Learn how cultural forces influence thinking and how you can create a culture that supports deeper learning.
Effective teaching takes more than good planning and instructional design; it also requires attention to the culture of the classroom. But how do we create culture? How do we mold it so that it supports students’ development as thinkers and individuals capable of deep understanding?
In this online course, participants learn how to create “cultures of thinking,” communities where a group’s collective as well as individual thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted every day. Participants will explore the eight cultural forces present in every group learning situation—language, time, environment, opportunities, routines, modeling, interactions, and expectations—and how they influence the group’s cultural dynamic. Using these eight forces as levers of transformation, participants will look at practical ways they can create a culture of thinking in their classrooms, whether face to face or virtual, and across their schools and organizations.
This online course was originally developed by Project Zero’s Ron Ritchhart. In 2021, Ron revised the Professional Development Credit course and developed the Graduate Credit course. Ron will instruct the Graduate Credit course beginning in September 2022, and established practitioners, Cameron Paterson and Erika Lusky, who have worked closely with Ron for many years, will instruct the Professional Development Credit course, beginning in February 2022. The course begins with a one-week orientation, during which you will explore the online platform and get to know fellow members of the learning community. Six two-week content sessions follow, each with an average time commitment of approximately 2.5 hours per week, including a synchronous team meeting once during the two week session. For the Graduate Credit Course, participants can expect to spend 4-5 hours each week to cover additional readings and work toward their final project. In each session, educators will:
- Learn new ideas
- Review and reflect on key ideas from the previous session
- Plan for trying and/or fully implementing course ideas in the classroom
- Work on a project or curriculum unit
- Reflect and share feedback with a coach and peers
Course participation is team-based, which promotes a deeper and richer learning experience and will help you sustain your use of core Project Zero ideas after the course concludes. Team members will collaborate on most of the assignments, including the development of a project. Teams meet face-to-face or virtually once every two weeks, so all team members will need to commit to a regular common meeting time throughout the term.
Although the sessions are structured and coach-facilitated, all the online interactions in the course are asynchronous. You and your team members can decide when to work on the course materials as long as you submit the assignment(s) on or before the due dates.
Online Course Schedule
Please review the course schedule to ensure that you and your team will be able to participate fully in the course, taking into account your local holidays and vacations. The average time commitment is 2.5 hour/week for PZO for Professional Development Credit courses and 4-5 hours/week for PZO for HGSE Graduate Credit courses.
February 2022 Term Schedule
Session 1: Monday, February 14
Session 2: Monday, February 21
Session 3: Monday, March 7
Session 4: Monday, March 21
Session 5: Monday, April 4
Session 6: Monday, April 18
Session 7: Monday, May 2
Course closes: Sunday, May 15
- Discover the mechanisms that create group culture and learn how to leverage these forces to build a culture of thinking
- Reflect on your guiding expectations for students’ long-term development as learners
Who Should Attend
- Teachers, Teacher Leaders, and School Leaders
- Museum Educators and educators working in informal learning environments
- Pre-K to Adult Learning
PZO courses require teams to meet regularly throughout the course and to complete assignments collaboratively. Team members must be able to try out course ideas with students/learners in classrooms, either virtually or face-to-face, or other direct learning environments with students. While the learning design encourages teams to meet locally, in person, once every two weeks to engage in group-based activities, these team meetings can occur virtually.
- Teams can be comprised of district or school staff, including classroom teachers, instructional leaders, teacher leaders, and administrators
- We recommend team members have similar roles and work in the same school or district, if possible
- We also recommend that teams have at least one group of students with whom they can try out tools throughout the course
Due to the above recommendations, enrollment in the PZ online courses has historically been open only to teams whose members come from the same school or organization. While preference will continue to be given to teams of colleagues from the same school building or organization, we also now accept applications from:
- teams comprising individuals from the same district or organization but not the same building or working group;
- educators who form teams across districts or organizations; and,
- individuals who have not formed a team.
People applying individually, if accepted into the course, will be placed on a “virtual team” that includes two to three other educators who have also applied individually and who come from the same or proximal time zones.