OBSERVING HABITS OF MIND IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
University of Palermo (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The processes of acquiring content knowledge have changed significantly as a result of new technology.
In this fast-moving 21st century situation, students need to learn to think before they act. Every course in school should be used as an opportunity to help students develop habits of mind.
A Habit of Mind means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known. When humans experience dichotomies, are confused by dilemmas, or come face to face with uncertainties our most effective actions require drawing forth certain patterns of intellectual behavior. When we draw upon these intellectual resources, the results that are produced through are more powerful, of higher quality and greater significance than if we fail to employ those patterns of intellectual behaviors.
As students learn and practice the Habits of Mind, they become more skillful and develop a large repertoire of strategies that they can call upon in problematic situations. Students grow more adept employing the habit strategically, selecting and sequencing the most appropriate strategies at the appropriate time. They refine their ability to apply each of these skills and strategies in complex and sophisticated ways. Learners also begin to develop internal, metacognitive strategies when confronted with problems, decisions and different situations.
As learners connect success to the effective application of the Habits of Mind, they begin to make predictions about when and why it might be appropriate to use a particular habit. In doing so they also deepen their valuing of the Habits because they can understand why using a habit would be important in these situations. They can reflect back upon the use of the habit and see that when the habit is appropriately used, it has led to greater success.
It needs to equip students with lifelong meta skills and habits of mind. Educators must help students to develop and apply what dimensions of learning calls productive habits of mind.
The present work, starting from the construction of an evaluation grid, aims at analyzing the 16 Habits of Mind mentioned by Costa & Kallick (2009) in order to observe how students perform over time as they confront problems and tackle with challenging, discrepant events, in 72 students of primary school 5th Year in Palermo. Our goal is to observe the way students use the habits as an internal compass to guide decision, thoughts and actions.
Keywords: Habits of mind, skills, observation.