Episode 100

Creating Cultures of Thinking in Museums with Ron Ritchhart

Published on: 25th May, 2023

In this special 100th episode of The Art Engager podcast, I'm chatting to educator, researcher, author, and speaker Dr Ron Ritchhart.

Ron Ritchhart is an award-winning educational researcher, retired Senior Research Associate at Harvard's Project Zero and current Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

His research is focused on developing intellectual character, making thinking visible, and enhancing school and classroom culture to promote deep learning. He is the author of the bestselling books Making Thinking Visible, The Power of Making Thinking Visible, and Creating Cultures of Thinking.

Ron's research and writings have informed the work of schools, teachers, museum and museum educators throughout the world. Making Thinking Visible, from 2011, with Karin Morrison and Mark Church popularised the use of thinking routines to facilitate deep learning and high engagement. 

The follow up book The Power of Making Thinking Visible, introduced a new set of routines and shared what has been learned so far about successfully integrating thinking routines as a powerful teaching tool. 

I’ve written and spoken about the first time I heard the words Visible Thinking and making thinking visible on the very first episode of this podcast so it seemed fitting to interview Ron for the 100th episode. I’ve also talked about how Ron’s article ‘Cultivating a Culture of Thinking in the Museum in the Journal of Museum Education had a huge impact on me and on my first educational programme to use thinking routines in 2011. So to speak to Ron today was a bit of a ‘pinch-me’ moment.

In this interview, we discuss:

  • what making thinking visible is and the difference between 'visible' and 'visual' thinking.
  • what strategies we might use to make thinking visible and the transformative impact it has on learning and engagement
  • how we can cultivate a culture of thinking in museums through the eight cultural forces that shape group culture and how they can create an environment where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted in museum settings.
  • The power of thinking routines as structures to support and guide thinking in museums, and how they work in synergy with other practices
  • the importance of finding your "why" in teaching and facilitating

Thank you to Ron Ritchhart for being a guest on the podcast. Ron’s new book, "Cultures of Thinking in Action," is out in June 2023.



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Dr Ron Ritchhart links:

Ron's website

Ron on Twitter

Making Thinking Visible Facebook page

Cultivating a Culture of Thinking in Museums Journal of Museum Education Vol. 32, No. 2, Critical-Thinking Skills in the Museum (Summer, 2007), pp. 137-153 (17 pages)

Cultures of Thinking website

Ron's new book - Cultures of Thinking in Action - out early June!

Project Zero - https://pz.harvard.edu/

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About the Podcast

The Art Engager
Engage your audience with art and ideas
The Art Engager podcast is here to help museum educators, guides and creatives engage their audiences with art, objects and ideas. Each fortnight I’ll be sharing a variety of easy-to-learn flexible techniques and tools to help you create participant-centred museum experiences that bring art and ideas to life.
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