Making, Innovating, Learning: Lessons from Harvard’s Project Zero Conference

Visible Thinking Routines

Visible Thinking Routines

At the 2017 Victorian Applied Learning Association (VALA) Annual Conference, I gave a breakout presentation entitled "Making, Innovating, Learning: Lessons from Harvard’s Project Zero Conference".

I was fortunate enough to attend the Harvard School of Education Project Zero Conference in 2017 as part of a Fellowship. This was facilitated by the International Specialised Skills Institute and funded by the Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Skills Group.

Harvard's Project Zero Conference aimed to find new ways of encouraging creativity and 'maker thinking' in today's youth.  The workshop focused on allowing educators to explore different thinking routines. 

Key thinking routines included: 

Artful Thinking - See, Think, Wonder.

This thinking routine involves seeing an object (such as a painting of an ocean scene), thinking about what certain aspects of the object might mean (such as why the painter has used heavy brushstrokes to represent the ocean) and wondering more deeply about what this might mean (such as a stormy ocean scene representing conflict). 

Parts, Purposes, Puzzles.

This thinking routine involves this routine involves looking at the parts of an object (such as an old camera), identifying the purposes of every part and then thinking about the complexities (or puzzles) of how that part works with the other parts.  Again, this routine is designed to get students to slow down, look carefully at an object, reflect on it, physically take it apart (using a screwdriver or similar) and analyse it piece by piece.

To explore the Project Zero Thinking Routines click here.

View the full presentation here.