Make Thinking Visible, K-12
Visible Thinking is a Web site developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to encourage the development of a culture of thinking in classrooms. It provides a research-based approach to integrating the development of students’ thinking with content learning across subject areas. The Visible Thinking approach provides a way to increase learning and create more thoughtful students without a separate ‘thinking skills' course or fixed lessons.

The site contains in-depth descriptions of ideals, routines, and activities developed from research on thinking and learning in K–12 schools. The six sections of the site are Visible Thinking in Action; Getting Started; Thinking Routines; Thinking Ideals; School Wide Culture of Thinking; and Additional Resources. Each of the illustrated boxes on the left side of the homepage link to one of these areas.

Thinking Routines guide students’ thought processes and encourage active processing. These short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the everyday classroom routine.

Thinking Ideals are easily accessible concepts that focus on goals or interests that promote thinking. Four Ideals—Understanding, Truth, Fairness and Creativity—are presented as modules on this site. There are associated routines for each ideal, and within each module, there are activities that help deepen students’ concepts around the ideal.

The key goals of the site include “deeper understanding of content, greater motivation for learning, development of students’ thinking and learning abilities, development of students’ attitudes toward thinking and learning and their alertness to opportunities for thinking and learning, and a shift in classroom culture toward a community of enthusiastically engaged thinkers and learners.”