HABITS OF MINDThe Habits of Mind are an identified set of 16 problem solving, life related skills, necessary to effectively operate in society and promote strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity and craftsmanship. The understanding and application of these 16 Habits of Mind serve to provide the individual with skills to work through real life situations that equip that person to respond using awareness (cues), thought, and intentional strategy in order to gain a positive outcome.(After Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series, Copyright © 2000)1. Persisting: Sticking to task at hand; Follow through to completion; Can and do remain focused.
An example: In the Karate Kid, Daniel seeks the assistance of Mr Miyagi as a Karate coach. Daniel is desperate to learn how to use Karate to defeat 'The Cobras' a gang of teens who use their skills to bully others. Daniel is hoping for a quick fix but learns that only through persistence can he become a true master.2. Managing Impulsivity: Take time to consider options; Think before speaking or acting; Remaincalm when stressed or challenged; Thoughtful and considerate of others; Proceed carefully.
An example: Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus & Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin , surly Lord Macintosh and cantankerous Lord Dingwall Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to change the way that she thinks in order to discover the meaning of true bravery and undo a beastly curse before it's too late.3. Listening with Understanding and Empathy: Pay attention to and do not dismiss anotherperson'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.An example: This Habit of Mind means hearing more than what is said but also how it is said, when it is said and who says it. In this clip from the Office, Dwight has to learn how to actively listen to a female client.4. Thinking Flexibly: Able to change perspective; Consider the input of others; Generatealternatives; Weigh options.
SIXTH GRADERS WILL HIGHLIGHT:5. Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition): Being aware of own thoughts, feelings, intentionsand 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.An example: Panda must focus on his training to become a master.7. Questioning and Posing Problems: Ask myself, “How do I know?”; develop a questioningattitude; 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 knowledgeand experience; Apply knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.
9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision: Strive to be clear when speakingand writing; Strive be accurate to when speaking and writing; Avoid generalizations, distortions,
minimizations and deletions when speaking, and writing.An example: In the Trash Compactor scene from 'Star Wars - Episode IV' communication is critical for the survival of Han, Luke, Chewbacca and Leia as they call for the help of the droids, C3PO and R2D2.10.Gathering Data through All Senses: Stop to observe what I see; Listen to what I hear; Takenote 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 fromthe “norm”; Propose new ideas; Strive for originality; Consider novel suggestions others might
An Example: By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfil his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. In this scene from Disney Pixar's 'Up' the spirit of creating and innovating is uplifting and moving in very real ways.12.Responding with Wonderment and Awe: Intrigued by the world's beauty, nature's power andvastness 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.An Example: The Croods have never experienced the world outside the cave they call home. But when their rocky shelter is destroyed the family of six set out on an adventure of a lifetime. As they trek across an awe-inspiring landscape in search of safety, the Croods discover a brave new world, full or wonderful and dangerous creatures that will leave them questioning if they could ever return to the dark confines of a cave? The trailer captures the moment when they first encounter this new world.13.Taking Responsible Risks: Willing to try something new and different; Consider doing thingsthat 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.
An Example: Use this when you are faced with a challenge and have to overcome your fears to give it a go. When you need to step outside your comfort zone like Nemo's father Marlin in this scene from Finding Nemo.14.Finding Humor: Willing to laugh appropriately; Look for the whimsical, absurd, ironic andunexpected in life; Laugh at myself when I can.
15.Thinking Interdependently: Willing to work with others and welcome their input andperspective; Abide by decisions the work group makes even if I disagree somewhat; Willing to
learn from others in reciprocal situations.An Example: Mutual interdependence refers to two groups relying on each other to complete tasks and activities. This is usually effective in reducing prejudice as it encourages cooperation between groups and forces them to interact to achieve common goals. In the movie Remember the Titans, a football team must find a way to come together. Based on the actual events of 1971, this movie shows the struggles of southern states in the 1970’s, and what one amazing team went through to prove judgment can’t be passed based on the color of one’s skin. The team becomes the unifying symbol for the community as the boys and the adults learn to depend on and trust each other.
16.Remaining Open to Continuous Learning: Open to new experiences to learn from; Proud andhumble enough to admit when don't know; Welcome new information on all subjects.An Example: "That you are here; that life exists, and identity. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"