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Creating Thinking Classrooms
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Creating Thinking Classrooms
Leading Educational Change for This Century

First Edition


April 2018 | 304 pages | Corwin

Reinvigorating today’s schools with Critical, Creative and Collaborative thinking 

Critical, creative and collaborative thinking should be at the centre of all 21st century teaching and learning. Creating Thinking Classrooms is loaded with examples, stories and strategies for reinvigorating schools with this quality thinking. Written for leaders who support teachers, this guide treats educational change as a process of renovation, rather than process of revolution, and emphasizes building upon, refining and sustaining the many good things happening in today’s schools. Practical and user-friendly, it emphasizes five key principles for learning and teaching:   

  • Engaging students
  • Sustaining inquiry
  • Nurturing self-regulated learners
  • Creating assessment-rich learning
  • Enhancing learning through digital technology 

As a balanced and reasoned response to the challenges and opportunities facing schools, this book separates the rhetoric of school reform from reality by analyzing what’s actually happening and offering a plan educators can use. Recapture the fundamentals of classroom learning with a practical and powerful roadmap charting the way forward. 


As a principal and community superintendent, I observed firsthand how transformational the work of Garfield Gini-Newman and Roland Case is in the school community, and on a systemic level, in the school community, and on a systemic level.  Creating Thinking Classrooms takes theory and research and places it directly into the hands of practitioners by offering thoughtful and immediately-useful strategies.  Not only does this work transform engagement and achievement, but it also transforms thinking for both teachers and their students.  Teaching and learning go from passive acquisition of information to active, purposeful, and deliberate interaction with the curriculum.  It is a must-read! 
Ursula A. Hermann, Ph.D, retired principal and community superintendent 
Montgomery County Public Schools 


What impresses me most about Creating Thinking Classrooms is the notion of framing the retooling of schools as renovation or reinvigoration rather than as revolution. Too many seem to ignore that there are many good things worth preserving in our schools and others that need to be reframed or recast to give them greater currency.  This book builds on what has worked and makes it better. The message – being purposeful and patiently focused on long-term success – is a powerful one that needs to be heard above the din.
David Chojnacki, Executive Director 
Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools

 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
PART I. UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES
 
Chapter 1. Opportunities and Challenges
Defining the Challenges  
The Urgency to Improve  
The Many Directions for Change  
Three Potential Pitfalls  
Three Promising Directions  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
PART II. REORIENT THE FOUNDATIONS: WHY THINKING IS AT THE HEART OF MEANINGFUL LEARNING
 
Chapter 2. Thinking Is the Key
Basic Orientations to Teaching and Learning  
Alternative Sources of Curriculum Content  
Differing Views of Student Learning  
Contrasting Roles for Teachers  
Implications for an Inquiry Unit  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
Chapter 3. Critical, Creative, and Collaborative Dimensions of Thinking
The Power of an Integrated Approach to Thinking  
The Critical Dimension  
The Creative Dimension  
The Collaborative Dimension  
Concluding Thoughts  
Note  
 
Chapter 4. A Framework for Nurturing Thinking Classrooms
A Comprehensive Approach to Implementation  
Shape Climate to Support Thinking  
Create Opportunities for Thinking  
Build Capacity for Thinking  
Provide Guidance That Informs Thinking  
Concluding Thoughts  
Note  
 
PART III. REFOCUS THE GOALS: WHAT SCHOOLS MUST ACHIEVE TO BETTER PREPARE STUDENTS
 
Chapter 5. From Knowledge to Deep Understanding
What Does It Mean to Understand Deeply?  
Why Do We Have This Problem?  
Why Is Teaching for Deep Understanding Important?  
What Practices Nurture Deep Understanding?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Note  
 
Chapter 6. From Skill to Real-Life Competency
What Is Meant by Real-Life Competencies?  
Why Are Students Not Better Prepared?  
What Practices Nurture Real-Life Competence?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
Chapter 7. From Attitude to Genuine Commitment
What Do We Mean by Genuine Commitment?  
Why Is Teaching for Genuine Commitment Important?  
What Practices Nurture Genuine Commitment?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
PART IV. ALIGN WITH GUIDING PRINCIPLES: HOW TEACHERS CAN BEST SUPPORT 21ST CENTURY LEARNING
 
Chapter 8. Engage Students
What Does Engaging Students Mean?  
Why Is It Important to Engage Students Beyond Compliance and Mere Interest?  
What Practices Support Educational Engagement?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
Chapter 9. Sustain Inquiry
What Is Sustained Inquiry?  
Why Is It Important to Sustain Inquiry?  
What Practices Promote Sustained Inquiry?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
Chapter 10. Nurture Self-Regulated Learners
What Is Self-Regulated Learning?  
Why Is Self-Regulated Learning Important?  
What Practices Nurture Self-Regulated Learners?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
Chapter 11. Create Assessment-Rich Learning
What’s Wrong With the Current Assessment Landscape?  
What Is Assessment-Rich Learning?  
Why Is Assessment-Rich Learning Important?  
What Practices Support Assessment-Rich Learning?  
Concluding Thoughts  
 
Chapter 12. Enhance Learning Through Digital Technology
What Is Digitally Enhanced Learning?  
Why Is Digitally Enhanced Learning Important?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Note  
 
PART V. SUPPORT TEACHER GROWTH
 
Chapter 13. Leading a Renovation, Not a Revolution
Why Think Renovation?  
How to Lead an Educational Renovation  
What Practices Support Coherent, Comprehensive, and Continuous Professional Inquiry?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Notes  
 
References
 
Index

I loved the book and highly recommend it. This book can help school leaders, teachers, and professional developers understand and appreciate what it means and what it takes to promote a thinking classroom. It is substantive, practical, well grounded in theory and practice. A must read.

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep, President, Learner-Centered Initiatives
Learner-Centered Initiatives

My work with Garfield Gini-Newman and Roland Case spans almost two decades.  As a principal and community superintendent, I observed firsthand how transformational their work is in the classroom, in the school community, and on a systemic level.  Creating Thinking Classrooms takes theory and research and places it directly into the hands of practitioners by offering thoughtful and immediately-useful strategies.  Not only does this work transform student engagement and achievement, but it also transforms thinking for both teachers and their students.  Teaching and learning go from passive acquisition of information to active, purposeful, and deliberate interaction with the curriculum.  It is a must-read!

Ursula A. Hermann, Ph.D, retired principal and community superintendent
Montgomery County Public Schools

What impresses me most about Creating Thinking Classrooms is the notion of framing the retooling of schools as renovation or reinvigoration rather than as revolution. Too many seem to ignore that there are many good things worth preserving in our schools and others that need to be reframed or recast to give them greater currency.  This book builds on what has worked and makes it better. The message – being purposeful and patiently focused on long-term success – is a powerful one that needs to be heard above the din.

Creating Thinking Classrooms is an outstanding resource for educational leaders.  The plethora of charts and examples illustrate in practical detail how some concepts can show up or be implemented.  Very practical, very user-friendly.

David Chojnacki, Executive Director
Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools

Creating Thinking Classrooms is a must-read for all instructional leaders wanting to use a new lens on sustained school improvement. This book helps educators establish a thinking orientation, provides enriching goals, and lays out invigorating practices. Too often there is a focus to abandon practices rather than strengthen them in educational reform.  However, Roland Case and Garfield-Gini Newman challenge such thinking by suggesting a renovation mindset.  Through such a mindset, a renewal takes place in classrooms that is transformational, actionable, and meaningful.

Barbara Woodward, Principal
Hallie Wells Middle School

Creating Thinking Classrooms offered our faculty practical and powerful ways to nurture creative, critical, and collaborative thinking throughout our school. Our teachers found the ideas clear, concise, and relevant. The book offers ways to “make little tweaks to the good things we are already doing” that will “enhance learning substantially.” Our application of the book’s student-centered approach and clear criteria has had a significant impact on our school. 

Teresa Belisle, Director of Learning Research and Development
International School of Prague

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ISBN: 9781506398433
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