Near East South Asia - Council of Overseas Schools

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InterContinental Hotel - Abu Dhabi

Mark Church

Co-Author of Making Thinking Visible, and Consultant for Cultures of Thinking Initiatives at Harvard's Project Zero.

Full Bio

MARK CHURCH works with educators throughout the world striving to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms and schools. He challenges teachers to foster thinking dispositions in students in service of deep understanding, invites teachers to develop and use a language of thinking that communicates value for student sense-making, and encourages teachers to make their classroom environment rich with the documents of thinking processes.

Mr Church is currently a consultant with the Harvard Project Zero’s Making Thinking Visible and Cultures of Thinking initiatives worldwide, drawing upon his own classroom teaching experience and from the perspectives he has gained working with educators throughout North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

He enjoys helping teachers examine opportunities for student thoughtfulness, use thinking routines as supports and scaffolds, interact with students in ways that demonstrate interest in and respect for students’ thinking, and send clear expectations about the importance and value of thinking in learning.

Together with Ron Ritchhart and Karin Morrison, Mr Church is co-author of the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (Jossey-Bass, 2011).

3-Hour Workshop: Thursday, Oct. 19

Becoming a Culture of Thinking: Examining Pictures of Practice in NESA Schools and Beyond

As more and more schools take a stance towards developing a culture of thinking for students and teachers, the need for pictures of practice is ever growing. Simply put, we know that schools find great value in hearing the stories and experiences of others, for this gives them models to consider and ideas to ponder.

At this year's Fall Leadership Conference, we have invited Mark Church to lead a workshop panel in which school teams share their experiences of building a culture that develops and deepens students' thinking dispositions. The intent is to thoughtfully provoke participants with what they might consider as they embark on a similar journey to promote students' thinking habits in intentional ways.

The various "pictures of practice" discussed on this panel will offer guideposts and models of how making thinking visible can be approached and accomplished.

Panel Members:

    • Clayton Filter-Learning Coach MS/HS, American International School-Chennai, India
    • Matt McGrady-Art/Design Teacher & Nathan Meisner-Dean of Students/IB Coordinator, American Community School of Abu Dhabi, UAE
    • Dwane Harris-Associate Principal Secondary, Robyn Spicer & Kim Halverson - Pedagogical Coordinators, The KAUST School, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    • Lisa Verkerk-PYP Curriculum Coordinator & Project Zero Coordinator, International School of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Target Audience: All disciplines, all levels.

Continuum Levels: 3, 4 = Initiating Implementation (setting structures, developing skills, piloting practice, scaffolding support) | Extending Implementation (reflecting, evaluating, modifying practice, improving skills)

NESA's Learning Continuum:

Learn more about how NESA plans Professional Learning

3-Hour Workshop: Friday, Oct. 20

A Culture of Thinking: Creating Classrooms Where Thinking is Visible, Has Value, and Shapes a Rich Story of Learning

Every classroom communicates to students a story of what learning actually is -- what it feels like, what it looks like, and how it works to develop lasting understanding. All too often though, with mandates and pressures dominating the attention of many teachers and school leaders, schools often become settings of “just getting through the work” and fail to provide a rich story of learning for students.

For a number of years, the Harvard University Project Zero Making Thinking Visible team have questioned: Just how can classrooms and schools become rich cultures of thinking for learners, both students and teachers, and what difference does it make for their learning?

This introductory session is designed for school leaders beginning the Cultures of Thinking conversation. Participants will gain an overview of the big ideas we examine in this project. We will consider concrete strategies, tools, and pictures of practice to broaden a vision of what a new story of learning might be and how it might be achieved through creating a culture of thinking.

Target Audience: All disciplines, all levels.

Continuum Levels: 2, 3 = Deepening Understanding (theory-based learning, investigating models, identifying experts) | Initiating Implementation (setting structures, developing skills, piloting practice, scaffolding support)

NESA's Learning Continuum:

Learn more about how NESA plans Professional Learning


Save paper and effort where possible!

For your convenience, and to support our efforts in being "green", all handouts/files posted here have been notated with an A, B, C or D indicating the following:

(A) hardcopies needed at workshop
(B) electronic version on laptop is sufficient (for viewing during the workshop)
(C) required reading PRIOR to the workshop
(D) file not needed for workshop itself, but simply material of additional interest/reference

3-Hour Workshop: Thursday, Oct. 19

(B) Six Key Principles: Developing Culture of Thinking

3-Hour Workshop, Friday, Oct. 20

(B) 1. The 8 Cultural Forces

(B) 2. The Understanding Map

(B) 3. See Think Wonder

(B) 4. Claim Support

(B) 5. Zoom In

PowerPoint Slides

Becoming a Culture of Thinking, Pictures of Practice - Matt McGrady & Nathan Meisner

How the ideas of Making Thinking Visible and creating a Culture of Thinking are woven into the fabric of ISA - Lisa Verkerk

Becoming a Culture of Thinking, Pictures of Practice - The KAUST School: Dwane, Kim & Robyn

Becoming a Culture of Thinking, Grassroots Efforts & What Matters to Teachers - Clayton Filter

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