Social Emotional Thinking Routines
Creating Cultures of Thinking to
Support Positive Social Emotional Learning
Think... a word students hear often in school.
...Think before you speak.
...Think carefully about your answer before you write it down.
...Think about how you would feel if it happened to you.
Thinking, it is such a common word, yet students struggle each day to deeply think past surface answers, to justify their responses, and to stretch their thinking. In 2000, Dr. Ron Ritchhart, a senior research associate at Project Zero in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, embarked on a journey to create a Culture of Thinking to develop “both the individual and the group as effective learners and thinkers able to engage with and adapt to a changing world.” This sounds like a lofty ambition, but as I listened to teachers in my school discussing their newly designed lesson plans and observed students engaged in cultures of thinking routines, I quickly discovered how the Culture of Thinking (CoT) core principles could easily be intertwined into my interactions with students as a school social worker.
That’s why this website was created. With a slight shift in your thinking (and the ideas you will see), you can build a culture of thinking during your time with students. Through the website, we will highlight the core principles of Cultures of Thinking and explore some of the Thinking Routines that easily mesh with the lessons you have already created when working with students. The examples will be specific for creating a culture of thinking as an educator in helping students to make their social-emotional thinking visible.
-Jennifer Hollander, LMSW, Huron Valley Schools
Find out more about Cultures of Thinking for Social-Emotional Learning: