As part of our ongoing professional development efforts, this year 11 MPA teachers including our Academic Principal Kirandeep Kaur are taking the online course ‘Creating Cultures of Thinking’ at the University of Harvard School of Education. By participating in this course, our teachers will learn how to leverage the Eight Forces that shape the culture of groups, classrooms, and schools. Since thinking deeply and critically are skills that no student can do without, they will understand how language, time, environment, opportunities, routines, modeling, interactions, and expectations shape a group’s cultural dynamics.
The ‘Cultures of Thinking’ course developed by Harvard’s Project Zero department encourages teachers to understand and enhance learning, thinking and creativity. The MPA teachers, along with hundreds of teachers from around the world will spend the next three months, exploring the Culture of their classroom and work on how that Culture can be leveraged to promote deeper learning.
As one teacher shared, “In this course we will get the tools to establish a thinking culture in our school and classrooms. We are learning to identify those forces of thinking and how we can work with them to help our students to become thinkers.”
Throughout the next three months, the teachers will be reading, researching and applying their learning in their classrooms. Weekly meetings of the learning group and bi-weekly assignment submissions add to the rigor of the course, but none of the teachers are shying away from the additional work. They are looking at this course as an opportunity to learn and grow, so they can impact the learning of their students.
Another great aspect of this online course is the learning that happens through interactions with educators from across the world. The rich conversations and discussions with other educators have already begun to influence the teachers’ way of thinking. As the teachers reflect on their current practices and modify their teaching, the students are sure to experience the ripple effect in the classes.
“While there is still a lot to learn”, another teacher shared, “we were so excited to see that we are already familiar with a number of ideas/routines which other international educators are talking about. This has given us such a sense of achievement.”
With 11 teachers (app. 33%) currently engaged in this course, the multiplier effect of the learning is sure to filter into all classrooms. We wish all our teachers lots of luck as they move forward with this course and are excited to see its impact on our students.
The participating teachers are:
Alisha Talwar, Baljinder Kaur, Dharwinder Kaur, Gurjeet Kaur, Gurmit Kaur, Harjit Kaur, Mamta Menon, Manisha Bakshi, Nidhi Pathak, Sophia Sharma and Academic Principal Kirandeep Kaur.