Artful Thinking

Harvard Project Zero                     


The Artful Thinking program is designed to be used by classroom teachers.

The program focuses on experiencing and appreciating art, rather than making art.


It has two broad goals:

(1) To help teachers create rich connections between works of art and curricular topics; and

(2) to help teachers use art as a force for developing students’ thinking dispositions.


The program takes the image of an artist’s palette as its central metaphor. The artful thinking palette is comprised of 6 thinking dispositions – 6 basic colours, or forms, of intellectual behaviour – that have dual power: They are powerful ways of exploring works of art, and powerful ways of exploring subjects across the school curriculum.


Each thinking disposition has several thinking routines connected to it.

Thinking routines are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life.


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