Event Details

The Cultures of Thinking in Action course builds on the ideas of Ron Ritchhart’s new book of the same name (2023). Developed and taught by Ritchhart and colleague Mark Church, the course offers you the opportunity to explore the 10 mindsets that support deeper learning and thinking. You will also develop your skill with tools that you can use to turn your classroom or learning context into a community in which thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted.

Building on Ron Ritchhart’s new book (2023), Cultures of Thinking in Action, this course, designed and taught by Ritchhart and colleague Mark Church, supports educators to learn not only how a culture of thinking looks and feels but also how to create it for themselves and their learners. Building a culture of thinking in our classrooms and schools involves more than instituting a set of practices. As useful as practices like thinking routines and effective questioning can be, culture runs deeper. Culture is built on our values and beliefs and embedded in the messages we send learners both implicitly and explicitly. Lasting transformation begins by embracing a set of beliefs about teaching, learning, and schooling.

In this four-week mini course, you will:

  • Explore the underlying beliefs that motivate the creation of cultures of thinking.
  • Learn about the 10 mindsets all educators and leaders need to embrace in order to nurture powerful thinkers and learners.
  • Develop action steps you can implement as you seek to turn your classroom, school, or other learning context into a community where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted.
  • Learn how to look for evidence of student thinking and understanding.

As you work through each of the four sessions, you will receive feedback on your work from experienced practitioners selected by Ritchhart, Church, and Project Zero In addition, you will learn from Ron and Mark’s insights as they offer weekly video reflections.

Course Designers & Instructors

Co-Designer & Co-Instructor: Ron Ritchhart has been a researcher at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education since 1994. His research focuses on understanding how to develop, nurture, and sustain thoughtful learning environments for both students and teachers. Ron’s interest in “cultures of thinking” has led him to conduct research in areas such as intellectual character, mindfulness, thinking dispositions, teaching for understanding, creativity in teaching, and the development of communities of practice. Prior to joining the Project Zero research group, Ron taught for fourteen years in elementary and middle schools. In 1993 he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching. Ron earned his Ed.D. in human development and psychology from Harvard University. He is the author of a number of books and articles, including The Power of Making Thinking Visible (co-authored with Mark Church, 2020); Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools (2015); Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (co-authored with Mark Church and Karin Morrison, 2011); and Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Get It (2004).

Co-Designer & Co-Instructor: Mark Church works throughout the world with schools that wish to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms. He believes in the difference teachers can make for students when they strive to make thinking visible, valued, and actively promoted as part of the day-to-day experience of their learners. Mark encourages teachers to become students of their students, and more broadly, students of themselves and the choices they make to leverage the power of making thinking visible. Mark is currently a consultant with Harvard Project Zero's Making Thinking Visible and Cultures of Thinking initiatives, drawing upon his own classroom teaching experience and the perspectives he has gained working with educators across grade levels and content areas. Together with Ron Ritchhart, Mark is co-author of the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (co-authored with Ron Ritchhart and Karin Morrison, 2011) and The Power of Making Thinking Visible: Practices to Engage and Empower All Learners (co-authored with Ron Ritchhart, 2020).

What past participants are saying:

“This course has inspired me to become a better teacher; provoking students to think more deeply and creating a safe space where challenges are not seen as insurmountable, or the classroom seen as a place where students can fail.”


“This course actually changed my mind about the teacher's role in the classroom. The course’s 10 Principles are treasures for me to dig into.”


“Creating a true, authentic culture of thinking in a classroom and school is transformational. It changes the perspectives, the focus of class time, and the conversations between teachers and students.”


Online Course Schedule

Orientation and course site introduction for the mini courses is available no later than two days prior to the course launch.

  • All participants will receive email invitations to the course site three days prior to the course start. The required review of the course policies assignment is available during the “Getting Ready” self-guided orientation to the site.
  • Remember, if you joined the course as an individual and not as a member of an already formed team, you will be placed on a virtual team and will be sent an email introducing you to your virtual team members no later than 4 days prior to the course launch.
  • We strongly recommend all teams schedule their weekly, required 60- 90 minute team meetings prior to the start of the course. Usually scheduling team meetings toward the end of each week is most helpful so all members have time to complete assignments in advance of the meeting.

Cultures of Thinking in Action

Sessions open on Mondays and close on Sundays, but you do not have to work on Mondays; within each session, you work on your own time.
  • Week 1: Opens Monday, Oct 21
  • Week 2: Opens Monday, Oct 28
  • Week 3: Opens Monday, Nov 4
  • Week 4: Opens Monday, Nov 11
  • Course Closes: Sunday, Nov 17

Who Should Participate

  • Teachers, Teacher Leaders, and School Administrators and Leaders
  • Museum Educators and educators working in informal learning environments
  • Facilitators of Pre-K to Adult Learning

Required Course Textbook

Tuition, Discounts, and Scholarships


  • For Mini Courses (4 sessions, 4 weeks), tuition is $310 per person registering as a member of a team, and $395 per person registering as an individual who will be placed (by Project Zero) on a virtual team.


PZ professional learning scholarships cover 50-70% of a course’s tuition for eligible educators. Scholarship applications must be submitted and accepted prior to registration; if you would like to apply for a scholarship, please do NOT register for the online course until you have been approved for a scholarship. Please note: Scholarships are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

To review scholarship criteria and apply for a scholarship, please use the In-Depth Course Scholarship Application link.


Confirmation and Payment

Registration confirmations are sent automatically from the registration software. Please keep these emails as they include your receipt of payment for documentation as well as your confirmation number should you need to access your registration in the future.

Payments are accepted via credit card or invoice for payment by check or wire transfer. Confirmation of registration does not confirm full payment if participants selected to pay other than by a credit card. All required paperwork and payments must be completed (or evidence provided of payments in process) by the registration deadline. For participants whose required paperwork and/or payments are not finalized at the registration deadline, they will be removed from the course roster and placed on a wait list.

Deadline for Registration

For Cultures of Thinking in Action starting October 21, 2024, the deadline for registration is October 13, 2024 at 11:59 pm Boston time.

Please note: Space is limited. The courses may fill prior to the registration deadline.

Refund Request and Participant Substitution Deadlines

Requests for refunds and participant substitutions for the Cultures of Thinking in Action course starting October 21, 2024 must be submitted by October 8, 2024 at 11:59 pm Boston time.

To request a refund, submit a participant substitution, or to ask questions, please email pzlearn@gse.harvard.edu.