Habits of Mind

Illustration: Council of Writing Program Administrators, NCTE, National Writing Project

Habits of Mind Definition

According to the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project (2011), curiosity, openness, engagement, creativity, persistence, responsibility, and flexibility are habits of mind that are “essential for success in college writing”:

Curiositythe desire to know more about the world
[see Invention|Research|Growth Mindset]
Opennessthe willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world
[see Intellectual Openness]
Engagementa sense of investment and involvement in learning
[see Self-Regulation & Metacognition ]
Creativitythe ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas
[see Composing Processes | Invention|Research]
Persistencethe ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects
[see Resilience]
Responsibilitythe ability to take ownership of one’s actions and understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others
[see Professionalism & Work Ethic]
Flexibilitythe ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or demands
[see Invention|Research]
Metacognitionthe ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.
[see Invention|Research]
Source: Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing (2011)

In the Learning Sciences and Writing Studies, researchers have found that students’ mindsets regarding eight habits of mind are associated with success (or failure) in writing (Council 2011):

  • Persistence
  • Responsibility
  • Flexibility
  • Metacognition