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Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It Hardcover – April 18, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0787956837 ISBN-10: 078795683X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

"Intellectual Character is that rare book that successfully translates deep, complex ideas into accessible prose and illuminates key concepts with compelling examples from real classrooms. It breaks new ground by demonstrating that when skillfully guided by teachers who themselves act intelligently, students are eager to engage in meaningful, rigorous learning."
--Tony Jackson, author, Turningpoints 2000: Educating Adolescents for the 21st Century

"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

From the Publisher

"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

"Intellectual Character is that rare book that successfully translates deep, complex ideas into accessible prose and illuminates key concepts with compelling examples from real classrooms. It breaks new ground by demonstrating that when skillfully guided by teachers who themselves act intelligently, students are eager to engage in meaningful, rigorous learning."
--Tony Jackson, author, Turningpoints 2000: Educating Adolescents for the 21st Century

"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

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Product Details

  • Series: Jossey-Bass Education Series
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078795683X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787956837
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #874,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ron Ritchhart is currently a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero where his work focuses on such issues as teaching for understanding, the development of intellectual character, creative teaching, making students' thinking visible, and most recently the development of school and classroom culture. Ron's research and writings, particularly his theory of Intellectual Character and framework for understanding group culture through the Cultural Forces, have informed the work of schools, school systems, and museums throughout the world. His current research focuses on how classrooms change as teachers strive to make thinking valued, visible, and actively promoted in their classrooms.

Find out more about Ron's research and writing by visiting ronritchhart.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
If found this book a wonderful, inspiring, and useful read.
Janet
As a parent and teacher, I'm concerned about providing my students and my daughters with the tools they need to really be successful and to do good in the world.
"slopeman"
My first copy was "permanently borrowed " Thanks for making more -- this book matters!
David Yorka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By RBS on July 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've been teaching for 30 years and teaching a critical thinking course for high school students for the last five. I've got a shelf full of books on teaching thinking: this book is one I'm going to be going back to. It's one of the most clearly written and most useful books I've ever seen for teachers interested in helping their students become better thinkers. Ritchhart, who is associated with Project Zero at Harvard, provides both a very clear conceptual framework and lots of well-drawn classroom examples in a variety of disciplines, and from a variety of levels from elementary to senior high. Ritchhart draws upon and synthesizes ideas from a number of other critical thinking gurus such as Richard Paul, Howard Gardner, and Shari Tishman. His overall goal is to help teachers establish what he refers to as a "culture of thinking" in the classroom. There are chapters which explore how to get started, how to go about establishing classroom routines that promote critical thinking, how to build throughlines which encourage students to experience and sustain "intellectual character." Each chapter has a kind of executive summary that wraps up key ideas in chart form. The book is very well written: it is intelligent without being condescending, well-grounded in research without being pedantic, and it is remarkably free of educationese. Reading it is like having a conversation with a valued colleague. Even when what he has to say is familiar, it is so well expressed that it gives pleasure. This book is an excellent resource both for younger teachers who sense that education ought to be more than a forced march through mountains of content, and for more experienced teachers who are looking to get better at what they already do well.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "slopeman" on April 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a parent and teacher, I'm concerned about providing my students and my daughters with the tools they need to really be successful and to do good in the world. However, I often worry about my ability to do this within the current climate of high-stakes testing. I found this book both helpful and encouraging in confronting these issues. The book begins by laying out important issues for parents and teachers to think about: Just what does it mean to be smart? What is it that we should be educating for? This book does more than present these issues in an accessible and engaging way, however. It tells stories of teachers, working in a variety of different types of schools, who are really doing the work of getting students to think and develop their intelligence. This is the heart of the book and very engaging. After reading chapter 4, "Creating Cultures of Thinking," I know I'll start the school year off in a different way next year. The chapter on "thinking routines" has already been useful to me and the colleagues with whom I shared it. Throughout the book, the stories and examples from real classrooms are woven together with useful explanation and analysis that helped me to think about what this kind of teaching would look like in my own classroom. While I would have liked more presented from the standpoint of what parents can do, I really liked the vision of education the book presents and will find this useful in talking with other parents and with the teachers at my daughters' school. I'd love to see the debate about education moved from high scores on tests to teaching for intellectual character as Ritchhart suggests.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura Benson on August 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Curiosity propels us to explore our world..."
Dreams do come true. Seeking to strengthen my capacity to help students understand the tools and journeys of their brains, I turned to Intellectual Character. In Dr. Ritchhart's words, I found an edifying, brilliant compass. Building on his ground breaking thinking disposition research, Dr. Ritchhart profiles how teachers can nurture curiosity, open mindedness, metacognition, seeking truth and understanding, strategic thinking, and skepticism within learners. He does this with integrity by sharing his own teaching and learning experiences and by giving readers a vivid and clarifying window into the intellectual interactions between five teachers and their students. These classroom portraits reveal the language educators should employ/model to "prompt, prime, and pattern the thinking of students."
Additionally, Dr. Ritchhart's case studies encourage readers to examine the "red threads" of our teaching...to think about the driving force is our classrooms...to ponder what connects and motivates our teaching. One of my favorite passages furthers this idea: "The development of students' intellectual character ultimately depends on teachers' convictions, dedication, and belief in the importance of thinking to students' current understanding, future employment, and long-term success both in the subject area and in life. It is ony when teachers possess thinking-rich red threads to tie together practice and breathe life into them through their own disposition toward thinking that the development of students' intellectual character becomes a natural, energizing, and meaningful endeavor for students and teachers alike.
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