Event Details

Learn a variety of thinking routines and how to use them effectively in classrooms and other learning contexts to support deeper learning and thinking for students, and to cultivate powerful and lasting thinking dispositions.

We all become more effective as learners when we become aware of our learning processes and learn to manage how we think and learn. Visible Thinking, a research-based approach developed by Project Zero and used across subjects and settings worldwide, has two goals: to deepen content learning and to cultivate students’ thinking skills and thinking dispositions.

This course explores three themes at the heart of Visible Thinking: thinking routines, thinking dispositions, and documentation of student thinking. Participants will explore relevant research, learn to integrate Visible Thinking into their curriculum and assessment, and try out practices with peers and in their own classrooms.

Course Details

This online course was originally developed by Project Zero’s Ron Ritchhart and, in 2015, was reorganized and revised by Shari Tishman & Jessica Ross, and, in 2021, was redesigned by Mark Church, a PZ collaborator, researcher and co-author of the seminal book, Making Thinking Visible, and the recent book, The Power of Making Thinking Visible.

Structure: 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 required, synchronous 60-90 minute team meeting once during the two week session. Throughout the course, educators will explore these core questions:

  • How can we make students’ and teachers’ thinking visible, and what value does that have for teaching and learning?
  • What kind of thinking is worth making routine in our learners and in ourselves in order to develop and deepen understanding?
  • How can thinking routines be used as tools and structures to foster thinking dispositions?

Participation: 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. Members will collaborate on team assignments. Teams are required to meet face-to-face or virtually once every session.

Teams consist of 3-6 educators. Individuals can register and be placed on a virtual team with educators from similar time zones to facilitate scheduling the once-per-session team meetings. Two educators from the same school/organization wishing to learn together should register as individuals and email pzlearn@gse.harvard.edu to request placement on the same team.

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.

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. If you are not currently working in a school or educational organization, you will need a regular classroom context or a consistent group of students with whom you can try out the ideas you are learning throughout the course.

Course Designer & Instructor

Tina Blythe (Co-Designer) has been a researcher at Project Zero for nearly 30 years. She is part of Project Zero’s online learning leadership team and is the education chair of the Project Zero Classroom summer institute. She is also a Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Central to her research and teaching are how to create and sustain learning environments that support understanding. Collaborative inquiry and the collaborative assessment of student and teacher work are key focuses of her work. She began her career as a middle and high school teacher, and she leads workshops and provides consultation for organizations and schools around the world. She is the author and co-author of a number of books and articles include Looking Together at Student Work, 3rd Ed. (Blythe, Allen, & Powell; Teachers College, 2015); Facilitating for Learning (Allen & Blythe; Teachers College, 2015); and The Facilitator's Book of Questions (Allen & Blythe; Teachers College, 2004). She is the lead author of The Teaching for Understanding Guide (Jossey-Bass, 1998), which has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Swedish, and Georgian.

Mark Church (Instructor & Co-Designer) 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:

“I am excited to finally have practices that empower me and my students to share a genuinely collaborative relationship. We now learn together in an environment that feels mutually supportive thanks to the thinking routines. The course has helped me see how I can transform my practice in a way that I have struggled for years to do on my own with only limited success.”


“I have gained so many wonderful insights into the minds of my students and how they process information and display understanding. I cannot wait to explore and implement more of the thinking moves and routines into my everyday teaching practice.”


Online Course Schedule

All registered participants will receive email invitations to access the course site 4-5 days prior to the course start date. If you joined the course as an individual and not a member of an already-formed team, you will be placed on a virtual team and sent a separate email introducing you to your virtual team members 4-5 days prior to the course start date.

All sessions open on Mondays and close on Sundays. Much of the work is asynchronous and there are no course “times,” other than the once-per-session team meetings; participants decide when to work on the course material, and when to schedule their team meetings, based on the assignment due dates that occur toward the end of each week.

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. Teams can plan ahead for scheduled holidays and vacations and need to coordinate those plans with their coach.

September 2024 Term Schedule

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.
  • Session 1 (Orientation): Opens Monday, September 23
  • Session 2: Opens Monday, September 30
  • Session 3: Opens Monday, October 14
  • Session 4: Opens Monday, October 28
  • Session 5: Opens Monday, November 11
  • Session 6: Opens Monday, November 25
  • Session 7: Opens Monday, December 9
  • Course closes: Sunday, December 22

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

The following textbook is required for participants in this course, and is not included in the course tuition. The textbook is available for purchase on Amazon or through the publisher Jossey-Bass — in both paper and digital format.

  • Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2011)

Tuition, Discounts, and Scholarships


  • For In-Depth Courses (6 sessions, 13 weeks), tuition is $655per person registering as a member of a team, and $699 per person registering as an individual who will be placed (by Project Zero) on a virtual team.

Tuition note: Teams consist of 3-6 educators. Two educators from the same school/organization wishing to learn together should register as individuals and email pzlearn@gse.harvard.edu to request placement on the same 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 the VT in-depth courses starting September 23, 2024, the deadline for registration is September 15, 2024 at 11:59pm 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 in-depth course September 2024 term must be submitted by September 10, 2024 at 11:59 Boston Time.

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