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  • Training prospective teachers to instil Habits of

    Mind among learners: A South African experience

    IACESA International Conference Budapest, Hungary

    19-20 June 2014

    Mary Grosser North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus

    Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

  • Research project: Schools as Thinking


    Including the development of HoM as part of

    the teacher training curriculum at the School

    of Education Sciences, NWU VTC


  • Aims of the presentation

    1. •Progress achieved: Infusing

    Habits of Mind across the teacher training curriculum


    •Report on the data collected with student self-reflection and self-evaluation

  • Rational of the research project

    Dispositions/HoM are:

    Crucial for good thinking

    Important to recognize when thinking skills are needed

    Important to promote willingness to engage in thinking (Diamond, 2006; Facione, 2011)


    Development of dispositions of pre-service teachers and learners are school is fragile (Allamnakrah, 2013; Green, 2014; Hashim 2010; Lombard & Grosser, 2008; Scholtz et al., 2008).

  • Conclusion

    Teacher training should be geared to guide pre-service teachers to develop their own HoM and provided with strategies/ways to nurture HoM

    to enable them to teach learners how to become skilful and mindful at applying cognitive

    tools when confronted with cognitive challenges/problems

  • Habits of Mind/thinking dispositions……. theoretical


    Identified 16 Habits of Mind

    Art Costa & Bena Kallick,


    Reduced number to 7

    thinking dispositions/attitudes

    Peter Facione,


    Builds on the work of Costa & Kallick


    James Anderson,


    inquisitiveness, judiciousness, open-mindedness, systematicity, truth seeking, analyticity and confidence in reasoning

    Cognitive modifiability (Feuerstein, 1978) and self-regulated learning (Bandura, 1977)

  • 16 Habits of Mind Persisting Managing impulsivity

    Listening with understanding and empathy Thinking flexibly

    Thinking about thinking (Metacognition) Striving for accuracy

    Questioning and posing problems Applying past knowledge to new situations

    Thinking and communicating with clarity and


    Gathering data through all senses

    Creating, imagining, innovating Responding with wonderment and awe

    Taking responsible risks Finding humour

    Thinking interdependently Remaining open to continuous learning

  • 8

    What are the Habits of Mind?

    Habits of Mind

    Not behaviours we pick up and

    lay down whimsically

    Clusters of 16 intellectual behaviours

    Triggered without painstaking effort:

    reliably and accurately

    Used when confronted with cognitive tasks

    Intellectual resources:

    improve quality of work/enhance




  • Desire for exactness and fidelity, do not

    accept mediocrity

    Striving for accuracy

    Important for:

    • Communicating • Problem-solving • Accessing and

    analysing information

  • Remain focused, commitment, do not lose sight or get discouraged

    Important for: • Remaining

    optimistic • Being driven • Problem-solving • Dealing with

    pressure • Setting goals • Being flexible • Demonstrating

    leadership • To prioritize

  • 11

    Habits of Mind : Dimensions of growth



    Capacity Commitment


  • Novice




    Habits of Mind : Growth levels of the dimensions


    Narrow meaning Low value

    Limited strategies Externally prompted


    Complex meaning High value

    Expanded strategies Internally attuned


  • Assessing the HoM • External data energize learning

    • Students must set and meet goals

    • Assessment requires self-regulation

    Feedback from teacher and test results, Observations

    Students to participate in goals setting and creating plans to meet the goals

    Continuous growth: Self-monitoring and self-modifying Assessment as learning

    Checklists Rubrics Reflection: Internal voice Interviews

    Assess-ment as learning

  • Empirical research: 2012-2015


    Aim • To create a profile of the Habits of Mind of pre-service teachers (focus on the 1st year students of 2012) • Encourage the growth of the HoM that appear to be fragile • Academic improvement /success(long-term goal) • Enhance teaching practice of pre-service teacher

    Data Collection: mixed method • Self-developed Questionnaire • Informal discussions • Self-evaluation checklists • Reflection • Focus group interviews with students

    Participants Purposive, heterogeneous sample

    University in South Africa N = 300

  • Research process: data collection

    Feb 2012

    Baseline descriptive data


    HoM Implementation across the curriculum

    Feb 2012 – Oct 2015

    August 2012

    Focus group interviews

    Analysis of student work

    Self-evaluation checklists

    1. Likert scale questionnaire 2. Student reflections

  • Research process: data collection

    Oct 2012

    Student self-reflection

    HoM Implementation

    across the curriculum

    Feb 2013

    Student self-reflection

    August 2013

    Analysis of student work

    Self-evaluation checklists

    October 2013

    Analysis of student work

  • Data analysis: Student reflection and self-evaluation

    February 2012

    October 2012

    Feb 2013

    August 2013

  • Data analysis – Accuracy : Student evaluation: alertness and commitment– August 2013

    Good (67.7%)

    Do not need reminders (47.5%)

    Confident to teach learners ( 50.6 %)

    Continuously trying to improve my accuracy (68.3%)

    Can construct own checklist with

    criteria for learners


    Unsure (29.9%)

    Need reminders sometimes (47.6%)

    Not confident to teach learners ( 42.7 %)

    Sometimes try to improve on accuracy (28%)

    Unsure about constructing a checklist with criteria (47.0%)

  • Data analysis – Persistence: Student reflection : alertness and commitment– August 2013

    Good (56.7%)

    Do not need reminders (40.9%)

    Confident to guide learners (54.9%)

    Continuously trying to improve (64.6%)

    Unsure (39%)

    Need reminders sometimes (50%)

    Not confident to guide learners (42.7%)

    Sometimes try to improve (31.7)

  • Growth and development progress: Accuracy

    February 2012

    August 2013

  • Growth and development progress: Persistence

    February 2012

    August 2013 2012

  • Student rating of their growth and development in terms of accuracy and persistence on a 7-point semantic scale

    Feb 2012

    Able to skilled

    Aug 2013

    Emerging (novice) to developing (able)

  • Findings • Students have become more thoughtful/sincere/realistic about

    their own development in terms of being accurate and persistent. • Students gained some independence in directing their learning • Growth observed in the meaning, value and strategies attached to

    accuracy and persistence. • Level of accuracy and persistence appears to be still developing –

    not yet sophisticated. • Difference in the way the students' perceived their accuracy and

    persistence at the onset of 2012 – more realistic. • Internally attuned to assess own growth and development. • More alert to the value of the HoM in academic context. • More committed and accountable to assess the growth and

    development of their HoM

  • Recommendations

    • Using assessment as learning and developing Habits of Mind, require time.

    • Assessment as learning and infusing Habits of Mind across the curriculum require explicit guidance and constant modelling.

    • Reinforcing self-directed learning on a continuous basis.

    • Monitor students in their 4th year to determine if they have internalized the HoM and if the HoM translate into their own classroom practice.

  • Conclusion It is not the strongest of the species

    that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to

    change - Charles Darwin

    Based on the initial findings HoM can...

    • create flexible, caring, creative and

    confident people who can address the challenges of a complex, ever-

    changing 21st century.

    • increase student success, satisfaction and in the long run

    throughput rate


  • I would like to acknowledge the

    National Research

    Foundation and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

    support at the

    NWU for the research grant and funding

    received to support the continuation

    of the project .



  • • Anderson, J. 2011. Succeeding with habits of mind. Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

    • Costa, A.L. & Kallick, B. 2009. Learning and leading with habits of mind: 16 essential characteristics for success. Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.


    Resources on Habits of Mind