Thinking with Technology
Module 1 - Targeting Thinking in the Classroom

Activity 1.3

Step 3: Applying Costa and Kallick's 16 Habits of Mind

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Art Costa and Bena Kallick have identified 16 Habits of Mind that are used by effective thinkers when confronted with a challenging problem. Art Costa says a habit of mind "is knowing how to behave when you don't know the answer" (Costa & Kallick, 2000–2001). Employing a habit of mind requires many skills, attitudes, and learned behaviors. These behaviors are not performed in isolation, but in clusters. The 16 Habits of Mind is not a complete list, but a beginning point for discussion on how people display their intelligence.

  1. Read about the 16 Habits of Mind
  2. Identify the top three habits of mind that you consider important for your own classroom. 
  3. Complete this survey to begin thinking about how effective your learners are in employing the Habits of Mind.
  4. Review your survey results and compare them with the habits you identified as important for learners in your classroom. Identify one or two habits that you are particularly interested in supporting in your classroom. Form a small group of like-minded colleagues
    to discuss that habit (or those habits) and its application in the classroom.
  5. In your small group, use the following questions to help guide your discussion and, optionally, record your ideas in a wiki:
    • When do you see that habit—or a glimmer of that habit—being employed right now by your learners? What triggers or helps to encourage that habit?
    • How can we structure our classrooms to help support that habit? What scaffolds, environment, or strategies can we employ to encourage the ongoing development of that habit?
    • What changes could we make to our learners projects or classwork to promote that habit?
    • What conversations could you have with your learners to discuss the Habits of Mind?


Next: Proceed to Activity 1.4


Intel® Teach Programme
Participant Version 2.5 (SA) | Thinking with Technology