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Habits of Mind

The idea of "habits of mind" matches perfectly with information fluency. According to Horace Mann, habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it. Theodore Sizer (1964) defines “habits of mind” as the willingness to use one’s mind well when no one is looking. We must develop habits of mind in our PK-12 students to provide a foundation for thoughtful inquiry. According to Lauren Resnick “the sum of one’s intelligence is the sum of the one’s habits of mind” (Habits of Mind, 2003).

In their series “Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series” Costa and Kallick (2000) define and describe 16 types of intelligent behavior that promote thoughtful learning communities. Focusing on dispositions that help people know how to behave intelligently when they don’t know an answer, their “habits of mind” approach focuses on performance under challenging condition. The guiding principles of this model can help teachers deal with data and develop strategies for making data-driven decisions.

The ideas behind the development of “habits of mind” can be found across content areas. For example, the science “habits of mind” focus on essential thinking skills serve as tools for formal and informal learning in science (Georgia Framework for Learning Mathematics and Science 2000). This idea is also prevalent in the mathematics literature. In Habits of Mind: An Organizing Principle for Mathematics Curriculum (Cuoco, et al 1995), the importance of developing thinking strategies is emphasized. They stress that the thought processes used by mathematicians are mirrored in systems that influence every aspect of our daily lives. They state that “if we really want to empower our students for life after school, we need to prepare them to be able to use, understand, control, and modify a class of technology.” They stress the development of ways of thinking and mental habits. In Math, Science, Technology & Habits of Mind, Vuko (1998) stresses that developing ‘habits of mind’ involves dispelling past fears and changing old attitudes.

try itGo to the the Habits of Mind website to learn more about this approach by Costa and Kallick.

eye means readRead NoodleTools - Habits of Mind. Explore the Racial Privacy example.

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