Making thinking visible, involves modeling and evaluating how ideas are connected and sorted out to form new knowledge webs (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999; Collins et al., 1991; Linn, 1995). Teachers, scientists, students, and technology can all model knowledge integration (Linn & Hsi, 2000). Making thinking visible both adds new perspectives to the mix considered in the knowledge integration process and makes explicit the interpretive process of combining perspectives to form more coherent knowledge webs. When role models succeed they often help learners understand the nature of scientific research as well as the cultural characteristics of scientific communities. By making their ideas visible, students can inspect their own knowledge integration processes and engage in linking, distinguishing, or reconciling ideas, as appropriate to deliberately guide their learning.
This Meta-principle is divided to two types of ideas:
a. Making thinking visible so students can learn about the ideas of others and communicate their ideas to teachers and peers.
b. Designing models or visualizations to communicate complex concepts, using visualization tools to make complex scientific phenomena visible.