The enquiry set out to explore the impact observed in the classroom, specifically in terms of communication when ‘making thinking visible’ strategies were employed. Additionally, considering any difference in peer communication, response to teacher questions, engagement and pupil voice. Richhart et al. (2011) states teachers must have a window into learners understanding of learning, modelling to students what it means to engage with ideas and think; a concept that was promoted in various contexts within this enquiry. The enquiry was conducted in both the primary and secondary sector with a specific focus group each time. Whilst strategies investigated varied including Number Talks; I see, I think I wonder (and I Hear, I think, I wonder); and Colour, Symbol Image, they still aligned with those recommended by Grogan et al. (2013). This included focusing expectations on thinking, providing thinking time, language when asking questions, modelling the thinking process and adapting the environment to encourage co-operative learning. Through utilising Making Thinking Visible strategies, the practitioners involved became evaluators of their own teaching and could see learning through the eyes of the students, a process Hattie (2009) believed to be vital in creating a culture of enthusiastically engaged thinkers and learners across the curriculum.
As a group, each practitioner’s enquiry investigated different ‘making thinking visible’ strategies – however, analysis of the group’s findings identifies continuing themes. It is evident that the introduction of ‘making thinking visible’ strategies within all classrooms had a positive influence on pupils’ levels of communication, engagement, and participation. Quiet and reserved learners were shown to be more inclined to respond voluntarily in class and group discussion. Almost all learners had grown in confidence. Furthermore, pupils were actively engaged in their learning and reported learning as enjoyable. This was shown to have a positive influence, as almost all learners had met set success criteria; this suggests ‘making thinking visible’ strategies have a positive impact on attainment. ‘Making thinking visible’ strategies promote and develop learners thinking processes, allowing them to transfer these skills throughout the curriculum.
In conclusion, through the medium of Making Thinking Visible, giving pupils the opportunity to be actively involved in the planning of their learning proved to be a useful tool across both primary and secondary classrooms. It allowed for improvement in confidence, engagement and progress in most of the pupils involved. Using ‘Making Thinking Visible’ skills allows for a deeper knowledge and understanding of the lesson being presented therefore allowing for deeper learning. Having the opportunity to take part in this enquiry has helped each of the teachers involved reflect on their own practise and in turn improve to give their learners the best experience possible. As we continue into our full time careers, we will all strive to use Making Thinking Visible strategies, constantly reflecting and improving to give our pupils the best possible learning experience.