Thinking Ideals

The Visible Thinking Project is organized around a set of thinking ideals that capture naturally occurring goals, strivings, or interests that often propel our thinking. Our four chosen thinking ideals-understanding, truth, fairness, and creativity-cover much of the breadth of what constitutes good thinking, though of course it would be possible to come up with additional ideals. Due to their breadth, the investigation of each ideal provides a frame for the examination, investigation, and integration of different types of thinking. The ideals are not meant to be curricular topics on their own but to provide a lens through which the topics of the curriculum can be investigated and examined, often in new ways. The thinking ideals are generative in nature in that they are easily accessible to students, provide many opportunities for making connections, and often propel conversations and thinking in new and interesting directions.