by Arthur Costa, Bena Kallick and Morton Sherman
Take a moment to join us in a snapshot of a classroom we recently observed:
Students are hard at work designing a travel brochure as a part of their study of Ireland. They need to think about how much it will cost by air or by sea and develop a good rationale for why one way is preferable to another. They will also be including a recommended sightseeing schedule, determining why one schedule would be preferable to another.
These students have to analyze, evaluate, make decisions and communicate to an audience. As a group, they must work through this using the best of each student’s contributions to create their product. They will need to persist, overcome challenges, strive for accuracy, think flexibly and think interdependently.
We like to call these mental qualities “Habits of Mind”—attitudes or dispositions that are necessary for thoughtful work. Without realizing it, people rely on these behaviors when they encounter problems that are difficult to solve.