16 Habits of Mind Essential for 21st Century Learners

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January 25, 2015
Below are 16 habits of mind our students need to develop in order to guarantee an optimal learning experience. These are cognitive processes that work at an analytic level to enhance one's mental and conceptual capacities in  analysing and understanding things. Different as they are, these mind habits when taken together constitute the essence of a growth mindset needed for a balanced intellectual, social and physical development of the individual.

The 16 habits of mind is a work realized by Habitsofmind.org which is a very good platform that provides a wide variety of teaching materials and resources for teachers and educators. The chart  is not really visually enhanced and I found it hard to peruse it so I went ahead and prepared this paraphrased  script for you.

1- Persisting:
Persevere in you what you do and keep focused. It took Thomas Edison over 10.000 failed attempts to finally reach his breakthrough invention.

2- Managing impulsivity
Take your time and think before you act. Keep thoughtful and deliberative

3- Listening with empathy
Make an effort to understand others’ ideas and points of views.

4- Thinking flexibly
Be flexible with your thoughts and be ready to try different alternatives and options.

5- Thinking about your thinking (metacognition)
Be aware of your own thinking processes and the  impact they have  on your action and behaviour.

6- Striving for accuracy
Do your best to get it right and keep looking for ways to improve for the best.

7-Questioning and problem solving
Adopt a questioning and inquisitive mindset. Nothing is taken for granted and questions are the key to a better understanding.

8- Applying past knowledge to new situations
Draw on your prior knowledge to enhance your present learning experiences. Maintain a connection between your past knowledge and your actual learning.

9-Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
Be clear in your communication and avoid things that would complicate the clarity of your message such as over-generalizations, exaggerations, and distortions.

10- Gather data through all senses
Use all your senses to collect data. Observe the world around you and draw on your senses to explore it.

11- Creating, imagining and innovating
Be creative and imaginative in your thinking. Look for new untrodden paths and explore novel possibilities.

12- Responding with wonderment and awe
Enjoy your learning and have fun learning more.

13- Taking responsible risks
Be adventuresome and try new things constantly.

14- Finding humour
Be humorous and give vent to the whimsical inside you.

15- Thinking interdependently
Develop team work skills and know how to work collaboratively with others.

16- Remaining open to continuous learning
Never stop learning. Learning is a life-long journey and you need to take it till the end.