do you know or have seen that makes you step backwards? What did you not know that makes you say where you are?

The teacher then summarises the responses on the board to promote evidence-based reasoning. All students are then invited to the mat to share their interpretations and encouraged to understand alternatives and multiple perspectives.