Habits of Mind and Heart (15)

The school should focus on helping young people learn to use their minds well. Habits of mind and heart are ways that a school can articulate the thinking and emotional dispositions that students need, allowing it to focus its resources. Consequently, schools should not be “comprehensive” if such a claim is made at the expense of the school’s central intellectual purpose. Habits of mind are a set of thinking dispositions that help people develop their critical and creative thinking skills. They are the characteristics of what intelligent people do about problems whose resolution is not immediately apparent. That is, these are the mental habits individuals can develop to render their thinking and learning more self-regulated. The habits of mind are not designed to be thinking tools, rather they are designed to be dispositions adopted when using a thinking tool. Habits of heart are a collection of emotional dispositions designed to help people develop their social-emotional intelligence. Habits of heart help people care for, identify with, and honor others, and respect the emotions and rights of others and how they see the world. The phrase also describes an ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage one’s own emotions and those of other individuals and groups.

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