The Habits of Mind (HOMs) are the characteristics of intelligent behavior demonstrated by successful people when confronted with problems with no immediately apparent answer of a solution. Based on years of research and application, the HOMs can be identified as the ‘dispositions’ of successful problem solvers. Teaching the HOMs (embedding these skills as a habitual part of the learning process) serves to enhance student performance under challenging conditions that demand strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity, and craftsmanship to resolve complex problems.
Costa and Kallick’s “Habits of Mind” have been successfully embedded within a wide variety of school cultures in the US and abroad for the last 22 years. The HOMs are best described as the ‘dispositions’ of successful problem solvers; intelligent behaviors that enhance student performance in complex problem-solving. Research-based and school tested, the HOMs have provided many schools with a clear “how to” in addressing the evolving intellectual requirements of our 21st Century learners. Schools that have embedded the HOMs in their school cultures have demonstrated improvement in standardized testing, project based and blended learning, and overall teacher/student/parent satisfaction.
A Habits of Mind focus develops the capacity of a school to build a ‘mindful’ culture which values self-monitoring, reflection, and commitment to a shared vision. Intentional practice of the HOMs embeds awareness in learners beyond what they are ‘doing,’ into “how” and “in what ways” they are experiencing and managing their learning. Intentional use of the HOM framework allows all learners, regardless of level or academic capability to experience success in the classroom. All learners can work towards mastering their awareness and use of the Habits of Mind in everything they ‘do’, in school and beyond.
“Are we preparing kids minds for a life of tests or the test of life?”— Dr. Art Costa