What Are Habits of Mind?
Habits of Mind are dispositions that are skillfully and mindfully employed by characteristically intelligent, successful people when they are confronted with problems, the solutions to which are not immediately apparent. When we draw upon these mental resources, the results are more powerful, of higher quality, and of greater significance than if we fail to employ those habits.
Employing Habits of Mind requires a composite of many skills, attitudes cues, past experiences, and proclivities. It means that we value one pattern of thinking over another, and therefore it implies choice making about which habit should be employed at which time. It includes sensitivity to the contextual cues in a situation signaling that it is an appropriate time and circumstance to employ this pattern.
It requires a level of skillfulness to carry through the behaviors effectively over time. Finally, it leads individuals to reflect on, evaluate, modify, and carry forth their learnings to future applications. It implies goal setting for improved performance and making a commitment to continued self-modification.
While there may be more, 16 characteristics of effective problem-solvers have been have been derived from studies of efficacious problem-solvers from many walks of life. (Costa and Kallick, 2009).
The list of Habits of Mind appears below.
- 1. Persisting
- 2. Managing Impulsivity
- 3. Listening with Understanding and Empathy
- 4. Thinking Flexibly
- 5. Thinking about Thinking
- 6. Striving for Accuracy
- 7. Questioning and Posing Problems
- 8. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
- 9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
- 10. Gathering Data Through All Senses
- 11. Creating, Imagining, Innovating
- 12. Responding with Wonderment and Awe
- 13. Taking Responsible Risks
- 14. Finding Humor
- 15. Thinking Interdependently
- 16. Remaining Open to Continuous Learning