Why Us
Developing a culture of Thinking (COT)

Our Culture of Thinking framework, inspired by the Project Zero research team at Harvard University, helps students to build the foundations for lifelong learning and academic achievement.

Mercy Catholic College is dedicated to helping students develop into better thinkers. To think well in day-to-day life, students must develop patterns of thinking in which their ability to think is combined with the disposition to think and an awareness of thinking opportunities.

In seeking to develop our students’ disposition towards thinking, the College takes an enculturative approach, meaning that we believe students’ dispositional development occurs best within a cultural context in which:

  • Thinking is valued
  • There is time for thinking
  • Rich opportunities for thinking abound
  • Thinking is regularly modelled
  • The process as well as the products of thinking are present in the environment

Our teachers are skilled in planning lessons and programmes that actively encourage thinking. These lessons include the use of “thinking routines” – simple protocols for exploring ideas around topics being studied. Our teachers are focused on making students’ thinking visible to themselves and one another through the use of documentation, which is evident in our classrooms.

When thinking is visible, students are in a position to be more metacognitive, to think about their thinking and improve on it. By using the language of thinking, thinking routines, probing questions, and documentation we can foster better thinking in our students and a deeper understanding of content. Immersed in a classroom culture of thinking, students find learning more meaningful and make greater connections between College and everyday life.

Our Culture of Thinking framework, inspired by the Project Zero research team at Harvard University, helps students to build the foundations for lifelong learning and academic achievement.