Intellectual Character: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Get it: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Get it

Intellectual Character: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Get it: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Get it

Paperback Jossey-Bass Education

By (author) Ron Ritchhart

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  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass Inc.,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 221mm x 25mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 3 September 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0787972789
  • ISBN 13: 9780787972783
  • Sales rank: 59,985

Product description

What does it really mean to be intelligent? Ron Ritchhart presents a new and powerful view of intelligence that moves beyond ability to focus on cognitive dispositions such as curiosity, skepticism, and open mindedness. Arguing persuasively for this new conception of intelligence, the author uses vivid classroom vignettes to explore the foundations of intellectual character and describe how teachers can enculturate productive patterns of thinking in their students. Intellectual Character presents illustrative, inspiring stories of exemplary teachers to help show how intellectual traits and thinking dispositions can be developed and cultivated in students to promote successful learning. This vital book provides a model of authentic and powerful teaching and offers practical strategies for creating classroom environments that support thinking.

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Author information

Ron Ritchhart is research associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he has worked on a number of projects focusing on the development of thinking, understanding, and creativity in schools. He is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and of the 1999-2000 Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. Ritchhart is author of several books, including Making Numbers Make Sense, Through Mathematical Eyes, and Pythagora's Bow Tie. He is coauthor and coproducer of the Creative Classroom Series.

Back cover copy

What does it really mean to be intelligent? Ron Ritchhart presents a new and powerful view of intelligence that moves beyond ability to focus on cognitive dispositions such as curiosity, skepticism, and open mindedness. Arguing persuasively for this new conception of intelligence, the author uses vivid classroom vignettes to explore the foundations of intellectual character and describe how teachers can enculturate productive patterns of thinking in their students. Intellectual Character presents illustrative, inspiring stories of exemplary teachers to help show how intellectual traits and thinking dispositions can be developed and cultivated in students to promote successful learning. This vital book provides a model of authentic and powerful teaching and offers practical strategies for creating classroom environments that support thinking.PRAISE FOR INTELLECTUAL CHARACTER"Ron Ritchhart will engage and regale you with a very different way of looking at good thinking and flexible intelligence, what they are, where they come from, and how perhaps learning and education could help people to get more of them." -from the Foreword by David Perkins, professor of education, Harvard Graduate School of Education "An invaluable guide for fostering thoughtful students and thoughtful classrooms." -Howard Gardner, John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Flap copy

What if education were less concerned with final exams and more concerned with who students become as a result of their schooling? What if we viewed being smart as a goal that students can work toward rather than as something they either are or are not? Envisioning education in this way implies that we will need to rethink many of our long-accepted views on schooling, teaching, and learning. This book explores a new and more hopeful vision of education as the development of students' intellectual character. It is about cultivating the dispositions and habits of mind students will need for a lifetime of learning, problem solving, and decision making. In "Intellectual Character," Ritchhart introduces the concept of intellectual character and explores how a "dispositional" view of intelligence-focusing on dispositions such as curiosity, skepticism, and open mindedness-departs from traditional abilities-based views of what it means to be smart. Drawing on research of classroom practice, the author examines how teachers go about establishing a classroom culture that promotes the thinking dispositions they value. He offers detailed examples from individual classrooms to describe how teachers establish norms and create a foundation for thinking early in the school year. Exploring the role of routines for thinking and the uses of language as a tool for thinking, Ritchhart looks at how teachers can effectively prompt, prime, and pattern students' thinking. Moving beyond merely reporting research findings, Ritchhart reveals ways that educators can make the development of students' intellectual character a reality in the settings in which they work. He provides a wealth of practicalexercises, questions, strategies, and advice to help teachers, administrators, and parents explore what it means to teach for intellectual character.