Habits of Mind

"Habits of Mind are the characteristics of what intelligent people do when they are confronted with problems, the resolutions of which are not immediately apparent." (Arthur L. Costa)

Understanding what Habits of Mind are, and what each of them encompasses, is something that develops and deepens as we work with them. The table below gives a brief description of each Habit of Mind. Note that all the Habits are verbs.  Professor Costa describes the idea of Habits of Mind as well of each of them in more detail in this article. (pdf format)

Persistence March 2010
Stick to it!  Persevering in task through to completion; remaining focused. Looking for ways to reach your goal when stuck. Not giving up.
Managing Impulsivity February 2010
Take your Time! Thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful and deliberative.
Listening with Empathy and Understanding December 2009
Understand Others! Devoting mental energy to another person's thoughts and ideas; Make an effort to perceive another's point of view and emotions
Thinking Flexibly November 2009
Look at it Another Way! Being able to change perspectives, generate alternatives, consider options
Thinking about your Thinking : Metacognition
Know your knowing!  Being aware of your own thoughts, strategies, feelings and actions and their effects on others.
Striving for Accuracy
Check it again! Always doing your best. Setting high standards. Checking and finding ways to improve constantly.
Applying Past Knowledge January 2010
Use what you Learn! Accessing prior knowledge; transferring knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.
Questioning and Posing Problems
How do you know?  Having a questioning attitude; knowing what data are needed and developing questioning strategies to produce those data.  Finding problems to solve
Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
Be clear!  Striving for accurate communication in both written and oral form; avoiding over generalizations, distortions, deletions and exaggerations.
Gathering Data Through All Senses May 2010
Use your natural pathways!  Pay attention to the world around you Gather data through all the senses. taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight
Creating, Imagining & Innovating April 2010
Try a different way! Generating new and novel ideas, fluency, originality
Responding With Wonderment and Awe
Have fun figuring it out! Finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued with phenomena and beauty. Being passionate.
Taking Responsible Risks
Venture out!  Being adventuresome; living on the edge of one's competence. Try new things constantly.
Finding Humor
Laugh a little! Finding the whimsical, incongruous and unexpected.  Being able to laugh at oneself.
Thinking Interdependently October 2009
Work together! Being able to work in and learn from others in reciprocal situations. Teamwork
Remaining Open to Continuous Learning
Learn from experiences! Having humility and pride when admitting we don't know; resisting complacency.

These phrasing were generated for use with Middle School students. Different teachers find it useful to rephrase using language most appropriate to stages of learning.
 http://www.habitsofmind.org/default.htm follow this link for references and more information