Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success

Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success

Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success

Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success


In Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind, noted educators Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick present a comprehensive guide to shaping schools around Habits of Mind. The habits are a repertoire of behaviors that help both students and teachers successfully navigate the various challenges and problems they encounter in the classroom and in everyday life. The Habits of Mind include

• Persisting

• Managing impulsivity

• Listening with understanding and empathy

• Thinking flexibly

• Thinking about thinking (metacognition)

• Striving for accuracy

• Questioning and posing problems

• Applying past knowledge to new situations

• Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision

• Gathering data through all senses

• Creating, imagining, innovating

• Responding with wonderment and awe

• Taking responsible risks

• Finding humor

• Thinking interdependently

• Remaining open to continuous learning

This volume brings together--in a revised and expanded format--concepts from the four books in Costa and Kallick's earlier work Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series. Along with other highly respected scholars and practitioners, the authors explain how the 16 Habits of Mind dovetail with up-to-date concepts of what constitutes intelligence; present instructional strategies for activating the habits and creating a "thought-full" classroom environment; offer assessment and reporting strategies that incorporate the habits; and provide real-life examples of how communities, school districts, building administrators, and teachers can integrate the habits into their school culture. Drawing upon their research and work over many years, in many countries, Costa and Kallick present a compelling rationale for using the Habits of Mind as a foundation for leading, teaching, learning, and living well in a complex world.


David Perkins

While driving into town a few years ago, I found myself behind a young man in a red convertible. Like many people, I have certain expectations about young men in red convertibles, but this young man surprised me. When we reached a railroad crossing, he was painfully careful. He slowed down as he approached the tracks. the closer he got to the tracks, the more he slowed. As his car passed over the tracks, it hardly was moving at all. At this point, with great care, the young man looked to the left, and then he looked to the right. No train was coming. Satisfied with his safety, he gunned the engine and sped off. the young man was careful—and yet he wasn’t. Surely, the middle of the tracks isn’t the best position from which to scan for oncoming trains!

This man’s behavior provides a kind of metaphor for the mission of Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind. When on the road of life, we ought to be thoughtful about what we are doing. For example, we ought to manage impulsivity and strive for accuracy, two of the worthwhile Habits of Mind this book describes. Yet if good thinking is to help us out in life, it has to go on the road with us. the trouble is, good thinking often gets left behind altogether, or it’s exercised in flawed ways and so doesn’t do quite the right job, as this young man demonstrated.

How can we encourage ourselves and others—particularly students— to take good thinking on the road? Learning and Leading with Habits of . . .

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