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Abstract

Visual thinking routines are principles based on several theories, approaches, and strategies. Such routines promote thinking skills, call for collaboration and sharing of ideas, and above all, make thinking and learning visible. Visual thinking routines were implemented in the teaching methodology graduate course at the American University in Dubai. The following study used mixed methods. It was guided by two research questions: 1). To what extent did visual thinking routines implemented in the Math/Science methodology course offered at the Graduate School of Education at the American University in Dubai inspire learning in the classroom and made time for students’ questions, contributions, and thinking?, 2). How do visual thinking routines inspire learning in the classroom and make time for students’ questions, contributions, and thinking? Eight student teachers enrolled in the teaching methodology course at the American University in Dubai (Spring 2017) participated in the following study. First, they completed a survey that measured to what degree they believed visual thinking routines inspired learning in the classroom and made time for students’ questions, contributions, and thinking. In order to build on the results from the quantitative phase, the student teachers were next involved in a qualitative data collection phase, where they had to answer the question: How do visual thinking routines inspire learning in the classroom and make time for students’ questions, contributions, and thinking? Results revealed that the implementation of visual thinking routines in the classroom strongly inspired learning in the classroom and made time for students’ questions, contributions, and thinking. In addition, student teachers explained how visual thinking routines allowed for visibility and reinforced thinking skills and questioning. As with all new and novel resources, visual thinking routines are not free of challenges. To make the most of this useful and resource, visual thinking routines need to be highly valued at all academic levels starting from early stages. It is essential that such routines become embedded in the curriculum to allow for a rich meaningful learning journey that incorporates questioning, thinking, and deep understanding.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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