Resource Summary

"Let's build dynamic learning communities that engage students, promote deep understanding, and sustain a lifetime of inquiry. Once again we are in the throes of curriculum reforms designed to transform education. However, these efforts generally neglect the vital role classroom and school culture play in promoting learning. Any curriculum, good or bad, will sink or float on the culture of the classroom in which it is enacted. Culture matters not only to realize curricular goals, but also as a shaper of students' development as powerful thinkers and learners. Creating Cultures of Thinking, written by leading Harvard University researcher Ron Ritchhart, builds the case for "enculturation" as the key to deep learning and the development of the habits of mind and dispositions needed in a changing world. He demystifies the process of creating dynamic learning communities by first identifying and then walking us through the eight forces we must marshal to build strong group culture. Case studies, practical guidelines, self-assessments, and inquiry projects enable teachers and administrators—as well as anyone interested in fostering group learning—to understand and shape powerful learning communities."