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Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind, Chapter 2. Describing the Habits of Mind by Arthur L. Costa

Author: Edited by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick

“Chapter 2. Describing the Habits of Mind.” Edited by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Describing the Habits of Mind, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2009, www.ascd.org/publications/books/108008/chapters/Describing-the-Habits-of-Mind.aspx.

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When we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

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Jan 24
Paul H (Jan 24 2021 11:51PM) : Hand-in-Hand with Other Reading (some being done with students). more

Here at NowComment, our Room 407 students have been engaging with Margaret Wheatley’s “Willing to Be Disturbed” pieces. I think that the Berry quote here brings us to this sort of disturbance/disruption of both routine. . .and perhaps policies. What is blocking our stream? And…is it a song or a dirge?

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Wendell Berry

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This chapter contains descriptions for 16 of the attributes that human beings display when they behave intelligently. In this book, we refer to them as Habits of Mind. They are the characteristics of what intelligent people do when they are confronted with problems, the resolutions to which are not immediately apparent.

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Jan 28
Savannah K (Jan 28 2021 11:16AM) : Description of how the habits of mind helps students more

Throughout this article Costa and Kallick describe in depth how essential it is that teachers are developing the learning power of students of all ages. In the article we see that both authors give a lot of concrete examples of how these learning dispositions have made a difference. These 16 habits presented to us are teaching kids, whether it is from their parents or teachers, habits that are performed by them on a day to day basis. The meaning behind this book is to help students get into the habit of behaving intelligently. A Habit of Mind is a pattern of intellectual behaviors that leads to productive actions. This is why we are trying to inform kids of these habits and consider what it means.
Finding some background information online, I noticed that their are four books in the ASCD ground-breaking Habits of Mind series. The volume we are discussing today presents a compelling case for why it’s more relevant than ever to align the missions of schools and classrooms to teaching students how to think and behave intelligently when they encounter problems and challenges in learning and in life. My thoughts behind the reading for the day is that all students of all ages should be learning and incorporating these 16 habits in their teachings.

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These Habits of Mind seldom are performed in isolation; rather, clusters of behaviors are drawn forth and used in various situations. For example, when listening intently, we use the habits of thinking flexibly, thinking about our thinking (metacognition), thinking and communicating with clarity and precision, and perhaps even questioning and posing problems.

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Jan 25
Harry B (Jan 25 2021 6:48PM) : Quote by Wendell Berry more

I love this quote- to me, it lets me and students know, they can do amazing things when they might feel they are lost, instead of feeling and despair, if we can train our minds to “roll with it” and see where we can take ourselves when we find ourselves not exactly where we expected to be, but also, teachers have to be willing to let students possibly end up with a different meaning of topics as well if they see students interpreting things differently than they imagined.

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Jan 28
Abigail G (Jan 28 2021 11:12AM) : "The mind that is not baffled is not employed..." more

The meaning I took from this portion of the Wendell Berry quote was if you are not confused, your mind is not working hard enough. If you think things are simple you are missing the complexity of life and its content. I made a text-to-text connection to this portion of the quote. We recently did and assignment over Wheatley Essays. One article titled “Willing to be Disturbed” and the other titled “The Works: Your Source to Being Fully Alive, Summer 2000”. These articles explain how opening up your mind to other peoples opinions can make your opinion richer or possibly change your viewpoint. This potion of the quote summarizes those articles perfectly. Everything is worth exploring whether it be someone else opinion of the complexity you find within life. Don’t be satisfied with the opinions and thoughts you have now, go out and find a source to challenge those thoughts and make your brain wonder.

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Jan 24
Paul H (Jan 24 2021 11:52AM) : Good to Know/Clarification more

I think the temptation is at times to take an itemized list and then work them separately. Quite possibilty assign or assess for them separately. These habits in synthesis allow for a little more room to talk about our employment/engagement of the Habit.

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Do not conclude, based on this list, that humans display intelligent behavior in only 16 ways. The list of the Habits of Mind is not complete. We want this list to initiate a collection of additional attributes. In fact, 12 attributes of "Intelligent Behavior" were first described in 1991 (Costa, 1991). Since then, through collaboration and interaction with many others, the list has been expanded. You, your colleagues, and your students will want to continue the search for additional Habits of Mind to add to this list of 16.

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Habits of Mind as Learning Outcomes

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Educational outcomes in traditional settings focus on how many answers a student knows. When we teach for the Habits of Mind, we are interested also in how students behave when they don't know an answer. The Habits of Mind are performed in response to questions and problems, the answers to which are not immediately known. We are interested in enhancing the ways students produce knowledge rather than how they merely reproduce it. We want students to learn how to develop a critical stance with their work: inquiring, editing, thinking flexibly, and learning from another person's perspective. The critical attribute of intelligent human beings is not only having information but also knowing how to act on it.

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Jan 28
Ciara K (Jan 28 2021 8:15AM) : Traditional Setting more

In this sentence, it talks about a traditional setting in school. It is hard to imagine what this traditional setting would look like because we have gone so long now with seeing people through a screen or classrooms being empty. I would love to see a traditional setting again where everyone is together and not just through a screen but I do not know if this will happen before I graduate.

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Jan 28
Jasmine M (Jan 28 2021 10:49AM) : nostalgia more

nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
When I think of “traditional school” I reminisce about better days. Ciara, I believe you are right, I don’t think traditional will ever be the same. At least before we are long gone.

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Jan 24
Paul H (Jan 24 2021 11:54AM) : Connection to Reading: M. Colleen Cruz's RISK. FAIL. RISE: A Teacher's Guide to Learning from Mistakes (Heinemann 2021). more

This not knowing is not celebrated but rather met with consequence (usually detrimental and/or dire). Cruz’s book focuses upon the origins of mistakes and how to claim/own/address/move.

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Jan 24
Paul H (Jan 24 2021 11:55AM) : Pivot more

Replicate to Create.
Inculcation to Innovation.
Rote to Rendered.

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Jan 28
Autumn F (Jan 28 2021 1:49PM) : Developing A Stance with Flexibility more

Habits of Mind is wanting to help students find a ‘critical stance’ within their work. While reading this, ‘flexibility’ caught my eye. Within this past year, our school has been forced to go online a number of times, so of course students are having to be flexible with their work, but this is not what I wanted to talk about. If teachers and the school would be more flexible with their work and not so much on turning things in on time, I would feel so much more obliged to do my work. But instead, I am on a time limit every single day balancing my school work, my job, and my mental health which overall has not been the best this past year. ‘Learning from another’s prospective’ caught my eye as well. Not everyone has a stable environment to be continuously sit at a desk and pump work out for a due date the following night. Again, this pulls into flexibility. If we were able to turn assignments in at our own pace and was more lenient with their students, I feel as that building a stance with my mind and work would be easier.

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What behaviors indicate an efficient, effective thinker? What do human beings do when they behave intelligently? Vast research on effective thinking, successful people, and intelligent behavior by Ames (1997), Carnegie and Stynes (2006), Ennis (1991), Feuerstein, Rand, Hoffman, and Miller (1980), Freeley (as reported in Strugatch, 2004), Glatthorn and Baron (1991), Goleman (1995), Perkins (1991), Sternberg (1984), and Waugh (2005) suggests that effective thinkers and peak performers have identifiable characteristics. These characteristics have been identified in successful people in all walks of life: lawyers, mechanics, teachers, entrepreneurs, salespeople, physicians, athletes, entertainers, leaders, parents, scientists, artists, teachers, and mathematicians.

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Jan 28
Paul H (Jan 28 2021 8:18AM) : Two Questions That Might Drive Student Performance or Bring Performance Up to Par more

What do the others do to achieve or to settle into some degree of comfort with the challenges presented to us each and every day? Inside or outside of school?

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Horace Mann, a U.S. educator (1796–1859), once observed that "habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it." In Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind, we focus on 16 Habits of Mind that teachers and parents can teach, cultivate, observe, and assess. The intent is to help students get into the habit of behaving intelligently. A Habit of Mind is a pattern of intellectual behaviors that leads to productive actions. When we experience dichotomies, are confused by dilemmas, or come face-to-face with uncertainties, our most effective response requires drawing forth certain patterns of intellectual behavior. When we draw upon these intellectual resources, the results are more powerful, of higher quality, and of greater significance than if we fail to employ such patterns of intellectual behavior.

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Jan 25
Harry B (Jan 25 2021 7:01PM) : Educational setting [Edited] more

To a degree, classrooms and the actual structure of classes need to revamped to help stop resisting against a new model of education. In having lessons and units focused around the concepts, principles, etc that are still unknown, it would be interesting how education could be giving more unknowns than known material and find connections and ways to bring an understanding to those topics that have been largely unknown. When I was in Mexico, the culture there allowed me to write, reflect, and ponder much more thoroughly because there was not an inherent push to rush as fast and accurately as possible. The culture of thinking critically was approached differently than in the U.S., and the same can be said of realizing the proper educational environment needs to allow for a huge shift of emphasis to achieve such a shift and change in the approach of the environment, students are learning in.

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Jan 28
Sarah T (Jan 28 2021 8:15AM) : Creating Habits more

It kind of intimidates me at how fast someone can pick up a habit. If it’s a good and healthy habit, it’s a great thing. Although more often than not, I feel as though one can pick up on the unhealthy habits easier. It makes me thing of softball. I can accidently pick up a bad batting habit and when I go to lessons, my coach will call me out for it. We’d end up taking weeks just to try to lessen the affects of this new habit.

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Jan 24
Paul H (Jan 24 2021 11:57AM) : HABITS OF MIND: DEFINED more

The operative word here seems to be a pattern vs. a part of the set.

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A Habit of Mind is a composite of many skills, attitudes, cues, past experiences, and proclivities. It means that we value one pattern of intellectual behaviors over another; therefore, it implies making choices about which patterns we should use at a certain time. It includes sensitivity to the contextual cues that signal that a particular circumstance is a time when applying a certain pattern would be useful and appropriate. It requires a level of skillfulness to use, carry out, and sustain the behaviors effectively. It suggests that after each experience in which these behaviors are used, the effects of their use are reflected upon, evaluated, modified, and carried forth to future applications. Figure 2.1 summarizes some of these dimensions of the Habits of Mind, which are elaborated in Chapter 3. The following sections describe each of the 16 Habits of Mind.

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Jan 24
Paul H (Jan 24 2021 11:58AM) : Essential more

So much to say about the potential power and impact of reflection in the secondary classroom. Whole group. Individual. Teacher and student.

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Jan 27
Paul H (Jan 27 2021 7:00PM) : Room 407 Application more

Our students are preparing to draft a larger paper in the next few days. I’ve included the Habits of Mind as an attachment to their work folder. We’ll be using these as a means of reflection into the paper and out of the product.

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Figure 2.1. Dimensions of the Habits of Mind

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The Habits of Mind incorporate the following dimensions:

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  • Value: Choosing to employ a pattern of intellectual behaviors rather than other, less productive patterns.
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  • Inclination: Feeling the tendency to employ a pattern of intellectual behaviors.
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  • Sensitivity: Perceiving opportunities for, and appropriateness of, employing the pattern of behaviors.
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  • Capability: Possessing the basic skills and capacities to carry through with the behaviors.
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  • Commitment: Constantly striving to reflect on and improve performance of the pattern of intellectual behaviors.
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  • Policy: Making it a policy to promote and incorporate the patterns of intellectual behaviors into actions, decisions, and resolutions of problematic situations.
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Persisting

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Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they never quit.
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Jan 29
Rachel B (Jan 29 2021 2:01AM) : Success and Action more

We can’t even begin to move towards what we desire without putting some work in. Our actions are driven by our want to succeed.

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Conrad Hilton
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Efficacious people stick to a task until it is completed. They don't give up easily. They are able to analyze a problem, and they develop a system, structure, or strategy to attack it. They have a repertoire of alternative strategies for problem solving, and they employ a whole range of these strategies. They collect evidence to indicate their problem-solving strategy is working, and if one strategy doesn't work, they know how to back up and try another. They recognize when a theory or an idea must be rejected and another employed. They have systematic methods for analyzing a problem, which include knowing how to begin, what steps must be performed, what data must be generated or collected, and what resources are available to assist. Because they are able to sustain a problem-solving process over time, they are comfortable with ambiguous situations.

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Jan 27
Paul H (Jan 27 2021 7:01PM) : A Word more

Not for nothing, but I love this word, “efficacious.”

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Jan 28
Emma H (Jan 28 2021 11:52AM) : Persisting more

I find that being persistent has always been on of my key attributes. Whether it is in school, sports, or extracurricular activities I have always been describes as persistent. Being a gymnast at a young age taught me to not give up when things get tough. To push through and persevere was the best way to accomplish your goals.

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Students often give up when they don't immediately know the answer to a problem. They sometimes crumple their papers and throw them away, exclaiming "I can't do this!" or "It's too hard!" Sometimes they write down any answer to get the task over with as quickly as possible. Some of these students have attention deficits. They have difficulty staying focused for any length of time; they are easily distracted, or they lack the ability to analyze a problem and develop a system, structure, or strategy of attack. They may give up because they have a limited repertoire of problem-solving strategies, and thus they have few alternatives if their first strategy doesn't work.

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Jan 28
Hanna O (Jan 28 2021 10:35AM) : Persisting more

I find this paragraph ture about myself. I often will sometimes “give up” or “get distracted” when I can not find a solution to the homework or if I do not understand the homework. Instead of trying to find help or find ways to get the help, such as asking a classmate or a teacher to elaborate on the homework I instead find myself pushing the homework to the side and coming back to it later. I would not necessarily say I have an attention deficit, I just sometimes put something aisde if I does not seem “easy” on the surface. One of my goals for 2021 is to take a dive and challenge myself, whether it is doing the hardest homework first or challeging myself at the gym.

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Feb 17
Kassidy R (Feb 17 2021 12:40AM) : Giving up more

I see this too often and I personally have urges sometimes t give up on a problem that takes too much effort to solve. I know many times in Calculus class I have to redo a problem 10 times before I am able to get it right on my own. I know that I could just look in the back of the book and write down an answer but the relief of finally getting it is such a perfect feeling. Too many students are missing out on this feeling of accomplishment. They lack the drive. Often times I think about the end to motivate myself in the beginning. Just thinking about how great it will feel to exercise my mind and feel success is enough to give me a little push.

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Jan 28
Sarah T (Jan 28 2021 8:21AM) : Failure Anxiety more

While I do agree with this, I believe they fail to mention the students who’s anxiety holds them back sometimes. It’s never “This is too hard, I can’t do it,” but more of “I feel like this isn’t good enough,” so they’ll do everything they can do avoid that feeling all together. Unfortunately, that sometimes results in no answer at all. Ultimately, I think educators should recognize that not all students lack skill, but simply fear what skills they have are not enough.

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Jan 28
Karisten B (Jan 28 2021 11:38AM) : Never good ENOUGH more

I agree. One piece this section fails to mention is the outcome that maybe it is not that students choose not to work but rather feel as if the work they do is not enough to secure the grade they would like. Just about everything we do is to keep ourselves from drowning, to get ourselves to the next assignment. Sometimes, the only answer we can come up with is none at all.

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Managing Impulsivity

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Goal-directed, self-imposed delay of gratification is perhaps the essence of emotional self-regulation: the ability to deny impulse in the service of a goal, whether it be building a business, solving an algebraic equation, or pursuing the Stanley Cup.
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Daniel Goleman
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Effective problem solvers are deliberate: they think before they act. They intentionally establish a vision of a product, an action plan, a goal, or a destination before they begin. They strive to clarify and understand directions, they develop a strategy for approaching a problem, and they withhold immediate value judgments about an idea before they fully understand it. Reflective individuals consider alternatives and consequences of several possible directions before they take action. They decrease their need for trial and error by gathering information, taking time to reflect on an answer before giving it, making sure they understand directions, and listening to alternative points of view.

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Jan 28
Jessica O (Jan 28 2021 12:27PM) : Thinking before acting more

I feel like, as teenagers, this may be what we struggle with the most. Most of us don’t think twice about what we say or how it could hurt someones feeling. I myself have been working on that along with a load of other things for months and am very proud of how far I have come and the work I’ve done

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Jan 28
Rachel B (Jan 28 2021 1:58PM) : . more

Jessie, I agree. Teenagers have a habit of not understanding that people feel differently than them. The world is so small at this age, it’s hard to imagine people have different thoughts and triggers etc.

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Jan 28
TJ B (Jan 28 2021 8:33AM) : Managing Impulsivity more

This habit is the one that I struggle with the most. While learning virtually I can have many impulses that can prohibit my education such as wanting to sleep in more or to go get coffee. At times, these impulses can have consequences to my learning. As the habit explains, I need to think about and access the consequences of an action before acting on it.

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Often, students blurt out the first answer that comes to mind. Sometimes they shout an answer, start to work without fully understanding the directions, lack an organized plan or strategy for approaching a problem, or make immediate value judgments about an idea (criticizing or praising it) before they fully understand it. They may take the first suggestion given or operate on the first idea that comes to mind rather than consider alternatives and the consequences of several possible directions. Research demonstrates, however, that less impulsive, self-disciplined students are more successful. For example, Duckworth and Seligman (2005) found

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Jan 28
Jon H (Jan 28 2021 11:53AM) : Jumping the gun [Edited] more

This sort of progression we have looked into more and more over the past few weeks. We read about the perception that the ideal thinker is one that already knew what to do, did not have to think further, and has already begun acting to solve the problem. We learned that it has not always been this way, but more recently in our culture the man chosen for a job first is the one who does not need to think about it. We have morphed thinking first and acting later into a sign of weakness. If you don’t move fast, you will eat the dust of your fellow man. Clearly, this mentality that is still pushed not only inhibits success, but even more importantly, it inhibits creativity.

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Highly self-disciplined adolescents outperformed their more impulsive peers on every academic performance variable, including report-card grades, standardized achievement test scores, admission to a competitive high school and attendance. Self-discipline measured in the fall predicted more variance in each of these outcomes than did IQ, and unlike IQ, self-discipline predicted gains in academic performance over the school year. (p. 940)
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Listening with Understanding and Empathy

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Listening is the beginning of understanding. … Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening. Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.
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Jan 28
Maddy C (Jan 28 2021 10:57PM) : Wisdom is the reward [Edited] more

On one of the previous Now Comment articles, I commented something similar to this sentence. I said that if I talked to every one in the world, I am quite certain I would be the smartest person in the world. When you actually pay attention to what people are saying, you are not only giving them respect, you are learning from them! My grandpa always has insightful things to say, and I always learn something when I talk to him. Everyone you know knows at least one thing that you don’t. It is only when you truly listen to them that you learn it.

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Proverbs 1:5
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Highly effective people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy listening (Covey, 1989). Some psychologists believe that the ability to listen to another person—to empathize with and to understand that person's point of view—is one of the highest forms of intelligent behavior. The ability to paraphrase another person's ideas; detect indicators (cues) of feelings or emotional states in oral and body language (empathy); and accurately express another person's concepts, emotions, and problems—all are indicators of listening behavior. (Piaget called it "overcoming egocentrism.")

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Jan 28
Makenzie H (Jan 28 2021 8:43AM) : Empathy and Understanding [Edited] more

I find this sentence particularly interesting. If the ability to empathize and understand others is a sign of high intelligence, this would mean that our actors, authors, and artists are some of our most brilliant minds. Despite this, many look down on these professions, telling people to shy away from them as these professions are “difficult” to be successful or not “real jobs.”

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Jan 28
Fiorella P (Jan 28 2021 8:31AM) : Listening Patiently more

To understand listening, you have to listen patiently to what the other person has to say, even if you do not agree with it. It is important to show acceptance. Try to get a sense of the feelings that the speaker is expressing, and stay mindful of the emotional content being said as well as the literal meaning of the words. An empathic listener works to keep the speaker from becoming defensive. I think this is a really good skill that everyone should at least show some knowledge on.

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People who demonstrate this Habit of Mind are able to see through the diverse perspectives of others. They gently attend to another person, demonstrating their understanding of and empathy for an idea or a feeling by paraphrasing it accurately, building upon it, clarifying it, or giving an example of it.

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Jan 28
Victoria H (Jan 28 2021 9:15PM) : Listening with Understanding and Empathy more

For me, this is one of the more difficult habits of mind. I have always seemed to struggle with understanding why people are upset in their particular situation and I guess that’s just because I was not in their shoes and did not know what they were feeling. I have also struggled with empathizing with others for the same reason. Without being in their situation, I just can’t understand the issue. It’s not every time, but it definitely happens often. It is something I really need to work on this year.

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Senge, Roberts, Ross, Smith, and Kleiner (1994) suggest that to listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words—listening not only to the "music" but also to the essence of the person speaking; not only for what someone knows but also for what that person is trying to represent. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in oneself, slowing the mind's hearing to the ears' natural speed and hearing beneath the words to their meaning.

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We spend 55 percent of our lives listening, but it is one of the least taught skills in schools. We often say we are listening, but actually we are rehearsing in our head what we are going to say when our partner is finished. Some students ridicule, laugh at, or put down other students' ideas. They interrupt, are unable to build upon, can't consider the merits of, or don't operate on another person's ideas.

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Jan 28
Jaclyn E (Jan 28 2021 11:07AM) : Listening more

People spend a little over half their life listening to other, but they are never taught the proper way. In schools they are just listening and learning and at home as well. People just catch on to what is going on around them and mimicking what they are doing so if they grow up around people who do not know how to show respect while listen then they will never know the difference between right and wrong.

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We want students to learn to devote their mental energies to another person and to invest themselves in their partner's ideas. We want students to learn to hold in abeyance their own values, judgments, opinions, and prejudices so they can listen to and entertain another person's thoughts. This is a complex skill requiring the ability to monitor one's own thoughts while at the same time attending to a partner's words. Listening in this way does not mean we can't disagree with someone. Good listeners try to understand what other people are saying. In the end, they may disagree sharply, but because they have truly listened, they know exactly the nature of the disagreement.

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Thinking Flexibly

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Of all forms of mental activity, the most difficult to induce even in the minds of the young, who may be presumed not to have lost their flexibility, is the art of handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework, all of which virtually means putting on a different kind of thinking-cap for the moment. It is easy to teach anybody a new fact. … but it needs light from heaven above to enable a teacher to break the old framework in which the student is accustomed to seeing.
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Arthur Koestler
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An amazing discovery about the human brain is its plasticity—its ability to "rewire," change, and even repair itself to become smarter. Flexible people have the most control. They have the capacity to change their minds as they receive additional data. They engage in multiple and simultaneous outcomes and activities, and they draw upon a repertoire of problem-solving strategies. They also practice style flexibility, knowing when thinking broadly and globally is appropriate and when a situation requires detailed precision. They create and seek novel approaches, and they have a well-developed sense of humor. They envision a range of consequences.

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Jan 31
Benjamin L (Jan 31 2021 5:31PM) : The ability to rewire more

It is amazing what the human brain can do. This ability to change is what makes people have the most control. learning to use the brain and its abilities to the fullest is what makes these people flexible and in control

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Flexible people can address a problem from a new angle using a novel approach, which de Bono (1991) refers to as "lateral thinking." They consider alternative points of view or deal with several sources of information simultaneously. Their minds are open to change based on additional information, new data, or even reasoning that contradicts their beliefs. Flexible people know that they have and can develop options and alternatives. They understand means-ends relationships. They can work within rules, criteria, and regulations, and they can predict the consequences of flouting them. They understand immediate reactions, but they also are able to perceive the bigger purposes that such constraints serve. Thus, flexibility of mind is essential for working with social diversity, enabling an individual to recognize the wholeness and distinctness of other people's ways of experiencing and making meaning.

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Jan 28
Jocelyn F (Jan 28 2021 8:28AM) : Lateral Thinking more

These types of people are able to look at and understand several different sources of information and these individuals are open to change. Our brains are more capable than we think and this allows for new techniques and ways of learning.

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Flexible thinkers are able to shift through multiple perceptual positions at will. One perceptual orientation is what Jean Piaget called egocentrism, or perceiving from our own point of view. By contrast, allocentrism is the position in which we perceive through another person's orientation. We operate from this second position when we empathize with another's feelings, predict how others are thinking, and anticipate potential misunderstandings.

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Another perceptual position is macrocentric. It is similar to looking down from a balcony to observe ourselves and our interactions with others. This bird's-eye view is useful for discerning themes and patterns from assortments of information. It is intuitive, holistic, and conceptual. Because we often need to solve problems with incomplete information, we need the capacity to perceive general patterns and jump across gaps of incomplete knowledge.

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Yet another perceptual orientation is microcentric, examining the individual and sometimes minute parts that make up the whole. This worm's eye view involves logical, analytical computation, searching for causality in methodical steps. It requires attention to detail, precision, and orderly progressions.

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Jan 28
Jarrett G (Jan 28 2021 11:38AM) : Macro to Micro. more

Transitioning from macrocentric thinking to more microcentric thinking is one of the most valuable skills found in intelligent people. It allows the individual to understand big patterns and substitute for unknown information, while also focusing on minor details. My brain connected this with the creation of art. An artist needs to be able to transition between these thinking systems when engaging in the artistic process.

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Flexible thinkers display confidence in their intuition. They tolerate confusion and ambiguity up to a point, and they are willing to let go of a problem, trusting their subconscious to continue creative and productive work on it. Flexibility is the cradle of humor, creativity, and repertoire. Although many perceptual positions are possible—past, present, future, egocentric, allocentric, macrocentric, microcentric, visual, auditory, kinesthetic—the flexible mind knows when to shift between and among these positions.

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Some students have difficulty considering alternative points of view or dealing with more than one classification system simultaneously. Their way to solve a problem seems to be the only way. They perceive situations from an egocentric point of view: "My way or the highway!" Their minds are made up: "Don't confuse me with facts. That's it!"

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Jan 28
Madelynn K (Jan 28 2021 10:57AM) : Only way more

There have been plenty of moments in the classroom where I was talking to someone and we came to a disagreement or making a decision, and they barely bothered to listen to me. Their idea or thought could have been organized poorly, yet they wouldn’t imagine changing their mind and doing something different. This is often a problem with group projects. A lot of students do not want to listen to anyone in general, let alone their partner’s ideas for a project when they have their own idea.

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Thinking About Thinking (Metacognition)

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When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself.
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Plato
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The human species is known as Homo sapiens sapiens, which basically means "a being that knows their knowing" (or maybe it's "knows they're knowing"). What distinguishes humans from other forms of life is our capacity for metacognition—the ability to stand off and examine our own thoughts while we engage in them.

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Occurring in the neocortex, metacognition, or thinking about thinking, is our ability to know what we know and what we don't know. It is our ability to plan a strategy for producing the information that is needed, to be conscious of our own steps and strategies during the act of problem solving, and to reflect on and evaluate the productiveness of our own thinking. Although inner language, thought to be a prerequisite for metacognition, begins in most children around age 5, metacognition is a key attribute of formal thought flowering at about age 11.

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The major components of metacognition are, when confronted with a problem to solve, developing a plan of action, maintaining that plan in mind over a period of time, and then reflecting on and evaluating the plan upon its completion. Planning a strategy before embarking on a course of action helps us keep track of the steps in the sequence of planned behavior at the conscious awareness level for the duration of the activity. It facilitates making temporal and comparative judgments; assessing the readiness for more or different activities; and monitoring our interpretations, perceptions, decisions, and behaviors. An example would be what superior teachers do daily: developing a teaching strategy for a lesson, keeping that strategy in mind throughout the instruction, and then reflecting upon the strategy to evaluate its effectiveness in producing the desired student outcomes.

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Intelligent people plan for, reflect on, and evaluate the quality of their own thinking skills and strategies. Metacognition means becoming increasingly aware of one's actions and the effect of those actions on others and on the environment; forming internal questions in the search for information and meaning; developing mental maps or plans of action; mentally rehearsing before a performance; monitoring plans as they are employed (being conscious of the need for midcourse correction if the plan is not meeting expectations); reflecting on the completed plan for self-evaluation; and editing mental pictures for improved performance.

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Jan 28
Meredith A (Jan 28 2021 11:57AM) : Relating Back to Margaret Wheatley [Edited] more

Last Friday our class read articles posted by Margaret Wheatley. In these articles she talked about the importance of listening to what others are saying and becoming more open to others’ thoughts. In today’s reading, this section talks about how the human brain works to solve problems. It was mentioned that some people do not use this ability, and how a reason could be that people are choosing not to take that extra time.

This section also talked about metacognition and provided an explanation of what it was. Stating how it means “becoming increasingly aware of one’s actions and the effect of those actions on others..” More examples were provided, but this line had me thinking about Margaret Wheatley’s articles. In today’s society many people will never agree with each other and this is okay. The problem is that those same people will begin to passionately despise each other because they do not see eye to eye. As a result, when one believes something the other will decide to believe the opposite. Only because the idea of agreeing with that person seems disgusting. I found that today’s reading was providing insight into why that was. Because many people choose not to achieve metacognition; therefore, they do not generate a “reflective consciousness.” While I’m sure there are other factors playing into our society’s inability to consider other people’s point of views. I thought it was interesting how this section provided some reasons behind it.

Do you think that people disagree because they aren’t capable of using their reflective consciousness?

Wheatley, Margaret J. Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to
Restore Hope to the Future San Francisco: Berrett-Koshler Publishers, Inc.,
2002.
https://nowcomment.com/documents/251070

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Interestingly, not all humans achieve the level of formal operations. As Russian psychologist Alexander Luria found, not all adults metacogitate. Although the human brain is capable of generating this reflective consciousness, generally we are not all that aware of how we are thinking, and not everyone uses the capacity for consciousness equally (Chiabetta, 1976; Csikszentmihalyi, 1993; Whimbey, Whimbey, & Shaw, 1975; Whimbey, 1980). The most likely reason is that all of us do not take the time to reflect on our experiences. Students often do not take the time to wonder why they are doing what they are doing. They seldom question themselves about their own learning strategies or evaluate the efficiency of their own performance. Some children virtually have no idea of what they should do when they confront a problem, and often they are unable to explain their decision-making strategies (Sternberg & Wagner, 1982). When teachers ask, "How did you solve that problem? What strategies did you have in mind?" or "Tell us what went on in your head to come up with that conclusion," students often respond, "I don't know. I just did it."

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We want students to perform well on complex cognitive tasks. A simple example might be drawn from a reading task. While reading a passage, we sometimes find that our minds wander from the pages. We see the words, but no meaning is being produced. Suddenly, we realize that we are not concentrating and that we've lost contact with the meaning of the text. We recover by returning to the passage to find our place, matching it with the last thought we can remember, and once having found it, reading on with connectedness. This inner awareness and the strategy of recovery are components of metacognition.

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Jan 28
Kylie R (Jan 28 2021 7:19PM) : Thoughts more

Sometimes I tend to skip over words while I think about other things such as what my day will look like, what I’m having for dinner that night, or other random things like that. Especially with books I don’t enjoy reading or a book I’m not interested in, I tend to get distracted. “While reading from a passage, we sometimes find that our minds wander from the pages. We see the words but no meaning is being produced.” This explains my problem exactly. I see the words on the page, but I do not read them.

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Jan 28
Anna W (Jan 28 2021 11:57AM) : Thinking about thinking more

I catch myself thinking about thinking on the daily. I usually catch myself doing this at practice or when doing homework or reading. The more the author talks about this idea and what goes on in our minds when it happens the more I relate to it because that is what happens with me also.

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Striving for Accuracy

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A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.
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Confucius
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Whether we are looking at the stamina, grace, and elegance of a ballerina or a carpenter, we see a desire for craftsmanship, mastery, flawlessness, and economy of energy to produce exceptional results. People who value truthfulness, accuracy, precision, and craftsmanship take time to check over their products. They review the rules by which they are to abide, they review the models and visions they are to follow, and they review the criteria they are to use to confirm that their finished product matches the criteria exactly. To be craftsmanlike means knowing that one can continually perfect one's craft by working to attain the highest possible standards and by pursuing ongoing learning to bring a laserlike focus of energies to accomplishing a task.

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These people take pride in their work, and they desire accuracy as they take time to check over their work. Craftsmanship includes exactness, precision, accuracy, correctness, faithfulness, and fidelity. For some people, craftsmanship requires continuous reworking. Mario Cuomo, a great speechwriter and politician, once said that his speeches were never done; it was only a deadline that made him stop working on them.

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Some students may turn in sloppy, incomplete, or uncorrected work. They are more eager to get rid of the assignment than to check it over for accuracy and precision. They are willing to settle for minimum effort rather than invest their maximum. They may be more interested in expedience rather than excellence.

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Jan 28
Karisten B (Jan 28 2021 12:04PM) : Investing in the Maximum more

As a dancer, everything we do revolves around one thing: technique. Every breath, body position,and muscle is used so specifically that one false move can set an entire movement off. In ballet specifically the first thing we learn is plie, which is the french equivalent to “to bend” or “bending.” It is a simple standing position that progresses to almost a squat. But that is not all. It starts with an upright, standing position, with just about every muscle from the feet up engaged. So what does that mean? Constant thoughts include, but are not limited to “turn out legs from hips, keep feet flat on ground,don’t force turnout, straighten legs but keep knees unlocked, pelvis under, and keep hips even.” While maintaining lower body strength, the upper body has similar techniques that are more related to posture. In the end, muscle memory is the most important part. Consistently good technique creates the accuracy we all want. Accuracy and consistency are what makes the best dancers of all styles.

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Jan 28
Grahm K (Jan 28 2021 12:08PM) : Expediency more

Expediency is defined as “the quality of being convenient and practical despite possiby being improper or immoral.” In other words, If someone is expedient, they value convenience rather than quality of work.

Here, Costa and Kallick, are comparing “successful” people to “unsuccessful” people. They used a ballerina that strives for perfection in their craft that realizes they can always improve as a comparison to a successful person. And they used a student that turns in sloppy uncorrected work as a comparison to an unsuccessful person. I think this ties back to the beginning of the piece(Paragraph 7), where the authors said they were curious about how people/students behave when they don’t know an answer. These successful people reaize they don’t know everything about their craft, so they go out and try to perfect everything they do know t help them learn more, while these students that turn in sloppy work don’t care enough to try and get a correct answer.

Questioning and Posing Problems

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The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. … To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advances.
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Albert Einstein
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One of the distinguishing characteristics of humans is our inclination and ability to find problems to solve. Effective problem solvers know how to ask questions to fill in the gaps between what they know and what they don't know. Effective questioners are inclined to ask a range of questions:

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  • What evidence do you have?
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  • How do you know that's true?
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  • How reliable is this data source?
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They also pose questions about alternative points of view:

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  • From whose viewpoint are we seeing, reading, or hearing?
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  • From what angle, what perspective, are we viewing this situation?
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Effective questioners pose questions that make causal connections and relationships:

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  • How are these (people, events, or situations) related to each other?
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  • What produced this connection?
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Sometimes they pose hypothetical problems characterized by "if" questions:

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  • What do you think would happen if … ?
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  • If that is true, then what might happen if … ?
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Inquirers recognize discrepancies and phenomena in their environment, and they probe into their causes:

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  • Why do cats purr?
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  • How high can birds fly?
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  • Why does the hair on my head grow so fast, while the hair on my arms and legs grows so slowly?
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  • What would happen if we put the saltwater fish in a freshwater aquarium?
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  • What are some alternative solutions to international conflicts, other than wars?
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Some students may be unaware of the functions, classes, syntax, or intentions in questions. They may not realize that questions vary in complexity, structure, and purpose. They may pose simple questions intending to derive maximal results. When confronted with a discrepancy, they may lack an overall strategy to search for and find a solution.

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Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations

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I've never made a mistake. I've only learned from experience.
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Thomas A. Edison
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Intelligent humans learn from experience. When confronted with a new and perplexing problem, they will draw forth experiences from their past. They often can be heard to say, "This reminds me of …" or "This is just like the time when I …" They explain what they are doing now with analogies about or references to their experiences. They call upon their store of knowledge and experience as sources of data to support, theories to explain, or processes to solve each new challenge. They are able to abstract meaning from one experience, carry it forth, and apply it in a novel situation.

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Jan 28
Abigail G (Jan 28 2021 11:25AM) : Abigail (Room 407: Indiana) more

I relate a lot of things between the months of November-March to basketball. It takes up a majority of my time and is usually on my mind. Getting closer to sectionals and tournament time really relates to Striving for Accuracy. The quote presented here that reads, “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.” This is very relatable. On the basketball court, when you make a mistake you must fix it immediately and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If you continue to make the same mistake it could cost you the game. Just a few days ago we had a team meeting where we talked about striving for accuracy but it wasn’t necessarily put in those words. We talked about fixing little mistakes that are made consistently, we talked about playing for something bigger than ourselves, but in all honesty the overview of the conversation was us putting our heads together to strive for accuracy. We currently have six seniors on our team who are playing for something. The tournament stats next week and if we lose a game we are done with basketball, some of us forever. We must strive for accuracy and reduce mistakes to make it as far as we are capable of making it in the tournament. We must take pride in the game and cut down on the mistakes that are made.

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Jan 28
Isabella H (Jan 28 2021 8:53AM) : applying pas knowledge to new situations (room 407: Indiana) [Edited] more

Over the past couple years honestly I have learned this strategy can change the game, especially when it comes to the recruiting process in volleyball for me. Within the paragraph it states that “They are able to abstract meaning from one experience, carry it forth, and apply it in a novel situation.” Ive made many mistakes in that process, whether it is my response or my video. I have then learned from those past mistakes how to respond and almost know exactly what to say when approached by a coach. “I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience.” Thomas Edison

Too often, students begin each new task as if it were being approached for the first time. Teachers are dismayed when they invite students to recall how they solved a similar problem previously—and students don't remember. It's as if they had never heard of it before, even though they recently worked with the same type of problem! It seems each experience is encapsulated and has no relationship to what has come before or what comes after. Their thinking is what psychologists refer to as an "episodic grasp of reality" (Feuerstein et al., 1980); that is, each event in life is separate and discrete, with no connections to what may have come before or no relation to what follows. Their learning is so encapsulated that they seem unable to draw it forth from one event and apply it in another context.

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Jan 28
Hana P (Jan 28 2021 4:01PM) : memorizing vs. learning [Edited] more
I often find that after studying and cramming information into my head before a test, that after I get my good grade, I forget almost everything within a few months. School has taught us to memorize most information rather than really learn it and connect it to new lessons. Though I have learned a lot from school, I can’t recall everything that we’ve been “taught”. I’ve talked to other students who feel the same way. Throughout school, education feels more like getting good grades than learning.
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Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision

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I do not so easily think in words. … After being hard at work having arrived at results that are perfectly clear … I have to translate my thoughts in a language that does not run evenly with them.
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Francis Galton, geneticist
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Language refinement plays a critical role in enhancing a person's cognitive maps and ability to think critically, which is the knowledge base for efficacious action. Enriching the complexity and specificity of language simultaneously produces effective thinking.

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Language and thinking are closely entwined; like either side of a coin, they are inseparable. Fuzzy, vague language is a reflection of fuzzy, vague thinking. Intelligent people strive to communicate accurately in both written and oral form, taking care to use precise language; defining terms; and using correct names, labels, and analogies. They strive to avoid overgeneralizations, deletions, and distortions. Instead, they support their statements with explanations, comparisons, quantification, and evidence.

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We sometimes hear students and adults using vague and imprecise language. They describe objects or events with words like weird, nice, or OK. They name specific objects using such nondescriptive words as stuff, junk, things, and whatever. They punctuate sentences with meaningless interjections like ya know, er, and uh. They use vague or general nouns and pronouns: "They told me to do it," "Everybody has one," or "Teachers don't understand me." They use nonspecific verbs: "Let's do it." At other times, they use unqualified comparatives: "This soda is better; I like it more" (Shachtman, 1995).

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Gathering Data Through All Senses

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Observe perpetually.
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Jan 28
Nicholas L (Jan 28 2021 8:12PM) : Over lapping habits more

After reading through the article and watching the video, we can see that many of these habits overlap with eachother. Remaining open to continuous learning, and gathering data through all sense imply the same thing. Listening and learning from others to grow. The two quotes that follow these habits hint towards the same idea of gaining knowledge by observing , or remaining open to continuous learning.

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Henry James
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The brain is the ultimate reductionist. It reduces the world to its elementary parts: photons of light, molecules of fragrance, sound waves, vibrations of touch—all of which send electrochemical signals to individual brain cells that store information about lines, movements, colors, smells, and other sensory inputs.

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Intelligent people know that all information gets into the brain through sensory pathways: gustatory, olfactory, tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. Most linguistic, cultural, and physical learning is derived from the environment by observing or taking it in through the senses. To know a wine it must be drunk; to know a role it must be acted; to know a game it must be played; to know a dance it must be performed; to know a goal it must be envisioned. Those whose sensory pathways are open, alert, and acute absorb more information from the environment than those whose pathways are withered, immune, and oblivious to sensory stimuli.

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Jan 28
Natalie D (Jan 28 2021 11:34AM) : "to know a game it must be played" more

When I think about learning a game, I do know that by playing it I will learn it better. However; I never truly realized all I was doing when playing the game. I watch my own moves, as well as others (visual). I listen to the reactions of other players when certain moves are made (auditory). I also feel the part and pieces that go along with the game (tactile). I become aware of certain positions of the game pieces or my body (kinesthetic). All of these sensory pathways allow me to better understand the best ways to play the game.

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The more regions of the brain that store data about a subject, the more interconnection there is. This redundancy means students will have more opportunities to pull up all those related bits of data from their multiple storage areas in response to a single cue. This cross-referencing of data strengthens the data into something that's learned rather than just memorized (Willis, 2007).

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We are learning more and more about the impact of the arts and music on improved mental functioning. Forming mental images is important in mathematics and engineering; listening to classical music seems to improve spatial reasoning. Social scientists use scenarios and role playing; scientists build models; engineers use CAD-CAM; mechanics learn through hands-on experimentation; artists explore colors and textures; and musicians combine instrumental and vocal music.

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Some students, however, go through school and life oblivious to the textures, rhythms, patterns, sounds, and colors around them. Sometimes children are afraid to touch things or get their hands dirty. Some don't want to feel an object that might be slimy or icky. They operate within a narrow range of sensory problem-solving strategies, wanting only to describe it but not illustrate or act it, or to listen but not participate.

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Creating, Imagining, Innovating

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The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.
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John Schaar, political scientist
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All human beings have the capacity to generate novel, clever, or ingenious products, solutions, and techniques—if that capacity is developed (Sternberg, 2006). Creative human beings try to conceive solutions to problems differently, examining alternative possibilities from many angles. They tend to project themselves into different roles using analogies, starting with a vision and working backward, and imagining they are the object being considered. Creative people take risks and frequently push the boundaries of their perceived limits (Perkins, 1991). They are intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated, working on the task because of the aesthetic challenge rather than the material rewards.

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Creative people are open to criticism. They hold up their products for others to judge, and they seek feedback in an ever-increasing effort to refine their technique. They are uneasy with the status quo. They constantly strive for greater fluency, elaboration, novelty, parsimony, simplicity, craftsmanship, perfection, beauty, harmony, and balance.

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Students, however, often are heard saying "I can't draw," "I was never very good at art," "I can't sing a note," or "I'm not creative." Some people believe creative humans are just born that way and that genes and chromosomes are the determinants of creativity.

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Jan 29
Adren C (Jan 29 2021 9:35AM) : Some humans aren't born creative more

While I can see where many people would come from when saying genes have a big role in how a person comes out, it also has to do with how they may have grown up. In most,but not all cases, the environment contributes a great factor toward creativity. A more excepting environment can let creative genes shine.

Responding with Wonderment and Awe

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The most beautiful experience in the world is the experience of the mysterious.
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Albert Einstein
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Describing the 200 best and brightest of USA Today's All USA College Academic Team, Tracey Wong Briggs (1999) states, "They are creative thinkers who have a passion for what they do." Efficacious people have not only an "I can" attitude but also an "I enjoy" feeling. They seek intriguing phenomena. They search for problems to solve for themselves and to submit to others. They delight in making up problems to solve on their own, and they so enjoy the challenge of problem solving that they seek perplexities and puzzles from others. They enjoy figuring things out by themselves, and they continue to learn throughout their lifetimes. One efficacious person is chemist Ahmed H. Zewail, a Nobel Prize winner, who said that he had a passion to understand fundamental processes: "I love molecules. I want to understand why do they do what they do" (Cole, 1999).

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Some children and adults avoid problems and are turned off to learning. They make such comments as "I was never good at these brain teasers," "Go ask your father; he's the brain in this family," "It's boring," "When am I ever going to use this stuff," "Who cares," "Lighten up, teacher; thinking is hard work," or "I don't do thinking!" Many people never enrolled in another math class or other "hard" academic subject after they weren't required to in high school or college. Many people perceive thinking as hard work, and they recoil from situations that demand too much of it.

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We want students to be curious, to commune with the world around them, to reflect on the changing formations of a cloud, to feel charmed by the opening of a bud, to sense the logical simplicity of mathematical order. Intelligent people find beauty in a sunset, intrigue in the geometric shapes of a spider web, and exhilaration in the iridescence of a hummingbird's wings. They marvel at the congruity and intricacies in the derivation of a mathematical formula, recognize the orderliness and adroitness of a chemical change, and commune with the serenity of a distant constellation. We want students to feel compelled, enthusiastic, and passionate about learning, inquiring, and mastering (Costa, 2007).

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Jan 28
Anna W (Jan 28 2021 11:27AM) : Experience of the mysterious (Room 407:Indiana) [Edited] more

Where I am in my life I always want to experience new mysteries. For instance, this past week I have been trying to find a new show that brings forth this mysteriousness. For example, when you watch a new show you are always on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen to the characters and the plot but when you rewatch a show you do not get to experience the feelings of wonderment and awe. That is why I am always looking for new things to do or try so I can re experience the feelings that come with mysteriousness.

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Feb 25
Isabella H (Feb 25 2021 10:24AM) : response to Anna more

I too always want to experience new mysteries. This reminds me of a show we both watch, The vampire Diaries. Even though we have finished it we keep re-watching it to pick up on new clues we did not the past time watching it. We are re-experiencing the feelings that come with mysteriousness.

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Taking Responsible Risks

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There has been a calculated risk in every stage of American development—the pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, dreamers who were not afraid of action.
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Jan 31
Benjamin L (Jan 31 2021 5:35PM) : (Room 407: Indiana) more

After reading this article, it is noticeable that I take responsible risks. Playing poker always involves risks but trusting myself and taking a little risk, I able to win.

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Keandra S (Feb 08 2021 7:29PM) : (Room 407: Indiana) more

This past year I have been trying to include this habit more so in my life. In doing so, I have made so many new memories and experienced so many different things. I learned how to ski, I went cliff diving, and so much more. I cannot wait to continue using this habit in order to learn new things.

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Brooks Atkinson
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Risk takers seem to have an almost uncontrollable urge to go beyond established limits. They are uneasy about comfort; they live on the edge of their competence. They seem compelled to place themselves in situations in which they do not know what the outcome will be. They accept confusion, uncertainty, and the higher risks of failure as part of the normal process, and they learn to view setbacks as interesting, challenging, and growth producing. However, responsible risk takers do not behave impulsively. Their risks are educated. They draw on past knowledge, are thoughtful about consequences, and have a well-trained sense of what is appropriate. They know that all risks are not worth taking.

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Risk takers can be considered in two categories: those who see the risk as a venture and those who see it as adventure. The venture part of risk taking might be described in terms of what a venture capitalist does. When a person is approached to take the risk of investing in a new business, she will look at the markets, see how well organized the ideas are, and study the economic projections. If she finally decides to take the risk, it is a well-considered one.

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The adventure part of risk taking might be described by the experiences from Project Adventure. In this situation, there is a spontaneity, a willingness to take a chance in the moment. Once again, a person will take the chance only if experiences suggest that the action will not be life threatening or if he believes that group support will protect him from harm (e.g., checking out the dimensions of weight, distance, and strength of a bungee cord before agreeing to the exhilaration of a drop). Ultimately, people learn from such high-risk experiences that they are far more able to take actions than they previously believed. Risk taking becomes educated only through repeated experiences. It often is a cross between intuition, drawing on past knowledge, striving for precision and accuracy, and a sense of meeting new challenges.

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Bobby Jindal, then executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, stated, "The only way to succeed is to be brave enough to risk failure" (Briggs, 1999, p. 2A). When people hold back from taking risks, they miss opportunities. Some students seem reluctant to take risks. They hold back from games, new learning, and new friendships because their fear of failure is far greater than their desire for venture or adventure. They are reinforced by the mental voice that says, "If you don't try it, you won't be wrong," or "If you try it and you are wrong, you will look stupid." The other voice that might say, "If you don't try it, you will never know," is trapped by fear and mistrust. These students are more interested in knowing whether their answer is correct or not than in being challenged by the process of finding the answer. They are unable to sustain a process of problem solving and finding the answer over time, and therefore they avoid ambiguous situations. They have a need for certainty rather than an inclination for doubt.

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We hope that students will learn how to take intellectual as well as physical risks. Students who are capable of being different, going against the grain of common thinking, and thinking of new ideas (testing them with peers and teachers) are more likely to be successful in an age of innovation and uncertainty.

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Feb 8
Keandra S (Feb 08 2021 7:34PM) : (Room 407: Indiana) more

After growing up in a almost sheltered environment where I did not get to experience many new things, I have finally become old enough to start doing those things on my own. I would say that one of my biggest goals in life is to experience as much of life as possible by trying new things, meeting new people, and just living. I did not know that this sort of mind set was a habit for most people, but it makes sense because it is human nature to be curious.

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Jan 28
Autumn F (Jan 28 2021 2:13PM) : Taking Risks (Room 407: Indiana) more

While in school, and especially finishing up my senior year, I have learned that is very important to start taking more risks. Branch out to new people, invest in another job, or maybe taking a day to completely isolate yourself to catch up on schoolwork, such as I had to do this past week. Earlier this week I took a night off from work and completely caught up with my schoolwork. Without realizing, I employed one of the Habits of Mind in this past week.

Finding Humor

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Jan 28
Natalie D (Jan 28 2021 11:41AM) : Natalie Day (Room 407 : Indiana) more

After reading the section on finding humor, I realize this is one habit I 100 percent have mastered. My whole family has this habit or at least a bit of it. Growing up my dad always initiated humor and thrived off of having humorous interactions. Now, I can find myself loving a good laugh or joke. I also am normally the first to laugh at my own mistakes. I never get to caught up on messing up because I normally just laugh at myself. Especially in sports, when I mess up a drill at soccer, or hit a hurdle at track I am normally already laughing at myself before anyone else has the chance to. I feel this habit has allowed me to be more comfortable and okay with making mistakes. For me mistakes are a way to learn and grow.

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Jan 28
Jackson N (Jan 28 2021 5:38PM) : Sense of humor [Edited] more

I have always found my sense of humor to be somewhat quirky and strange compared to the likes of most people, but I have come to find that the way that I enjoy humor has shaped me into the person I am today. With that being said, I find it very easy to learn something new when it incorporates an element of humor within itself. Although sometimes its not the type of humor I wanted or expected, I still enjoy the efforts made by those who developed it and put it into the piece for learning.

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Jan 28
Allen V (Jan 28 2021 8:21AM) : Finding Humor more

To me, humor has always been something that has made learning something more enjoyable and easier to remember whether it be because something humorous helped me to understand a topic better or if something humorous happened to lightened the mood in an otherwise dull and boring situation and make me pay more attention. There are some exceptions for serious topics where humor should not be utilized, but outside those few exceptions, humor is something that should always be welcomed.

You can increase your brain power three to fivefold simply by laughing and having fun before working on a problem.
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Doug Hall
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Why we laugh, no one really knows. Laughing is an instinct that can be traced to chimps, and it may reinforce our social status (Hubert, 2007). Humor is a human form of mutual playfulness. Beyond the fact that laughing is enjoyable, it may have medicinal value as well. Laughing, scientists have discovered, has positive effects on physiological functions: blood vessels relax, stress hormones disperse, and the immune system gets a boost, including a drop in the pulse rate. Laughter produces secretion of endorphins and increased oxygen in the blood. Humor has been found to have psychological benefits as well. It liberates creativity and provokes such higher-level thinking skills as anticipating, finding novel relationships, visual imaging, and making analogies. People who engage in the mystery of humor have the ability to perceive situations from an original and often interesting vantage point. They tend to initiate humor more often, to place greater value on having a sense of humor, to appreciate and understand others' humor, and to be verbally playful when interacting with others. Having a whimsical frame of mind, they thrive on finding incongruity; perceiving absurdities, ironies, and satire; finding discontinuities; and being able to laugh at situations and themselves.

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Feb 5
Christopher C (Feb 05 2021 2:50PM) : Finding Humor more

As someone who always tries to find humor or create it, this instantly caught my attention. I was surprised to see all the health benefits of laughing besides simply lightening the mode. I think it’s important that everyone allows themselves to find humor. In a time when being outraged and upset is celebrated I think finding humor could be a good habit for many to try.

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Jan 28
Megan E (Jan 28 2021 11:38AM) : Laughing (Room 407:Indiana) more

When reading through this piece I connected most to this section. I feel like I am always laughing with my friends, family, and even strangers. Reading this line about how laughing has multiple positive effects on physiological functions shocked me. It is nice to know that when I am cracking a joke with my friends it is good for myself and for my friends.

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Some students find humor in all the wrong places—human differences, ineptitude, injurious behavior, vulgarity, violence, and profanity. They employ laughter to humiliate others. They laugh at others yet are unable to laugh at themselves. We want students to acquire the habit of finding humor in a positive sense so they can distinguish between those situations of human frailty and fallibility that require compassion and those that truly are funny (Dyer, 1997).

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Jan 28
Zachary M (Jan 28 2021 12:21PM) : Roasting more

After reading this I had to think about how my friends and I roast each other. I don’t disagree that by humiliating others for laughter is bad, but between us, roasting has never gone too far. In general though, you do want to be aware of what you might say to who you might roast. One of the best examples of this I thought of comes from The Office, you know what I’m talking about… “boom, roasted.”-Michael Scott.

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Thinking Interdependently

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Take care of each other. Share your energies with the group. No one must feel alone, cut off, for that is when you do not make it.
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Willie Unsoeld, mountain climber
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Humans are social beings. We congregate in groups, find it therapeutic to be listened to, draw energy from one another, and seek reciprocity. In groups we contribute our time and energy to tasks that we would quickly tire of when working alone. In fact, solitary confinement is one of the cruelest forms of punishment that can be inflicted on an individual.

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Collaborative humans realize that all of us together are more powerful, intellectually or physically, than any one individual. Probably the foremost disposition in our global society is the heightened ability to think in concert with others, to find ourselves increasingly more interdependent and sensitive to the needs of others. Problem solving has become so complex that no one person can go it alone. No one has access to all the data needed to make critical decisions; no one person can consider as many alternatives as several people.

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Some students may not have learned to work in groups; they have underdeveloped social skills. They feel isolated, and they prefer solitude. They say things like "Leave me alone—I'll do it by myself," "They just don't like me," or "I want to be alone." Some students seem unable to contribute to group work and are job hogs; conversely, other students let all the others in a group do all the work.

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Working in groups requires the ability to justify ideas and to test the feasibility of solution strategies on others. It also requires developing a willingness and an openness to accept feedback from a critical friend. Through this interaction, the group and the individual continue to grow. Listening, consensus seeking, giving up an idea to work with someone else's, empathy, compassion, group leadership, knowing how to support group efforts, altruism—all are behaviors indicative of cooperative human beings.

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Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

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The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.
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John F. Kennedy
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In a world that moves at warp speed, there is more to know today than ever before, and the challenge of knowing more and more in every succeeding day, week, month, and year ahead will only continue to expand exponentially. The quest for meaningful knowledge is critical and never ending.

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Intelligent people are in a continuous learning mode. They are invigorated by the quest of lifelong learning. Their confidence, in combination with their inquisitiveness, allows them to constantly search for new and better ways. People with this Habit of Mind are always striving for improvement, growing, learning, and modifying and improving themselves. They seize problems, situations, tensions, conflicts, and circumstances as valuable opportunities to learn (Bateson, 2004).

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