Event Details

The next run of this micro practicum will be offered in 2022. Please use the Interest Form links to sign up for updates.

During times of change, it is important to lean into our values. Doing so helps us to remain grounded and true to our vision of what a quality education looks and feels like…even as we are buffeted by the unknown forces of change and thrust into new modes of instructional delivery.


Building a classroom and school culture, whether online or at a distance, is more than merely instituting a set of practices.  As useful as practices like thinking routines, documentation, and effective questioning can be, culture runs deeper. Culture is built on our values and beliefs and embedded in the messages we send. Thus, deep and lasting transformation must begin by embracing a set of beliefs about teaching, learning, and schooling. In this micro practicum, we will explore the 10 principles that we use in the Cultures of Thinking project to drive our action. These principles motivate and guide our actions and provide the touchstones we need as we create places where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted.  As we do so, we will look at the research behind these principles and the actions and data that can be used to move us forward in whatever teaching and learning environment we find ourselves in.

What past participants are saying:

“This course has inspired me to become a better teacher; provoking students to think more deeply and creating a safe space where challenges are not seen as insurmountable, or the classroom seen as a place where students can fail.”

April 2021 Participant

“In this short span of four weeks, I've found myself trying out a wide range of ideas inspired from this micro practicum. I've been trying to put greater focus on the thinking skills and have been blown away by the level of engagement in some of my lessons.”

April 2021 Participant

“This course actually changed my mind about the teacher's role in the classroom. The course’s 10 Principles are treasures for me to dig into.”

April 2021 Participant

“Creating a true, authentic culture of thinking in a classroom and school is transformational. It changes the perspectives, the focus of class time, and the conversations between teachers and students.”

April 2021 Participant

Course Designers & Instructor

Co-Designer: Ron Ritchhart has been a researcher at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education since 1994. His research focuses on understanding how to develop, nurture, and sustain thoughtful learning environments for both students and teachers. His interest in “cultures of thinking” has led him to conduct research in such areas as intellectual character, mindfulness, thinking dispositions, teaching for understanding, creativity in teaching, and the development of communities of practice.

Ron's research is classroom and school-based, believing that teaching is a complex art and science that must be understood in context. A strong theme of learning from best practice runs throughout much of Ron’s work. On many of the projects on which Ron has worked, he has produced videos of best practices related to teaching for understanding, creative and innovative teaching, and the use of thinking routines.

Prior to joining the Project Zero research group, Ron taught for fourteen years. He began his teaching career in New Zealand teaching 35 six- and seven-year-olds in a state school in Christchurch as part of a teaching internship program. From there he taught art in Indiana before moving to Denver, Colorado where he taught third and fourth grade. Frustrated with the way he was teaching mathematics, Ron pursued a mathematics education degree and later taught middle school mathematics. In 1993 he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching.

Ron earned his Ed.D. degree (2000) in human development and psychology from Harvard University. Ron's research on how teachers create thoughtful learning environments that support the development of students' intellectual character was the basis for his book: Intellectual Character: What it is, Why it matters, How to get it. His framework for understanding group culture detailed has been influential in shaping education in schools and museums throughout the world. His new book, Making Thinking Visible, explores how teachers around the world have been using the ideas of Ron and his colleagues at Project Zero to improve students’ learning.

Prior to attending Harvard, he earned a Master of Arts degree (1990) in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Indiana University.

Co-Design & Instructor: Mark Church works with schools throughout the world wishing to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms. He believes in the difference teachers can make for students when they strive to make thinking visible, valued, and actively promoted as part of the day-to-day experience of their learners. Mark encourages teachers to become students of their students, and more broadly, students of themselves and the choices they make to leverage the power of making thinking visible.

Mark is currently a consultant with Harvard Project Zero's Making Thinking Visible and Cultures of Thinking initiatives, drawing upon his own classroom teaching experience and from the perspectives he has gained working with educators throughout the world. Together with Ron Ritchhart, Mark is co-author of the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (Jossey-Bass, 2011) and The Power of Making Thinking Visible: Practices to Engage and Empower All Learners (Jossey-Bass, 2020).