Habits of Mind, Purposeful Pathways to Developing a Flexible Mindset Disposition
Motivated thinkers are inquisitive, consultative, open-minded, tolerant of ambiguity, self-reflective, and attentive to detail.
By Doris Wells-Papanek, MEd
Director, Design Learning Network
According to Garfield Gini-Newman and Roland Case of the Critical Thinking Consortium, “motivated thinkers are inquisitive, consultative, open-minded, fair-minded, tolerant of ambiguity, self-reflective, and attentive to detail. An individual’s attitudes – or habits of mind – are key constituents of good thinking. People who are, for example, closed to new ideas or inflexible in their thinking are seriously impaired in their ability to arrive at justifiable resolutions of issues. Open-mindedness is but one of an array of habits of mind needed by thinkers. The tendency of some individuals is to rashly leap to conclusions underlies another crucial mental habit of a good thinker, the inclination to deliberate – to think before acting. Successful thinking is a significantly (but by no means exclusively) a matter of attitude.”
Gini-Newman, Garfield, and Roland Case. Creating Thinking Classrooms: Leading Educational
From a student’s perspective, what
level of impact might focusing on two
Design Learning Challenge, Step 3) Explain, March 5 KCAI-Hosted Culminating
19 Essential Habits of Mind
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. Furthermore, the habits of mind have phrased as ‘When I Can…’ statements coupled with easy to remember descriptors.
Below is a sample of the Think category:
Habits of Mind in Action
As a point of reference, during the KC2016 Reinvent Learning on Purpose Challenge students chose two habits of mind in which to focus. Below is a sample of student reflections regarding the impact the habits had on their learning experiences and outcomes.