Habits of Mind

There are only two types of learning: More or Better

In my mind, there are only two types of learning: learning to do more or learning to do better. As educators, it is critical we recognise these two very different types of learning. Moreover, we must ensure our students understand the difference between the two and that we nurture their relationship with learning to do […]

The true value of a Picasso

There is a fable about Spanish artist Pablo Picasso that goes along these lines. Picasso was sitting on a park bench when a young woman came up to him and asked, “Could you draw me a picture, please?” Picasso got out his sketchpad and pencil and quickly sketched a portrait of the young woman. She […]

How to Get Out of the Learning Pit

The Learning Pit is a powerful analogy for learning that is used by schools around the world. In its simplest form, the Learning Pit represents a challenge. Taking on a challenge is like getting into a pit. We may feel uncertain and it takes effort to climb out. When we do climb out, it means […]

How to raise the bar on student performance

At one point or another, everyone experiences growth like this: We start learning something new. The early stages of learning are easy. We quickly master the basics and we experience relatively rapid growth and progress. But after a while, learning becomes difficult. Progress slows. Eventually, it stops and we reach our “limit”. This is what […]

Two Exciting New Learning Opportunities

“Believe and you can achieve.” Really? It’s true that many of our Growth Mindset interventions do change students’ Mindsets. However, recent challenges to Growth Mindset highlight the fact that these interventions aren’t always leading to the improvements in student learning outcomes we’re looking for. And that’s a big problem. What many people fail to recognise […]

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Searching for wonderment and awe

I was talking to Luke McKenna from Unleashing Personal Potential last week about the things people find awe-inspiring. As part of his work with Positive Education, Luke pointed out the benefits that arise when we find something awe-inspiring. These benefits include feeling deeply connected with the world, being less self-centred and behaving more generously towards […]

Where do the Habits of Mind fit?

Last week, I discussed how staff at my school were able to “find” the Habits of Mind in the curriculum, as well as in their big-picture visions of student learning. By doing so, they realised that far from being something new or “extra”, the Habits of Mind simplified their view of teaching and learning. They […]

Where to begin with Habits of Mind

I began my work with the Habits of Mind more than 20 years ago. It was a time when the education system was undergoing major curriculum changes. We had three “new” curriculums in five years. The “crowded curriculum” was a constant source of frustration for teachers, who felt there was too much to cover and […]

McEnroe vs Federer: A battle of Mindset

In her book, Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success, Professor Carol Dweck uses John McEnroe as an example of a person with a Fixed Mindset. I think he’s a great example for many reasons. You can’t argue with the fact McEnroe was an extraordinary tennis player. He is ranked 6th in the list of most […]

How to make hard things easy

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to make hard things easy? A way to take those things we find difficult, the things we struggle with every day, and make them simple? Fortunately, there is a way. It’s all about learning to be smarter and getting better at the Habits of Mind. Let […]