Habits of Mind

Impact of Habits of Mind & Social Emotional Learning on Teaching & Learning

Habits of Mind

There is a wise saying: Motivation is what gets you started; Habit is what keeps you going. Have you ever wondered why some people are more effective than others when dealing with situations in College or in their personal life such as solving complex problems or being able to make good decisions consistently?

Studies have shown that successful people skilfully and mindfully employ the Habits of Mind (HOM) when they are confronted with an unfamiliar situation. In other words, successful people have acquired a set of dispositions which includes having self-awareness, an inquiring mind, being flexible and open in thinking that enables them to behave intelligently and adapt to a new environment smoothly.

HOM has been introduced in the Collegeís curriculum since 2008 to create a thoughtful learning environment. The rationale to teach HOM is to equip students with a set of thinking dispositions that will guide them to use higher order thinking skills, tools and strategies in their studies and co-curricular activities or when making personal choices.

To be an adept student effective in leading self and others you should conscientiously draw upon the Habits of Mind and reflect on how the HOM have helped you make better judgement or selection of actions when faced with a difficult problem or challenging situation.

The 16 Habits of Mind with the corresponding word splashes are given in the table below.

Habits Of Mind Word Splash
Gathering Data through All Senses
  • Listen, Read, Think
  • Experiment, Explore, Discover
  • Make use of resources and tools: Internet, Library, GC etc
Striving for Accuracy*
  • Check for correctness, check again
  • Deliver quality work
  • See through a piece of work
  • Be focussed
Managing Impulsivity
  • Think before you act
  • Exercise restraint and remain calm
Thinking about Thinking (metacognition)
  • Reflect on own thinking process
  • Review strategies in our mind
Remaining Open to Continuous Learning
  • Always willing to learn more
  • Gather feedback
  • Seek ways to do things better
Listening with Understanding and Empathy
  • Be attentive and hold your thoughts
  • Seek to understand otherís view
  • Paraphrase to make sense of information
Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  • Be enthusiastic, have a zest for life
  • Appreciate beauty and diversity
Thinking Interdependently*
  • Support each other working in teams
  • Be cooperative, strive for synergy
Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  • Use proper grammar
  • Get to the point, avoid generalisation
Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations*
  • Use prior knowledge with understanding
  • Know the fundamental concepts, make new connections
Finding Humour
  • Laugh at yourself
  • Enjoy funny moments in life
Creating, Imagining, Innovating
  • Generate new ideas, try different ways
  • See new perspectives
Questioning and Posing Problems*
  • Ask questions
  • Reframe questions for better understanding
  • Develop good questioning attitude
Thinking Flexibly
  • See things from different points of view
  • Generates alternative solutions
Taking Responsible Risks
  • Evaluate the pluses and minuses for various courses of action
  • Consider consequences of action
*To focus on these 5 Habits of the Mind