Teacher Learning Community

Fall 2017 TLC: High Expectations and the Thinking Classroom - Activity 2 Resources

Course leader:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS III: Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
    • Element D: Teachers establish and communicate high expectations and use processes to support the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Creating a Culture of High Expectations for Learning

What are the conditions which must be met in order to create a classroom culture that embodies high expectations for thinking and learning?

A classroom culture of high expectations for learning and thinking demand a number of conditions which must be met which include a supporting classroom culture, an understanding of rigor, cultivation of a growth mindset and a focus on cognitive engagement.  In this activity you will explore what an environment in which these conditions are developing looks and feels like and explore ways that you can enrich your classroom culture and routines to better support student learning and thinking.



This article explores the role of inquiry-based learning in a standards-based world.  

This article discusses seven strategies for integrating high intensity in class activities to increase the cognitive engagement level of the classroom.  


This article discusses how teachers might navigate the critical balance between standards and engaging in real-world activities.

This brief article provides examples of how teachers can take mistakes and turn them into positive learning opportunities.

Growth mindset is revealed to be much more than a catchphrase in this short article.


This article summarizes some of the key points from the book Making it Stick, which argues that the often-drawn distinction between facts and critical thinking is false.

In these two blog posts, teacher Chase Mielke explores the reasons that our students learn to avoid academic risk-taking and what we might do about it.

This introductory chapter of How to Plan Rigorous Instruction by Robyn Jackson discusses the mastery principle "Know Where Your Students Are Going".  The author points out that this principle is more than the standards and objectives of curriculum.  This principle examines more deeply the underlying types of thinking, learning, and understanding we want students to walk away with as a result of our instruction.