Habits Of Mind

Costa (ASCD) lists essential habits of mind as:
– Persisting
– Managing Impulsivity
– Listening with Understanding and Empathy
– Thinking Flexibly
– Thinking About Thinking (Metacognition)
– Striving For Accuracy
– Questioning and Posing Problems
– Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
– Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
– Gathering Data Through All Senses
– Creating, Imagining, Innovating
– Responding with Wonderment and Awe
– Taking Responsible Risks
– Finding Humor
– Thinking Interdependently
– Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

These habits are just as important as the knowledge and skills gained through education. To what degree does your curriculum directly teach and assess these habits?


  1. Carla Silver says:

    Richard, I love this list and think these are all essential
    habits for leaders, teachers, parents and human beings! I am adding
    it to my “inspiration board” above my desk. I have to go look at
    the source now. Thanks for posting.

  2. Carla Silver says:

    Richard, have you read the book? Want to review it for the
    SFLC Newsletter? I want to read it now. Thanks for the

  3. Richard says:

    Nope, just went looking for a list of habits of mind for a
    colleague doing a survey of alumni. Schools focus so much on
    content and skills, but habits of mind are equally important for
    success today.

  4. Alex Ragone says:

    I’d add slowing down to that list. In this crazy busy world we have created, many of those habits, if not all, require us to think and reflect on our actions. If we don’t slow down, we won’t be able to attain them.

  5. Holly Lara says:

    Our entire 4th grade curriculum at Charles Wright Academy is built around the Habits of Mind. Students do begin learning about the habits in earlier grades, but by 4th grade, led by two masterful teachers, it is embedded in everything they do. (I entered one teacher’s website as the address for me, so you could visit and take a look) Students discuss which HOMs they use daily, and write up real-world scenarios for each other where their classmates are asked to identify the HOMs that might be used to work through a problem. We’ve got kids all over the place using words like “metacognition” and “attending to task,” and they completely understand what those things mean (and look like)! Each spring Mr. Pelander takes a group of 4th graders to Pacific Lutheran University to present the HOM curriculum, and the concept of Learning Lines, to the Education students. It’s brilliant.

  6. Richard says:

    Holly, you may be interested in checking out our curriculum maps. Our preschool and kindergarten teachers include habits of mind when documenting curricula, but first grade and above do not. They do document essential questions, so at least there exists some focus on students’ development of metacognitive skills.