Habits of Mind

19 Habits of Mind
Habits of mind are “mindsets” that are part of the typical or habitual way in which a person approaches a 
situation or task. Habits of mind may be articulated in different ways. The following characterization captures 
most of the intellectual virtues important in thinking critically.

After years of applied research and practice, the Critical Thinking Consortium has identified 19 Essential 
Habits of Mind. To make each habit more accessible to students during our Design Learning Challenges,
we have grouped them into three action-oriented categories: Think, Collaborate, and Problem Solve.
Also, the habits of mind have phrased as ‘When I Can…’ statements with easy to remember descriptors.

   Think

Takes Initiative

I will know that I am taking initiative…

When I can do things that I know are important on my own – without being told.

Circumspect

I will know that I am being circumspect…

When I can consider lots of possible circumstances and outcomes – before taking action.

Open-Minded

I will know that I am being open-minded…

When I can listen to and make sense of – different and opposing points of view.

Independent-Minded

I will know that I am being independent-minded…

When I can think of ideas that are new or different from my friends.

Self-Reflective

I will know that I am being self-reflective…

When I am monitoring my beliefs and actions to see if they are consistent with who I wish to be.

Humble

I will know that I am being humble…

When I can see my place within the bigger picture – and make sense of where I fit.


 

   Collaborate

Inclusive

I will know that I am being inclusive…

When I can invite a variety of people to something that I am doing.

Accommodating

I will know that I am being accommodating…

When I can adjust my thinking or behavior as I interact with my friends.

Constructive

I will know that I am being constructive…

When I can listen and respond to my friends as they give me useful feedback.

Flexible

I will know that I am being flexible…

When I can adapt what I want to do – to what’s best for my friends and me.

Respectful

I will know that I am being respectful…

When I can be considerate of what my friends are saying and doing – even if I don’t agree.

Empathic

I will know that I am being empathetic

When I can relate to my friend’s situations – and challenges.

Consultative

I will know that I am being consultative…

When I can ask my friends for help – and look forward to hearing their opinions.

e

   Problem Solve

Inquiry-Minded

I will know that I am being inquiry-minded…

When I can figure out how to ask questions – that I am curious about.

Persistent and Perseverant

I will know that I am being persistent and perseverant …

When I can figure out how to think through problems – in a thoughtful and careful manner.

Critically-Minded

I will know that I am being critically-minded…

When I can figure out how to sort information – what is important or not.

Tolerant of Ambiguity

I will know that I am tolerant of ambiguity…

When I can figure out how to remain flexible – even when things happen that are unexpected.

Attentive to Detail

I will know that I am attentive to detail…

When I can figure out how to give careful consideration – to lots of information.

Fair-Minded

I will know that I am being fair-minded…

When I can figure out how to treat everyone – with respect.

 



Resources


For further information, please visit:

The Critical Thinking Consortium

The Ontario Teachers' Federation