The Habits Of Mind

      A “Habit of Mind” means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known. When humans experience dichotomies, are confused by dilemmas, or come face to face with uncertainties–our most effective actions require drawing forth certain patterns of intellectual behavior. When we draw upon these intellectual resources, the results that are produced through are more powerful, of higher quality and greater significance than if we fail to employ those patterns of intellectual behaviors.

      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 pattern should be employed at this time. It includes sensitivity to the contextual cues in a situation which signal this as an appropriate time and circumstance in which the employment of this pattern would be useful. It requires a level of skillfulness to employ and carry through the behaviors effectively over time. It suggests that as a result of each experience in which these behaviors were employed, the effects of their use are reflected upon, evaluated, modified and carried forth to future applications.

 

The 16 Habits of Mind

 

1. Persisting: Sticking to task at hand; Follow through to completion; Can and do remain focused.

2. Managing Impulsivity: Take time to consider options; Think before speaking or acting; Remain calm when stressed or challenged; Thoughtful and considerate of others; Proceed carefully.

3. Listening with Understanding and Empathy: Pay attention to and do not dismiss another person’s thoughts, feeling and ideas; Seek to put myself in the other person’s shoes; Tell others when I can relate to what they are expressing; Hold thoughts at a distance in order to respect another person’s point of view and feelings.

4. Thinking Flexibly: Able to change perspective; Consider the input of others; Generate alternatives; Weigh options.

5. Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition): Being aware of own thoughts, feelings, intentions and actions; Knowing what I do and say affects others; Willing to consider the impact of choices on myself and others.

6. Striving for Accuracy: Check for errors; Measure at least twice; Nurture a desire for exactness, fidelity & craftsmanship.

7. Questioning and Posing Problems: Ask myself, “How do I know?”; develop a questioning attitude; Consider what information is needed, choose strategies to get that information; Consider the obstacles needed to resolve.

8. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations: Use what is learned; Consider prior knowledge and experience; Apply knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.

9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision: Strive to be clear when speaking and writing; Strive be accurate to when speaking and writing; Avoid generalizations, distortions, minimizations and deletions when speaking, and writing.

10. Gathering Data through All Senses: Stop to observe what I see; Listen to what I hear; Take note of what I smell; Taste what I am eating; Feel what I am touching.

11. Creating, Imagining, Innovating: Think about how something might be done differently from the “norm”; Propose new ideas; Strive for originality; Consider novel suggestions others might make.

12. Responding with Wonderment and Awe: Intrigued by the world’s beauty, nature’s power and vastness for the universe; Have regard for what is awe-inspiring and can touch my heart; Open to the little and big surprises in life I see others and myself.

13. Taking Responsible Risks: Willing to try something new and different; Consider doing things that are safe and sane even though new to me; Face fear of making mistakes or of coming up short and don’t let this stop me.

14. Finding Humor: Willing to laugh appropriately; Look for the whimsical, absurd, ironic and unexpected in life; Laugh at myself when I can.

15. Thinking Interdependently: Willing to work with others and welcome their input and perspective; Abide by decisions the work group makes even if I disagree somewhat; Willing to learn from others in reciprocal situations.

16. Remaining Open to Continuous Learning: Open to new experiences to learn from; Proud and humble enough to admit when don’t know; Welcome new information on all subjects.

 

For more information contact: http://www.habitsofmindinstitute.org/