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The Étude Group schools support creative development by nurturing a safe and inclusive culture where all participants are encouraged to share their thinking and work. Within our school community there are two aspects of culture that interact to create our supportive learning environment: a culture of decency and trust and a culture of thinking.

Our culture of decency and trust defines our collective vision for community. We expect to treat others and be treated decently in a place where fairness, tolerance and generosity are valued. Our interactions are based upon trust, and when that trust is broken, we seek meaningful ways to restore it.

The fundamental premise of our culture of decency and trust is that we create the type of environment we want our students to create when they are out of school; it is our responsibility to teach kids to be thoughtful contributing community members.

Our culture of decency and trust supports a culture of thinking, where thinking is visible, honored, and promoted - fostering students’ ability to think creatively and critically. Our focus on thinking is based in Harvard University Project Zero’s research on Making Thinking Visible and Cultures of Thinking. We use thinking routines to create opportunities and time for students to strengthen their Habits of Mind: Observing, Wondering, Connecting, Reasoning and Interpreting, and Innovating. Thinking Routines provide flexible structures for students to learn the language of thinking and to scaffold higher order thinking.

To honor and promote student thinking, we use Thinking Routines and other methods to make thinking visible. When students can see their own thinking in conversation with the thinking of their peers, they learn from each other and enrich opportunities for growth and reflection.

Please visit the ESAA, Mosaic, and IDEAS culture pages to learn more.