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Unveiling Stories: Project Zero Global Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A Project Zero “Global Thinking” routine for revealing multiple layers of meaning. This routine invites students to investigate the world and develop powerful habits of global journalism consumption. The framework asks students to consider five questions: “What is the story?,” “What is the human story?,” “What is the world story?,” “What is the new story?,” and “What is the untold story?”

UNVEILING STORIES

A routine for revealing multiple layers of meaning

1. What is the story?

2. What is the human story?

3. What is the world story?

4. What is the new story?

5. What is the untold story?

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine invites students to reveal multiple layers of meaning in an image, text, or journalistic report. Each layer addresses a key dimension of quality global journalism: the central, most visible story; the way the story helps us understand the lives of fellow humans; the ways in which the story speaks to systemic global issues; what is new and instructive about the story and issues explored; and the important absences or unreported aspects of the story. This routine also invites students to investigate the world and develop powerful habits of global journalism consumption – habits that are transferable to information consumption more broadly.

Application: When and where can it be used?

This routine can be used in global competence development in the arts, geography, literature, and history.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

You may consider selecting some – not all – of the routine’s questions depending on your goals. You may also consider modifying the order in which the questions are introduced. In using this routine with your students, you may see “the story” interpreted in one of the following ways: 1) “the story” told by the article, image, or material that they read, or 2) “the story” proposed to explain or contextualize the event depicted, i.e. “the human story that led to the contamination of the Mexican gulf begins with our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Beauty and Truth: Project Zero Global Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A Project Zero “Global Thinking” routine for exploring the complex interaction between beauty and truth. This routine invites students to consider how journalists and artists communicate ideas about the world. After picking an image or story to examine, the framework asks students to consider: “Can you find beauty in this [image, story]?,” “Can you find truth in this [image, story]?,” “How might beauty reveal truth?,” “How might beauty conceal truth?”

BEAUTY AND TRUTH

A routine for exploring the complex interaction between beauty and truth

1. Can you find beauty in this [image, story]?

2. Can you find truth in this [image, story]?

3. How might beauty reveal truth?

4. How might beauty conceal truth?

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine invites students to explore the complex interaction between beauty and truth and consider how journalists and artists comment on and communicate ideas about the world. This routine also helps students navigate the overwhelming quantities of information accessible in an increasingly visually-informed world.

Application: When and where can it be used?

In art and journalism, the routine aims to slow students’ thinking down and invite them to reflect about how quality work uses beauty to engage us to learn more about an issue and seek truth. The routine also invites a critical analysis of the ways in which beauty can mislead.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

Think of this routine as one that invites you and your students to a broad and deep conversation about a photograph or work of art. Allow time for individual students to share ideas of beauty and truth – constructs unlikely to have been explored explicitly in the past. In their discussion, students may reveal the misconception that photographs by their very nature reveal truth. In questions three and four, the terms “beauty” and “truth” can be inverted.

Circles of Action: Project Zero Global Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A Project Zero “Global Thinking” routine for fostering a disposition to participate and take responsible action. This routine invites students to distinguish between personal, local, and global spheres and deliberate about potential courses of action and their consequences. The framework asks students to consider what they can do to contribute to an issue within three circles of action: “In my inner circle (of friends, family, the people I know),” “In my community (my school, my neighborhood),” and “In the world (beyond my immediate environment).”

CIRCLES OF ACTION

A routine for fostering a disposition to participate

What can I do to contribute…

1. In my inner circle (of friends, family, the people I know)?

2. In my community (my school, my neighborhood)?

3. In the world (beyond my immediate environment)?

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine is designed to foster students’ dispositions to participate and take responsible action. It invites them to distinguish personal, local, and global spheres and make local-global connections. It also prepares them for an intentional deliberation about potential courses of action and their consequences.

Application: When and where can it be used?

This routine can be used across disciplines (e.g., geography, science, literature, economics) and with a broad range of resources (e.g., films, narratives, photographs) typically addressing a conflict, problem, system, or design that can be improved through participation and engagement. This routine can also be used informally in daily school contexts and interactions where individual students can exhibit agency (e.g., a conflict among friends, consumption patterns, the integration of immigrant students).

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

This routine invites students to map possibilities for action, and the order of questions can be inverted if necessary. Call students’ attention to an issue that they can perceive as requiring solutions. Students are best prepared to use this routine when they have a moderate understanding of the issue, are primed to care about it, and have a sense of urgency or need for a response. This routine is particularly effective when students sense the need but have difficulty considering viable paths for action. The routine can be followed by discussing: What are the barriers to students’ capacity to take action at various levels? Drawing on a rich initial actions map, students may be invited to consider factors such as ethics, viability, personal interest, and potential impact as they decide what to do next.

How Else and Why: Project Zero Global Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A Project Zero “Global Thinking” routine for cultivating a disposition to communicate across difference. This routine asks students to consider that they have communicative choices and that intention, context, and audience matter when communicating appropriately with diverse audiences. The routine asks students to make a statement (“What I want to say is…”) and then answer the question, “How else can I say this? And why?” multiple times.

HOW ELSE AND WHY?

A routine for cultivating a disposition to communicate across difference

1. What I want to say is… (Student makes a statement and explains intention)

2. How else can I say this? And why? (Student considers intention, audience, and situation to reframe things such as language, tone, and body language)

3. How else can I say this? And why? (Student considers intention, audience, and situation to reframe things such as language, tone, and body language)

(Repeat question)

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine is designed to develop students’ dispositions toward appropriate communication with diverse audiences, where students understand (a) they have communicative choices and (b) that intention, context, and audience matter in communicating appropriately, especially across cultural, religious, economic, or linguistic differences. Through multiple reflective iterations of a particular statement (comment, question, story), the routine invites students to: consider content, audience, purpose, and situation for communication (what, to whom, why and where), refine the use of symbols (verbal, visual, nonverbal) to find forms of expression appropriate for the context, and reflect about communication and miscommunication.

Application: When and where can it be used?

This routine is broadly applicable to many communicative situations. These may include distinctly intercultural scenarios that are present in the curriculum (e.g., a story, historical event, conflict, scientific finding). They may also include moments when students re-represent ideas or phenomena (e.g., when producing a graph in statistics, a poster design, an interpretation of a work of art). Communicative situations may also include regular classroom discussions or informal interactions in and outside of school. In selecting communicative situations for analysis, you may prioritize ones that present an opportunity to reflect on the complexities of dialogue across difference and the broad repertoire of possible communicative choices. Examples of provocations include but are not limited to film excerpts, students’ own writings, classroom dialogue, and works of art.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

The phrase “How else can I say this? And why?” can be used with varying degrees of structure. In some cases, students may use the multiple iterations proposed by the routine to explore possible communicative choices in a given scenario and select the one they prefer. In guiding students through this routine, you may consider pairing students up for feedback. Peers can help students construct a concrete sense of audience. It is important to encourage students to consider speakers’ intention, audience, and context when they begin to revise the claims under study. Without doing so, the routine risks inviting students to repeat less-effective forms of communication or reinforce communication misconceptions. Regardless of the topics or contexts in which the routine is used, it is important that students offer an explicit rationale for their communicative choices, as students’ explanations will reveal their current understanding of communicative demands. As with all global thinking routines, students' responses are best seen as the beginning, rather than the end, of a conversation that will enable teachers and peers to offer perspectives and enrich communicative capacities.

Step In–Step Out–Step Back: Project Zero Global Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A Project Zero "Global Thinking" routine to support responsible perspective-taking. This routine invites learners to take other people’s perspectives, recognize that understanding others is an ongoing process, and understand that our efforts to take perspective can reveal as much about ourselves as they can about the people we are seeking to understand. Asks students: “Step In: What do you think this person might feel, believe, know, or experience?”, “Step Out: What would you like or need to learn to understand this person’s perspective better?”, and “Step Back: What do you notice about your own perspective and what it takes to take somebody else’s?”

STEP IN–STEP OUT–STEP BACK

A routine to support responsible perspective-taking

Ask students to choose a person or agent in the situation you are examining, then ask:

1. Step In: What do you think this person might feel, believe, know, or experience?

2. Step Out: What would you like or need to learn to understand this person’s perspective better?

3. Step Back: What do you notice about your own perspective and what it takes to take somebody else’s?”

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine invites learners to take other people’s perspectives (e.g., religious, linguistic, cultural, class, generational), recognize that understanding others is an ongoing, often uncertain process, and understand that our efforts to take perspective can reveal as much about ourselves as they can about the people we are seeking to understand.

Application: When and where can it be used?

This routine can be adapted to a broad range of topics, from examining the perspectives of agents in a story, a historical event, or a contemporary news article, to considering non-human perspectives such as species in an ecosystem, or collective perspectives such as interest groups in a given conflict. You may choose an image, video, story, or classroom incident to ground students’ thinking.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

In “step-in,” make sure learners understand they are reasoning with the information they have, which is always limited. You may point to the speculative nature of their interpretations. In “step-out,” invite learners to see that there is more to understanding another person than the first impression they construct. As they share their views, students may detect stereotypes in their own initial thinking and feel uneasy about “having been wrong” in their guess. It is important to normalize the fact that we all have first impressions of others and others have them of us, and the importance of committing to understanding other persons’ perspectives beyond initial assumptions. Under “step back,” learners may explore how prior knowledge, cultural, or linguistic perspectives inform or obscure their interpretation. This routine lends itself to small groups. You may invite students to write their responses to each question individually on separate Post-its first and then share.

The 3Ys: Project Zero Global Competency Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
A Project Zero "Global Thinking" routine to discern the significance of a topic in global, local, and personal contexts. This routine encourages students to uncover the significance of a topic in multiple contexts, make local-global connections, and situate themselves in local and global spheres. Asks the questions: "Why might this [topic, question] matter to me?", "Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, city, nation]?”, and "Why might it matter to the world?"

THE 3Ys

A routine to discern the significance of a topic in global, local, and personal contexts

1. Why might this [topic, question] matter to me?

2. Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, city, nation]?

3. Why might it matter to the world?

Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage?

This routine encourages students to develop intrinsic motivation to investigate a topic by uncovering the significance of the topic in multiple contexts. The routine also helps students make local-global connections and situate themselves in a local and global spheres.

Application: When and where can it be used?

The routine can be applied to a broad range of topics (from social inequality, to a mathematician’s biography, balance in ecosystems, writing a story, to attending school) and questions. You may use a rich image, text, quote, video, or other materials to ground students' thinking. You may find this routine useful early in a unit after the initial introduction of a topic, when you want students to consider carefully why it might be worth investigating further. Teachers have also used this routine to expand on a given topic to help students become aware of how it has far-ranging impact and consequences at the local and global levels. In other cases (i.e., studying poverty in Brazil), the routine is used to create a personal connection to a topic that seems initially remote.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine?

Ensure that the students have clarity about the focal point of the analysis. For example, you might ask “Why might understanding social inequality matter to me, my people, the world?” as opposed to “Why might this image matter?” Use the questions in the order proposed or in reverse order beginning with the most accessible entry point. For instance, students might unfold the purpose and significance of a story they are writing by first reflecting about why the story matters to them, and then moving out to the world from there. In other cases, a teacher may seek to construct a more personal connection to a distant event (e.g., the Holocaust), thus beginning with the world, then working inward. It is recommended that students work on one step at a time as nuances and distinctions between the personal, local, and global may be lost if they work with the three questions in mind at once. If time allows, compare and group students’ thoughts to find shared motivations and rationales for learning the topic under study.