Deborah Meier founded the Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston in 1997. The school is centered around 5 "Habits of Mind," below.
Five Habits of Mind
The Mission Hill Habits of Mind are an approach to both the traditional academic disciplines (math, science, literature and history) and the interdisciplinary stuff of ordinary life. They are what lead us to ask good questions and seek solid answers. They are our definition of a well-educated person.
None of these five habits stand separately. And the way we use such habits differ if we are studying a mathematical proof, a scientific hypothesis, an historical dispute, a debate over economics, the appreciation of a piece of art, a critique of a novel, the telling of a myth or narrative, or the settling of a playground dispute.
The Mission Hill Habits of Mind are supplemented by Habits of Work: habits of meeting deadlines, being on time, sticking to a task, not getting frustrated quickly, hearing out what others say, and more.
Both sets of “habits” are developed in the process of gathering appropriate knowledge and skill in school and out. The best test is whether students use such habits in the course of their work. And again, not just in school. Knowing “how-to” is no substitute for having good habits. Who cares if you could drive well, if you’re not in the habit of doing so? Who cares if you could be on time, if you never are?
This post was also published on MUSE '13