This article, When Kids Have Structure for Thinking, Better Learning Emerges, looks deeply at how to best teach students about metacognition. It underscores the importance of thinking structures which, with continued use, provide concrete strategies to build thinking skills while deepening content learning. The article discusses work done by the Harvard Graduate School of Education Project Zero, which conducts education research to better understand thinking and learning in many contexts.
Project Zero’s Visible Thinking website includes many tools teachers can use to bring thinking structures into their classrooms. The framework includes an extensive group of routines/protocols and activities that can be used in any classroom with any lesson to build students’ metacognitive skills without a separate “thinking” course or lesson.
The framework is very flexible and can be accessed in several ways. For example, educators can jump in and begin using a routine with students, focus on documenting student thinking or work through activities over several months. The site also includes resources to help build a school-wide culture of thinking, such as assessment tools and materials for groups of teachers to look at student work together.