Designing for Deep Thinking
On-going professional learning during 2018 and 2019

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D4DT is a five part series for any kind of educator interested in creating cultures of deep thinking for their students, faculty, or staff. The series occurs across an academic school year and provides you with a variety of unique learning opportunities in inspiring environments designed to energize and nurture your work as an educator.

Dr. Ron Ritchhart will lead us for two sessions, launching us on our journey in September ’18 and wrapping it up in May, ’19. Dr. 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. His interest in “cultures of thinking” has led him to conduct research in such areas as intellectual character, mindfulness, thinking dispositions, teaching for understanding, creativity in teaching, and the development of communities of practice. His books, Creating Cultures of Thinking: the 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools, and Making Thinking Visible, explore how teachers around the world have been using Ron’s and his colleagues’ ideas to improve student learning, and will be the basis of our study together.

In November we will have the opportunity to go to Washtenaw International High School and Middle School Academy in Ypsilanti, MI to investigate how they are building a Culture of Thinking for students. We will have the opportunity to visit classrooms and talk with educators who have been engaged with us at Wholemindesign over time, and who are doing amazing work with students.

In January we offer an optional expedition to visit Sundberg Ferar in Walled Lake, MI. SF is the oldest industrial design firm in the United States. Their multi-disciplinary team of creative, talented, status-quo questioning designers find innovative ways to bring more functionality, beauty, and joy to peoples’ lives through their product design. We will have a chance to tour their studio and be in conversation with designers about the importance of building cultures of creative thinking in schools.

In February we will travel to Way Elementary School in Bloomfield Hills to investigate their culture of thinking. Way Elementary School nurtures a culture of thinking and compassion by embracing the Visible Thinking framework.

In March Adam Scher, the principal of Way Elementary School in Bloomfield Hills, and Jenny Rossi, the Visible Thinking Coordinator at Way, and Connie Weber, a practicing teacher with years of experience engaging her students in a culture of thinking will join us at Wholemindesign Studio. Adam and Jenny will share what they have learned and continue to learn from their ten year journey as a Visible Thinking School. Connie will share her journey as a teacher who puts the students and their growth at the center of her innovative practice.

To learn more follow us on Twitter at #D4DT

2018/2019 D4DT Dates:

STUDIO SESSIONS: 9:00am – 3:00pm

  • Thursday, September 27th, 2018 @ WMD Studio Ann Arbor, MI: D4DT launch with Ron Ritchhart
  • Monday, November 12th, 2018 @ Washtenaw International High School and Middle School Academy, Ypsilanti, MI: Portraits of CoT Practice in Action
  • February 21, 2019 (with a snow date of 2/27) @ Way Elementary School, Bloomfield Hills, MI: Portraits of CoT Practice in Action
  • Thuesday, March 12th st, 2019 @ WMD studio, Ann Arbor, MI: Adam Scher and Jenny Rossi from Way Elementary School, Connie Weber from Emerson School: Portraits of CoT Systems Development and Classroom Practice Over Time
  • Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 @ WMD Studio, Ann Arbor, MI: D4DT close with Ron Ritchhart
  • EXPEDITIONS: Expeditions are optional experiences meant to explore what cultures of thinking look like in other contexts beyond schools.

  • Thursday, January 17th 2019 @Sundberg Ferar Industrial Design Firm, Walled Lake, MI: Portraits of Cultures of Creative Thinking in Action
  • Tuition

    Tuition is $775.00 which includes 5 sessions of D4DT, optional expeditions to Culture of Thinking schools and organizations, copy of Ron’s latest book Creating Cultures of Thinking: the 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools, and his book, Making Thinking Visible. .

    • testimonials icon

      “You will leave with a full brain and with a different view of how you might work with students and the type of work you will ask them to do.”


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      “I had feelings of serenity, comfort, safety, and escape. I loved the experience over time and the collaborative structures.”


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      “Extremely thoughtful and well designed activities, goals, and facilitation. I had a feeling of being well cared for…”


    • testimonials icon

      “No question - sign up IMMEDIATELY! ”


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      “It was really valuable to be in a place with the variety of school/education roles.”


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      “I loved the atmosphere!”


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      “This was excellent! Do it! Do it!”


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      “Ron is so right-on. He articulates ideas in a way that makes complex ideas seem understandable.”


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      “It was beneficial to meet with a large variety of groups and partners by choice and force. The brainpower and experiences of this group was awesome and inspiring.”


    • testimonials icon

      “The space was fantastic. I think all learning should take place with as many modes as you have provided.”


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      “Free your mind and get ready to learn new things!”


    • testimonials icon

      “Wow! You don’t want to miss it! Wonderful surprises await you.”


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      “This is life-changing and will help children and schools change.”


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      “This is an innovative, inquiry-based and reflective learning team. We challenged one another to move deeper and investigate our educational purpose and practice.”


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      “Perfect to have so many different ‘levels’ of teachers, administrators, etc. together to share with and learn from each other!”


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      “Do it, it was invaluable...and bring a friend.”


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      “Interesting people. Compelling ideas.”