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Making Thinking Visible (MTV)

School Vision for Learning and Teaching: Engaged Learners, Future Ready

How do we know our pupils are learning?

How do we respond when they do learn?

How do we respond when they have not learnt?

As MFPS educators committed to improving the quality of learning in our pupils, these three questions continually guide our instructional practice. Our Making Thinking Visible approach places high importance on surfacing our pupils’ thinking so that we may respond in the best possible way to build enduring understanding and provoke higher levels of thinking. MTV is our approach to teaching our pupils to think about their own thinking, thereby shaping the learners’ attitude and disposition towards acquiring knowledge, facing challenges and pursuing deep understanding in their learning. Through MTV, pupils develop important 21st Century Competencies of Critical and inventive Thinking within a thoughtful learning environment that supports purposeful learning.

We actively promote a visible thinking culture in our classrooms through cultivating thinking skills and dispositions in our pupils. Our learner-centred MTV classrooms are vibrant and dynamic learning spaces where the voices of our learners are heard and respected and their creativity and curiosity encouraged and nurtured.

School-Wide Thinking Routine
The thinking routine adopted as a whole school is adapted from the Hungarian mathematician, George Pólya, who is also known as the father of problem solving. Pólya’s thinking routine serves to cultivate positive thinking habits and dispositions in our pupils, while deepening their understanding, application and connection of key concepts, ideas and issues within each discipline and context. The discipline serve as a platform for engagement from which teachers use its content and contexts to provide opportunities for pupils to trigger, articulate and deepen their thinking.

We have distilled from Polya’s approach to problem solving into five actions for pupils to use in the process thinking and learning across disciplines:


These five action steps guide our pupils as active problem solvers and engaged learners to
  • Read the task at hand, investing time and effort in careful thought;
  • Plan and consider possibilities before commencing on doing; and
  • Review what has been done.

Subject Specific MTV Routines
Key MTV routines are adopted to further develop critical and inventive thinking skills within disciplinary contexts. These include:
  • Annotation
  • Connect – Extend – Challenge
  • See – Think – Wonder
  • Think – Puzzle – Explore
  • What Makes You Say That?
  • 5W1H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How)