Art Costa – Habits of Mind http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/thinking/costa2.htm http://www.habits-of-mind.net/


Summarise Costa's Habits of Mind


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit" Aristotle.
Intelligent action which, when practiced over time can become habituated. The goal of education therefore, should be to liberate and develop more fully these habits of mind and the skills associated with them.
The habits of mind are:
  • Persistence
  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Listening to others
  • Thinking flexibly
  • Metacognition
  • Striving for accuracy and precision
  • asking questions
  • applying past knowledge
  • thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
  • gathering data
  • creating imaging innovating
  • responding with wonderment and awe
  • takinfg responsible risks
  • finding humour
  • thinking interdependently
  • remaining open to continuous learning



Children become smart by being treated as if they are already intelligent. Intelligence is being in the habit of applying skilful thinking to perplexing problem situations."

WaiLite A:

Summarise the components of Habits of Mind Thinking

1. There are 16 habits of mind which are never fully mastered but require constant practice.

2. Habit of mind include valuing, having the inclination, being alert, being capable, making a commitment and being alert to opportunities to apply them..

3. Habits of mind come about through inquisitiveness and persistence

4. Habits of mind require explicit teaching and content needs to be selected to suit the purpose of the type of thinking that you want children to learn.

5. Contexts need to be relevant/real life situations that enable children to practice these thinking skills.

6. "Habits of the Mind provide the fuel to activate strategic thinking in order to engage skilfully in problem solving, decision making or knowledge generation. They must possess, be disposed and inclined to manage their impulsivity, display empathy, be inquisitive and persistent." A.Costa

The Habits are
  • PERSISTENCE,
  • MANAGING IMPULSIVITY,
  • LISTENING WITH UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHY,
  • THINKING FLEXIBLY,
  • META COGNITION,
  • STRIVING FOR ACCURACY AND PRECISION,
  • ASKING QUESTIONS AND POSING PROBLEMS,
  • APPLYING PAST KNOWLEDGE TO NEW SITUATIONS,
  • THINKING AND COMMUNICATING WITH CLARITY AND PRECISION,
  • GATHERING DATA THROUGH ALL SENSES,
  • CREATING, IMAGINING AND INNOVATING;
  • RESPONDING WITH WONDERMENT AND AWE;
  • TAKING RESPONSIBLE RISKS;
  • FINDING HUMOUR;
  • THINKING INTERDEPENDENTLY;
  • REMAINING OPEN TO CONTINUOUS LEARNING
"Habits of Mind transcend all subject matter commonly taught in school. They are develop[mental qualities that are never completely mastered and therefore are applicable to adults as well as students."

These ways of thinking need to be habitualised. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle

Develop an example of how you might use this in a classroom / centre / staff meeting