Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Brief Review of Strategies and Tools That Make Thinking Visible

Posted by Tara Della Rocca

Chen, E. (2005). A brief review of strategies and tools that make thinking visible. Journal of Educational Computing, Design and Online Learning, 6. Retrieved from

This article is mostly helpful in its mention of other authors' discussion on visible thinking. Chen mentions that researchers suggest "thinking is a skill that can be taught and learned." She states that "thinking can be shaped by language, by thinking about thinking and by interaction with others."

I am compelled to look into two primary sources based on Chen's reiteration of their work:

Perkins, D. (2003, Dec.) Making thinking visible. New Horizons for Learning. Available: http:/

"Thinking is mostly invisible, in order to transform an invisible thinking process into a visible process, Perkins (2003) suggests two simple methods: using the language of thinking and using thinking routines."

Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Holum, A. (1991). Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Thinking Visible. American Educator, 15(3), 6-12, 38-47.

"Collins's version of cognitive apprenticeship makes the cognitive process visible and discussable to learners as well as teachers through modeling, coaching and scaffolding. The idea of Cognitive PBL is drawing students into a culture of expert practice in cognitive domains that involves teaching learners how to 'think' like experts. The two approaches [Knowledge Forum and Cognitive PBL] share the same aspects: highlight thinking strategies that making expert's thinking visible for learners to observe as well as making learners' thinking visible for teacher to evaluate and provide supports if needed."

Unfortunately, I did not find Chen's work particularly illuminating for my research, but am interested in retrieving more information about the works she mentioned from both Perkins and Collins.

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