HABITS OF MIND

(After Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series, Copyright © 2000)
The 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.
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 subject

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