A Habit of Mind is having a disposition towards behaving intelligently when faced with dichotomies, dilemmas and uncertainties whose answers are not immediately known.
The study of the Habit of Mind entails a unique ability to utilize childhood intelligence so as to learn related behaviors which help to explain variations in achievement of results. If a study is conducted to on pupils, a grade variance will be explained primarily by the learning behaviors while achievement test score variance will be explained by intelligence. Though explanatory terms may remain consistent after control, for demographic and behavioral variation, the variance is explained by learning behavior, intelligence and their interaction which exceeds the contribution.
Developing children’s emotional intelligence helps in developing suitable children environment and reduces the number of children at risk of disaffection. Pupils who score high in emotional intelligence rarely have difficulties at school unlike pupils who score lower in emotional intelligence since the latter are likely to have received period exclusion or are internally excluded or are taking unauthorized absence from school.
We become self-directed and self-aware learners in our academic and professional life through changing our thinking mode. Explicit instruction in thinking and learning skills receives little attention in the schools. It is much easier to improve instructional results in a new or forgotten arena than to achieve significant improvement in instructional methods that underwent decades of evolutionary improvement by trial and error.
There is little evidence of any widespread implementation of thinking skills programs at an educational system wide level. Some approaches involve the use of published teaching thinking materials while others involve strategies to be used with existing materials and direct teaching of thinking strategies. Other strategies involve stimulating students to develop their thinking skills through engaging in activities like dialectical discussions. Another strategy involves the teaching of thinking as a separate activity or teaching thinking through academic disciplines.
Issues which need to be considered when researching the teaching of thinking include the following: -
Professional thinking is an active personal process that is a dialogue between the inner self and the outside social context that enriches the self and enhances human action
Indicators of growth in thinking abilities include;
Persistence refers to persevering when the solution to a problem is not apparent. Students give up in despair when the answer to a problem is not known. They say, ‘I cannot do this it is too hard for me’ or they write down any answer to get the task completed quickly and with ease. They don't take the time to analyze the problem in details and develop a systematic problem attack.
Students should develop the use of systematic methods of analyzing a problem, knowing how to start the problem, and the steps that should be performed, and information that needs to be given and collected.
Students should opt giving the first answer that comes to mind rather than considering choices. As students become less impulsive, we identify them by clarifying goals, planning and exploring alternative to problem solving strategies, and considering consequences of actions before they begin them.
Psychologists believe that the ability to listen to other people, to empathize with them, and to understand their point of view is one of the highest forms of intelligent behavior portrayed.
Some students are unable to consider alternative points of view or deal with several sources of information in the same time. They just want to know whether their answer is correct, rather than being challenged by the process of finding an answer..
Determination of whether students are aware of their own thinking is observed if they are able to describe what is going on in their head when they think in a way that if they are asked they can describe what they know and what they need to know. Students should be able to describe their plan of action before they begin to solve a problem.
Students are careless when turning in their completed work. The speed of getting the assignment surpasses their desire for craftsmanship.
The difference between human and other forms of life is our inclination and ability to find problems and solve.
Nicholas, A, et al (2000) Habits of Mind. IUniverse Publishers
Evans, R, (1995) Habits of Mind. Bucknell University Publishers
Allen, C, (2003) Habits of Mind: Fostering Excellence in Higher Education. Transaction Publishers
Costa, A, Kallick, B (2008) Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind. ASCD Publishers
Sire, J. (2000) Habits of Mind: Intellectual Minds. Intervarsity Press.
Fine, M (1997) Habits of Mind: Struggling over Values in American Classrooms. Jossey Bass Publishers