Habits of Mind


Visit the Habits of Mind web site.

Noted educators, Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, define and describe 16 types of intelligent behavior in their four book series, Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series, published in 2000 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in Alexandria, VA. The series includes:

Book I:
Discovering and
Exploring Habits
of Mind


Book II:
Activating and
Engaging Habits
of Mind

Book III:
Assessing and
Reporting on
Habits of Mind


Book IV:
and Sustaining
Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind aid students in school and adults in everyday life as they are challenged by problems, dilemmas, paradoxes, and enigmas for which the solutions are not immediately apparent. Drawing on the Habits of Mind means knowing how to behave intelligently when you don't know the answers. It means not only having information, but also knowing how to act on it.


The Habits of Mind

(as we have organized them)


         Personal Traits


        Managing impulsivity

        Striving for accuracy

        Finding humor


         Acquiring Information

        Gathering data through all senses

        Listening with understanding and empathy

        Questioning and posing problems

        Remaining open to continuous learning


         Thinking Tools

        Thinking flexibly

        Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision

        Thinking interdependently

        Applying past knowledge to new situations


         Personal Responses to Thought

        Creating, imagining, innovating

        Responding with wonderment and awe

        Thinking about thinking (metacognition)

        Taking responsible risks