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Habits of mind

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All the Habits of Mind are a collection of 16 thinking dispositions identified by Professor Art Costa. Costa defined the Habits of Mind as the dispositions skillfully and mindfully displayed by characteristically intelligent people when confronted with problems the solutions to which are not immediately apparent. The Habits of Mind are not thinking tools, rather they are dispositions that inclines one to adopt thinking tools and strategies.

Professor Arthur L. Costa is currently Emeritus Professor at California State University at Sacramento.

The 16 Habits of mind

  1. Persisting – Stick to it Damm.
  2. Communicating with clarity and precision – Be clear.
  3. Managing impulsivity – Take your time.
  4. Gathering data through all senses – Use your natural pathways.
  5. Listening with understanding and empathy – Understand others.
  6. Creating, imagining, innovating – Try a different way.
  7. Thinking flexibly – Look at it another way.
  8. Responding with wonderment and awe – have fun figuring it out.
  9. Thinking about your thinking (metacognition) – Know your knowing.
  10. Taking responsible risks – Venture out.
  11. Striving for accuracy and precision – Find the best possible solution.
  12. Finding humour – Laugh a little.
  13. Questioning and problem posing – How do you know?
  14. Thinking interdependently – Learning with others.
  15. Applying past knowledge to new situations – Use what you learn.
  16. Remaining open to continuous learning – Learning from experiences.

These are the things we do when we are dealing with something that is of big consequence or a stressor.


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