Habits of Mind

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Bena Kallick and Art Costa described habits of mind as 'a disposition towards behaving intelligently when confronted with problems’ where individuals examine patterns of behaviours and choose to use certain ones in different situations in order to be successful. They identified 16 habits that might describe effective patterns for different situations. These habits are:

  1. Persisting
  2. Managing impulsivity
  3. Listening with understanding and empathy
  4. Thinking flexibly
  5. Thinking about your thinking (metacognition)
  6. Striving for accuracy
  7. Questioning and problem posing
  8. Applying past knowledge to new situations
  9. Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
  10. Gather data through al the senses
  11. Creating, imagining and innovating
  12. Responding with wonderment and awe
  13. Taking responsible risks
  14. Finding humour
  15. Thinking interdependently 
  16. Remaining open to continuous learning 


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Download a poster on the 16 habits of mind by 

Read more about the habits of mind 



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The Thinking Like an Engineer report by the Royal Academy of Engineering provides insights into how engineers think and how the education system might develop engineers more effectively in order to plug the gap in the shortage of engineers. The report considers in some detail various habits of mind that support learning and in particular the habits of mind that develop an interest in engineering. Although this is a report on engineering much of the content, including the habits of mind information, is very relevant to D&T more broadly. The models and diagrams they use may be useful in informing the curriculum or in putting forward arguments for the inclusion of D&T and engineering in the curriculum (models include D&T/engineering versions of the 16 habits of mind as well as Lucas, Claxton and Spencer’s model of creativity. 


Return to the main Let’s Learn page to see all resources for teachers & students

You might find additional materials to support ideas on this page in other sections of the website e.g. #ThinkDoTechDoodle, and Free Resources


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