Making Thinking Visible

Looking Inside the Black Box: Making Student Thinking Visible. By better understanding how students think and learn, teachers can make better decisions about how to support student thinking, what kind of feedback to give, what explanations may work, what misconceptions interfere with student learning, and the basis for their difficulties. Making student thinking visible is essential to help teachers develop greater cognitive empathy and capacity to see the subject matter from the students' point of view. For more see Making Student Thinking Visible

Looking Inside the Black Box: Making Teachers' Thinking Visible. It is also important for teachers to make their thinking visible to students. If we want students to think in particular ways we need to expose them to how it is done. For example, students can benefit from watching and listening as a mathematics teacher thinks aloud as she works through a problem or as a historian analyzes a historical artifact. Thinking aloud is different than explaining the steps of a solution or ones conclusions about a historical artifact. Thinking aloud externalizes the chain of thoughts, decisions, false starts, and conjectures that lead to a solution or conclusion. In Teaching the Mind Good Habits, cognitive researcher, Sam Wineburg, talks about the importance of letting students in on the thinking that goes on behind the scenes,