top of page

What are Habits of Mind?

First you ask, 'What is Growth Mindset?' and now your asking 'What are Habits of Mind?' Deep breath, no need to panic. Grow Your Mindset can help you here. Through our research and own practise we found that once you have a really good solid understanding of Growth Mindset, you are ready to start looking at Habits of Mind and guess what? Grow Your Mindset can hold you hand every step of the way!
*Should you wish - sometimes people just want our support.
Developed by Arthur Costa, Habits of Mind are a set of 16 problem solving, life related skills, necessary to effectively operate in society and promote strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity and craftsmanship. Growth Mindset provide the solid foundations and Habits of Mind are bricks that pull everything together.
Habits of Mind are relevant to individuals of all ages and in all areas of life. The understanding and application of these 16 Habits serve to provide you and others around you, with skills, to work through real life and at time problematic situations that equip you to respond using awareness (cues), thought, and intentional strategy in order to gain a positive outcome.
Growth Mindset quote
Thinking about your thinking
Managing Impulsivity
Listening & Understanding with Empathy
Thinking Flexibly
Striving for accuracy
Questioning & Posing Problems
Applying past knowledge to new situations
Thinking & Communicationg with Clarity and Precision
Gathering Data through all the Senses
Finding Humour
Taking Responsible Risks
Creating, Imagining, Innovating
Responding with Wonderment & Awe
Thinking Interdependently
Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

Why are Habits of Mind important?

Measuring the effectiveness of the Habits has not got as many pretty graphs like Growth Mindset has, but it has got the strong evidence from highly trusted individuals - teachers! This information can really highlight why Habits of Mind are important. As schools have embraced the Habits and focused on really understanding what they mean and teaching them explicitly and throughout their curriculum, more and more teachers are reporting the positive effects it has had on student performance and well as themselves. 

Ok, so we know some of you like numbers. so to please you we can also tell you that Costa did conduct a study that found those settings that did embrace the Habits led to a three fold increase in the identification of gifted and talented pupils. This suggests because children had adopted the Habits and developed their skills in thinking, problem solving etc, this led to higher rate of effort and therefore a higher rate of children achieving their goals too.

If you're still not convinced, why don't you take a look

at this video of Costa describing his findings?

* Oh and thanks James Anderson for pointing us in this direction.

He too, helps us know our stuff better.

The Habits of Mind help individuals of any age age in a number of ways. 

Although a lot of the research out there is education based, Costa has also talks extensively about the effect in later life.


Along with Growth Mindset, if we can develop these skills in ourselves and others, surely we are on a winning streak?

To be happy, to be content and to enjoy life. Now that sounds pretty darn good to us!

How do Habits of Mind help?

The Habits, like Growth Mindset are not just about academic success and progress, they are the tools needed to succeed in life, to bounce back from life's problems. 

These days, with our fast paced life-style, our constant and quick judgement of others and our never ending scrutiny on social media, life is already tough enough. 

"School is home for the mind."
Arthur Costa

bottom of page