Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Sunday, November 17, 2013
- Valuing – “choosing to employ a pattern of intellectual behaviors rather than other, less productive patterns.”
- Having the inclination – “feeling the tendency toward employing a pattern of intellectual behaviors.”
- Being alert – “perceiving opportunities for, and appropriateness of employing a pattern of intellectual behaviors.
- Being capable – “possessing the basic thinking skills and capacities to carry through with the behaviors.
- Making a commitment – “reflecting on and constantly striving to improve performance of the pattern of intellectual behavior.”
- “Persisting when the solution to a problem is not readily available.” This requires a repertoire of alternative strategies for problem solving. This habit of mind is similar to gifted education theorist JosephRenzulli’s attribute of task commitment, which along with high ability and creativity comprise his three-ring conception of giftedness.
- “Managing impulsivity.” Students who blurt the first answer out may at times be well served to reflect on several options. This habit may help one avoid a potentially frustrating trial-and-error approach.
- “Listening to others with understanding and empathy.” This habit of mind is described by Stephen Covey in the widely popular The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Costa recommends that “paraphrasing another person’s ideas” or “detecting indicators of another person’s feelings or emotional states.” He believes that the habit of listening is the “least taught skill in school.” Research shows that “we spend 55 percent of our lives listening.”
- “Thinking flexibly.” This habit requires a tolerance for confusion and ambiguity in addition to one’s willingness to change one’s mind when presented with additional data.
- “Thinking about our own thinking: Metacognition.” In a nutshell, this habit presupposes that one knows one’s own limits – what do we know and what do we not know. Fostering metacognition would include the act of rehearsing mentally prior to a specific performance and monitoring during the performance.
- “Striving for accuracy and precision.” This habit most certainly involves double-checking one’s work. I recall that as a teacher I never accepted a student’s test or in-class essay without challenging my students to double and triple check. I spent time instructing students how to double-check their work.
- “Asking questions and posing problems.” This habit is a follow-up to the habit of metacognition as one needs to learn to ask the questions to learn and understand that what one does not know.
- “Applying past knowledge to new situations.” This habit requires students to relate and apply previously learned material to new challenges.
- “Thinking and communicating with clarity.” Underlying this habit is that “fuzzy language is a reflection of fuzzy thinking.”
- “Gathering data through all senses.” This habit requires full attention to one’s environment and processing information coming to the brain via gustatory, olfactory, tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, and visual sensory pathways. Students with wide open sensory pathways will absorb more information than students who are “oblivious to sensory stimuli.”
- “Creating, imagining, innovating.” Students are well served in problem solving when they “examine alternative possibilities from many angles.” Students who exemplify this habit are unlikely to accept the status quo, instead seeking greater novelty.
- “Responding with wonderment and awe.” Joyful and energetic curiosity is a trait that defines this habit. This habit transcends the “Yes, I can” attitude, better characterized as “Yes, I enjoy.” I recently observed one of our math students assigning a problem that “will make your head hurt.” The advanced math students related to this challenge just as the math teacher intuitively had predicted – they were looking forward to the “brain teaser” problems.
- “Taking responsible risks.” Students who “accept confusion, uncertainty, and the higher risks of failure” are likely to exemplify this habit.
- “Finding humor.” This habit may best be exemplified by those students who “thrive on finding incongruity and perceiving absurdities, ironies, and satire.”
- “Thinking interdependently.” There is a reason why all good classrooms include group projects, as in our technological age “no one person has access to all the data needed to make critical decisions; no one person can consider as many alternatives as several people can.” Habits such as listening, seeking consensus and foregoing one’s own ideas and work and instead accepting someone else’s are part of working and thinking interdependently.
- “Remaining open to continuous learning.” This habit may best be described as keeping an open mind, “inviting the unknown, the creative, and the inspirational.”
In summary, teachers, parents, mentors, and coaches are wise to spend significant time in helping students develop these habits, in turn teaching them to “behave intelligently.” I would propose that a successful internalization of these 16 habits are all ingredients that facilitate a healthy growth mindset.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
1. The ability to identify and formulate problems, as well as the ability to solve them.
2. The ability to recognize and use inductive reasoning, as well as the ability to solve them.
3. The ability to draw reasonable conclusions from information found in various sources, whether written, spoken, tabular, or graphic, and to defend one’s conclusions rationally.
4. The ability to comprehend, develop, and use concepts and generalizations.
5. The ability to distinguish between fact and opinion.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
- Flexibility: Students switch strategies in solving a problem with ease and numerous times to help them make sense of the problem.
- Curtailment: Students skip several steps in the logical thought process because they see the solution as one whole thought as opposed to linearly connected logical steps. This phenomenon may help us understand why some gifted math students cannot explain their reasoning in finding a solution as they just cannot retrace any step-by-step process that are required for less capable math students.
- Logical Thought: These are students who think in mathematical symbols such as “less/greater than” or “plus/minus” when filtering data that is being presented to them. These thinkers “look at the world from a logical perspective.”
- Formalization: Based on just very few examples, students can see the overall structure of a problem and thus make generalizations very quickly.
- Selective encoding: These students can “sift out” relevant information from a problem situation.
- Selective combination: These students synthesize the relevant information.
- Selective comparison: Students compared the information that had been synthesized together to other relevant information.
Monday, February 11, 2013
by Benjamin Hebebrand, Head of School, Quest Academy