Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind are a set of dispositions towards behaving intelligently when faced with problems - the answers to which are not immediately known. They offer a framework, or compass for students to refer to when needing to direct the next steps in their learning.

At Upper Shirley High we use the Habits of Mind across the curriculum. They are as follows:

  • 1. Persisting

    Stick to it! Persevering at task through to completion, remaining focused. Looking for ways to reach your goal when stuck. Not giving up!

  • 2. Thinking about your Thinking: Metacognition

    Know your knowing! Being aware of your own thoughts, strategies, feelings and actions and their effect on others.

  • 3. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision

    Be clear! Striving for accurate communication in both written and oral form; avoiding over-generalisations, distortions, deletions and exaggerations.

  • 4. Taking Responsible Risks

    Venture out! Being adventurous; living on the edge of one’s competence. Trying new things constantly.

  • 5. Managing Impulsivity

    Take your time! Thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful and deliberative.

  • 6. Striving for Accuracy

    Check it again! Always doing your best. Setting high standards. Checking and finding ways to improve constantly.

  • 7. Gathering Data Through New Senses

    Use your natural pathways! Paying attention to the world around you. Gathering data through all the senses; taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight.

  • 8. Finding Humour

    Laugh a little! Finding the whimsical, incongruous and unexpected. Being able to laugh at oneself.

  • 9. Listening with Understanding and Empathy

    Understand others! Devoting mental energy to another person’s thoughts and ideas; making an effort to perceive another’s point of view and emotions.

  • 10. Questioning and Posing Problems

    How do you know? Having a questioning attitude, knowing what data are needed and developing questioning strategies to produce those data. Finding problems to solve.

  • 11. Creating, Imagining and Innovating

    Try a different way! Generating new and novel ideas, fluency, originality.

  • 12. Thinking Interdependently

    Work together! Being able to work in and learn from others in reciprocal situations. Team work.

  • 13. Thinking Flexibly

    Look at it another way! Being able to change perspectives, generate alternatives, consider options.

  • 14. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations

    Use what you learn! Accessing prior knowledge; transferring knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.

  • 15. Responding with Wonderment and Awe

    Have fun figuring it out! Finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued with phenomena and beauty. Being passionate.

  • 16. Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

    Learn from experiences! Having humility and pride when admitting we don’t know; resisting complacency.