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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: Describing the Habits of Mind. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

Describing the Habits of Mind
by noteworthy at 7:59 am EDT, Jun 22, 2009

Arthur L. Costa:

This chapter contains descriptions for 16 of the attributes that human beings display when they behave intelligently. They are the characteristics of what intelligent people do when they are confronted with problems, the resolutions to which are not immediately apparent.

When we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they never quit.

Effective problem solvers are deliberate: they think before they act.

The ability to listen to another person -- to empathize with and to understand that person's point of view -- is one of the highest forms of intelligent behavior. We often say we are listening, but actually we are rehearsing in our head what we are going to say when our partner is finished.

Some students have difficulty considering alternative points of view or dealing with more than one classification system simultaneously. Their way to solve a problem seems to be the only way. They perceive situations from an egocentric point of view: "My way or the highway!" Their minds are made up: "Don't confuse me with facts. That's it!"

Intelligent people plan for, reflect on, and evaluate the quality of their own thinking skills and strategies. Interestingly, not all humans achieve the level of formal operations.

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.

The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating.

Responsible risk takers do not behave impulsively. They know that all risks are not worth taking.

Working in groups requires the ability to justify ideas and to test the feasibility of solution strategies on others. It also requires developing a willingness and an openness to accept feedback from a critical friend.

George Cochrane:

It might be painful, especially at first. It might be frustrating. You might throw out the first 20 things you make, hate them, hate yourself, and curse the day anybody encouraged you to try.

But at least you’re starting.


It's the sameness of the familiar that closes minds.

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