Professional Learning for International Educators
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Cultures of Thinking 2017

Luxembourg - 21st & 22nd October 2017, 8:30am - 3:00pm Target Audience: K-12 Educators

The Cultures of Thinking initiative considers education to be a social and cultural endeavor whose goal is the development of both the individual and the group as effective learners and thinkers able to engage with and adapt to a changing world. Within this context the most important assessment question we can ask ourselves as educators is: Who are our students becoming as thinkers and learners as a result of their time with us?

Learning is a product of thinking. If we want our students to learn well and develop understanding, we must create cultures of thinking that actively engage students in thinking on an ongoing basis. However, this isn’t always an easy task. Schools and classrooms are not always set up to encourage thinking. Furthermore, by its very nature, thinking is a rather invisible and elusive process. How do we as teachers promote students’ thinking, recognize it when it occurs, and make thoughtfulness permeate our classrooms? To create a culture of thinking, educators must work together to create a school environment whose structure and purpose actively encourage a high level of focus on the practical and concrete ways educators can create a culture of thinking in their schools and classrooms, foster the kinds of thinking opportunities that lead to deep understanding of content, and how to look for evidence of student thinking and understanding. Participants will be introduced to a variety of thinking routines: what they are and how they can be used to create more thoughtful classrooms with student thinking, both individually as well as collectively, and where the thinking of all group members is regularly promoted, valued, made visible, and pushed further as a part of the ongoing, shared enterprise of the group.

During the workshop, we will focus on the practical and concrete ways educators can create a culture of thinking in their schools and classrooms, foster the kinds of thinking opportunities that lead to deep understanding of content, and how to look for evidence of student thinking and understanding. Participants will be introduced to a variety of thinking routines: what they are and how they can be used to create more thoughtful classrooms.

We will explore such questions as:

  • What is a culture of thinking?
  • How can the cultural forces that exist in each classroom support and further develop a culture of thinking?
  • How can educators use thinking routines to structure, scaffold, and support students’ thinking?
  • How does our language and questioning support students’ thinking and learning?


WORKSHOP OUTLINE Day One- October 1st: What Do We Mean by a Culture Of Thinking?

8:30 — 9:15        Welcome & Logistics

6 Principles of the Cultures of Thinking Project & Norms

Introductions (I Used to Think… Routine)

9:15 —10:30        A New Vision of the Outcomes of Education   (Chalk Talk Routine)

Unpacking Culture: (3,2,1 Bridge Routine)

10.30-10.50         Break

10.50-12.30         The Story of Learning

12.30-1.10          Lunch

1.10-1.40            Introduction to the Cultural Forces

1:45— 3:15        Unpacking Thinking   (Concept Maps)

Looking at Students’ concept maps

3:15 — 3:00      Closing Reflections (IQ Routine)


Follow-up Reading

·     Chapter 7: Creating a Place Where Thinking is Valued, Visible, & Actively Promoted

·     Chapter 1: The Purpose and Promise of Schools (CCOT)


October 2nd- Day 2:   How Can We Make Thinking Visible in Our Classrooms? 8:30 —   9:15     Opening Comments and Another look at the Cultural Forces

9:15 — 10:30     Exploring Thinking Routines as Tools (CSI Routine)

10:30 — 10:50   Break

10:50 — 12:15   Exploring Thinking Routines as Structures, and Patterns (GSCE & CEC Routine)

12:15 — 1:00    Lunch

1:00 — 2:30     The Language of the Classroom

Establishing Effective Patterns of Discourse & Questioning to Make Students’ Thinking Visible

2:30 — 3:00 Closing Reflections (Compass Points Routine)

Follow-up Reading  

Chapter 2: Putting Thinking at the Center of the Educational Enterprise

Chapter 3: Introduction to Thinking Routines

Ron Ritchhart

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 lead 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 have been influential in shaping education in schools and museums throughout the world.  His 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 an Master or 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.


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Ron’s latest book ‘Creating Cultures of Thinking’ (2015).

Workshop Fees

  • 2-day workshop with Ron Ritchhart – €750 per participant – Registration closes 7th of October 2017.
  • Group Discount Rate (5+ participants) – €700 per participant – Registration closes 7th of October 2017.
  • Early Bird discount on sale until 31st of August 2017 – €700 per participant.
  • Late Registration Processing Fee applies from 7 October 2017 – €50 per participant.

You may register online and make a payment by credit card or request an invoice online.

The workshop fee includes the cost of Ron Ritchhart’s book and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Important Booking Information

This workshop is confirmed – you may book your travel and accommodation once you have completed registration.

We do not refund fees, however you may send a different participant from your school in your place if necessary. If this occurs please email workshop organisers to inform them (

Professional Learning International reserves the right to cancel the workshop in the event of any unforeseen circumstances. Professional Learning International will not be responsible for any expenses relating to your travel if the workshop is rescheduled or cancelled, please be sure to take out travel insurance. In the event of rescheduling or cancellation Professional Learning International will issue a refund of the workshop fee.

Luxembourg - 21st & 22nd October 2017

ISL logo smallThe workshops will be held at The International School of Luxembourg, 36, boulevard Pierre Dupong, L-1430 Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Please note that the postal address, 36 boulevard Pierre Dupong, does not actually correspond to the geographic location. From the pinpointed location on the Google Map or any navigational system map, head south to the end of boulevard Pierre Dupong. Turn right, and bear right around the circular glass Forum building in order to enter the unnamed slip road onto the campus. Continue to the end of the slip road where you will arrive at our main building.

Please be advised parking is not available on campus, parking is available at the Fischer Parking Bouillon directly across the road from the school. Please see diagram below for further details. (image from Red arrows indicate possible driving directions, the yellow arrows indicate walking from the parking complex.

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From Luxembourg Airport

Take the E25 direction Brussels/Arlon
Continue on the autoroute to the Croix de Cessange
At the Croix de Cessange
Exit at Luxembourg-Hollerich to A4
Keep left, take the underpass, then turn left at the second traffic light (Merl-Belair). At the first traffic light, cross the A4 access road and make a sharp left onto the slip road which provides access to the campus. Turn right at the next traffic light and follow the small road past Lycée Aline Mayrisch to our parking lot at the end.

For further driving instructions from various European locations, please click here.

Recommended hotels:

Both Hotel Pac Belle Vue and Hotel Parc Belair are approximately a 20 minute walk to The International School of Luxembourg.

Hotel Parc Belle Vue


Hotel Parc Belair

parc belair