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Visible Thinking at Way Elementary


Adam Scher, Way Elementary Principal, has been the guiding force behind Visible Thinking in Bloomfield Hills School in Oakland County and beyond! Adam is the author of the chapter Learning Together for the Long Haul in the book Creating Cultures of Thinking by Ron Ritchhart. 

Visible Thinking is a framework and philosophy educators can use to create inquiry-based learning opportunities that engage students in higher-level thinking skills. Scher compared Visible Thinking with traditional learning: "The teacher as deliverer is the heart of traditional learning. The teacher delivers and students are told what to think. Students are tested on what has been delivered, and the process begins again even after seeing evidence that learning and understanding may not have taken hold." Conversely, the student is at the heart of Visible Thinking. According to Scher, "Rather than stockpiling facts, student investigation and inquiry are key.

Students collectively make connections, reason, observe, identify complexity, and empathize, among other things."  After the transition to Visible Thinking, teachers at Way observed students responding to routines and connecting their thinking to one another and the outside world.  The goal is a richer learning experience for students, because learning occurs best when the conditions for learning are cultivated.