Habits of Mind

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“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”*

Three beliefs inform this page and my Habits of Mind: Inquiry Project Unit Plan:


  1. Students are being told what to think too often in public high schools
  2. Viewpoint diversity needs to be encouraged in public high schools
  3. ‘How to think’ and ‘respectful discourse’ need to be explicitly taught in public high schools

Students are capable of great thinking if they are shown and taught how Great Minds think!  This Inquiry Project Unit focuses on developing strong Habits of Mind as conceptualized by Bena Kallick and Art Costa in  Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success  (2008).

Habits of Mind is knowing how to behave intelligently when you DON’T know the answer. It means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known: dichotomies, dilemmas, enigmas and uncertainties (artcostacentre.com/html/habits.htm).

I hope that you will find the unit helpful. Please check out the unit in the drop down pages.

Feel free to post questions and comments below.

*This quotation is often attributed to Margaret Mead though I can not find the original source.