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Habits of Mind Research

  • 24 days ago

    Habits of Mind and Performance Task Achievement Information-grey


    Abstract The trend in global education is moving away from content acquisition and traditional exams, and towards ‘21st Century’ cognitive skills and performance assessments (PAs), where students are required to transfer knowledge, skills and understandings to solve real-world problems. There is a large body of theoretical literature which indicates that these ‘21st Century’ skills should be beneficial for student learning; however, there is a paucity of empirical evidence on the matter. The question remains is “Is there empirical data that indicates that development of 21st Century skills improves achievement in performance assessments?” This study focuses on a K-12 international school in South-east Asia which uses Understanding by Design (UbD) as a framework for learning and teaching, and has adopted Costa and Kallick’s Habits of Mind (HoMs) as a set of ‘21st Century’ skills. The research utilised a quantitative correlational design in an attempt to determine whether there is a correlation between the HoMs and student achievement in PAs. Assessment data from 354 students in middle school social studies and 246 students in high school English Language Arts was collected. The data was analysed using multiple linear regression (MLR) with the goal of determining the extent to which achievement in the HoMs affects achievement in PAs, compared to knowledge acquisition, and the development of understandings of the big conceptual ideas of a unit. The major challenges for the study were ensuring that the data collected genuinely measured what it claimed, and the elimination of bias due to the researcher’s vested interest in the research. The former was tackled by rigorous vetting of assessment criteria and collaborative calibration of grading, whilst the latter was mitigated by the use of a transparent reflective journal throughout all stages of the investigation. The study found a high level of correlation between the HoMs and PA achievement, although more so in middle school social studies than in high school ELA. The reasons behind the findings are discussed, and recommendations are made for implementation, and for further research

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