How Habits of Mind Can Grow All of Us

As a mom of two teenagers, I am growing my own parenting skills to help them discover their purpose, feel connected, and encourage both exploration and perseverance. Which means a lot more listening with understanding and empathy and a lot less “sage on the stage.”

How can we do this both in our families and in our schools?

As I was reflecting on opportunities to have my children, our students, find their purpose, I came across an intriguing blog from the Hechinger Report that describes the QUESTion project where students can pose and pursue questions that are challenging and meaningful for them. As I went to the website, I wandered into the student blog section, to see both the question and related reflections.

For example student Natalia Inoa’s “You live… there?” reveals how perspectives of others can impact our own thinking about current realities and future aspirations. This underscores our approach to personalizing learning with Habits of Mind. Our job as educators is to help learners achieve desired outcomes which includes not only content specific outcomes but also purposeful integration of the habits.

That’s why we are featuring a new tab on our homepage titled “Habits of Mind” to make more connections to the thinking that is required of our students and ourselves as we engage in personalizing learning. I have had the great privilege to work closely with Bena Kallick over the past three years. Her influence on my thinking both personally and professionally has been profound. As educators, Bena and I continue to imagine learning experiences that are designed to coach learners in complex thinking as they are navigating through content. In this newsletter, we focus on how to help, imagine and grow these learning experiences.

Take a look at our blog post on how to create this kind of culture at the school or district level. If you are attending the ASCD conference this month, you can continue this conversation with us on Saturday, March 24th from 1:30-3:00pm. Want to be there virtually? Hang out on Twitter during that time @allison_zmuda and take a look at our materials.

Additional Posts:

  • Examine a student design challenge by Craig Gastauer that aligns to the seven elements of personalized learning with Habits of Mind.
  • Watch an interview with Superintendent Dr. Patricia Deklotz from Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin on how she and her community meaningfully integrated habits of mind as they transformed education for students in the district.
  • Last and certainly not least, Art Costa has been so generous in creating and sharing blog posts and artifacts he has done with Bena Kallick. Take a look at this blog post where Art and Bena discuss how to systemically grow and demonstrate evidence of Habits of Mind with students, faculty and families.

In addition, the three of us are co-creating as we continue to learn how much habits of mind are inextricably tied to personalizing learning. You can see a few of our blog posts here and here. I also am thrilled to be joining Art and Bena for a 2-day pre-conference at ASCD on March 22-23.

This is part of the grand 25th year celebration of the original release of Habits of Mind — a testament to the timelessness and thoughtfulness of the framework.

Thank you for continuing to read and share!

Allison Zmuda
Educational Consultant and Founder of Learning Personalized

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