Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Wait. Only 8 Habits of Mind? What happened to the other 8?" asked my colleague.

Tonight, in talking with a colleague about my new blog, he saw my previous post, he asked the question above.

So many books, so little time? One step at time.

"What do you mean?" I replied.

"There's sixteen."

"Sixteen? T.D. only gave me eight." I shrugged.  He laughed and looked at me with a grin.

"You didn't read the book!"

"What book?"

"Ha! You didn't read Heidi Hayes Jacobs's book. At the end, it talks about the "16 Habits of Mind" - not eight."

"I read it, but I didn't finish it." As soon as I said those words, I felt as sheepish as an ill prepared student caught in a lie.  For faculty development, we were asked to read Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World before her visit (see first post).

"The end's the best part," he replied. And he's right.  The end is always the best.  We commiserated about the middle that lost us both, but he persisted. And I... I missed the best part.

So according to Wikipedia, here are the work of Professor Arthur L. Costa:

The 16 Habits of mind

  1. Persisting
  2. Communicating with clarity and precision
  3. Managing impulsivity
  4. Gathering data through all senses
  5. Listening with understanding and empathy
  6. Creating, imagining, innovating
  7. Thinking flexibly
  8. Responding with wonderment and awe
  9. Metacognition
  10. Taking responsible risks
  11. Striving for accuracy and precision
  12. Finding humor
  13. Questioning and problem posing
  14. Thinking interdependently
  15. Applying past knowledge to new situations
  16. Remaining open to continuous learning

In the twelfth and final chapter of her book Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, Heidi Hayes Jacobs elaborates on these 16 Habits of Mind.  I find it interesting the eight that, I assume, T.D. selected (they are in bold italics).  I will have to ask him.

After my colleague left, I particularly liked reading #14. "Finding Humor: Laugh a little! Finding the whimsical, incongruous, and unexpected.  Being able to laugh at oneself."  I laughed at myself, and then I read the final chapter.  Then, I had an idea for a post to this blog.  (My goal is - was - to post once a day; I clicked something that night and thought I lost everything above... but I was surprised to discover it may have autosaved as a draft... so I caution students to save regularly -  or ctrl A, ctrl C. - Thus, I am applying past knowledge to new situations.)

As I write this post, I still haven't read Curriculum 21 cover to cover, yet I will.  Clearly, I have issues with "managing impulsivity", and "persisting", yet feel I may be leaning towards other habits: "communicating with clarity and precision" by writing this post and by "creating, imagining, innovating" through using technology to share it.  Question: what habits do we value most?  How do we invest or time?

I value writing.  The intention of this blog is to create a writing habit and share thoughts on reading, writing, and life as an English teacher at a boarding school.  My audience is you, obviously, since you are reading this, but seriously, I wish to communicate with students and colleagues at WRA past, present, and future.  This platform will serve as an archive of humble musings that can be read, at one's convenience, and maybe shared - or returned to and reread.  It's an investment of time, but it's a "responsible risk" worth taking, because I think you are worth it.  Here's to "remaining open to continuous learning"!

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