“Your students have wonderful manners – they’re clearly very happy.” Visiting Colombian teachers
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.
Stick to it! Persevering at task through to completion, remaining focused. Looking for ways to reach your goal when stuck. Not giving up!
Know your knowing! Being aware of your own thoughts, strategies, feelings and actions and their effect on others.
Be clear! Striving for accurate communication in both written and oral form; avoiding over-generalisations, distortions, deletions and exaggerations.
Venture out! Being adventurous; living on the edge of one’s competence. Trying new things constantly.
Take your time! Thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful and deliberative.
Check it again! Always doing your best. Setting high standards. Checking and finding ways to improve constantly.
Use your natural pathways! Paying attention to the world around you. Gathering data through all the senses; taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight.
Laugh a little! Finding the whimsical, incongruous and unexpected. Being able to laugh at oneself.
Understand others! Devoting mental energy to another person’s thoughts and ideas; making an effort to perceive another’s point of view and emotions.
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.
Try a different way! Generating new and novel ideas, fluency, originality.
Work together! Being able to work in and learn from others in reciprocal situations. Team work.
Look at it another way! Being able to change perspectives, generate alternatives, consider options.
Use what you learn! Accessing prior knowledge; transferring knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.
Have fun figuring it out! Finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued with phenomena and beauty. Being passionate.
Learn from experiences! Having humility and pride when admitting we don’t know; resisting complacency.