Habits of Mind in the Classroom

James Anderson
Engaging and thoughtful
This course introduces teachers to the Habits of Mind and demonstrates how these can be developed in the classroom. Blend of face-to-face and online interaction.
Target Audience
Relevant to teachers of all levels and subjects, classroom teachers and school leaders
24 reviews

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

This course is designed for all teachers who want to help their students think and behave more intelligently.

Costa and Kallicks 16 Habits of Mind are dispositions that are skilfully and mindfully employed by characteristically successful people. This course introduces teachers to the Habits of Mind and demonstrates how these can be developed in the classroom.

In a unique blend of face to face and online interaction, you will first be introduced to the Habits of Mind in f2f workshop, and then supported online over the following 6- 8 weeks as you begin working with the Habits in your own classroom.

At the face to face session we will look carefully at the ideas behind the Habits of Mind before delving into practical ways to develop Habits such as Striving for Accuracy, Managing Impulsivity and Persistence in your day-to-day classroom practice.
You will also have the opportunity to select a flexible, individualised and relevant set of topics for the online component of the work.


Relevant to teachers of all levels and subjects, classroom teachers and school leaders

Available Delivery Formats

This course contributes to 11.0 professional development hours.


There are no occurrences of Face to Face in Australia (NSW) at this time.


Modern View of Intelligence

40 minutes

This intro is mainly presentation and group discussion. I pose the question "what are you doing to help your students become more intelligent"
We look at intelligence as a changeable / teachable feature.

Derivation and History of the Habits of Mind

30 minutes

This session looks at what the HOM are and where they come from. Involves watching a short video of Art Costa and links to the previous session through an analogy of Intelligence being like the car you drive, but success being related to how well you drive it. The driving / improvable skills are the HOM.

Teaching FOR, OF and ABOUT thining

20 minutes

Having introduced the concepts of the HOM we then begin to discuss how the HOM can be taught. Using the framework of teaching FOR, OF and ABOUT thinking we set up the work for the remainder of the day.
Discussion questions:
Who is responsible for teaching thinking in your school?
How do you teach thinking?


30 minutes

Using collaborative discussion and several classroom examples we explore how students can be taught to be better at persistence. We design a “How to be Persistent in this Classroom” Chart

Managing Impulsivity

30 minutes

Video from John Edwards “The Things we Steal From Children” is used as a stimulus to discuss ways that teachers might be robbing students of the opportunity to develop their HOM’s.
We then use Managing impulsivity as an example of this.

Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision PLUS

30 minutes

Mainly presentation mode, enhanced with videos, we explore these two HOM to highlight that teachers, although we think we understand these HOM, often don’t fully appreciate the scope and complexity of the HOM.

Thinking Flexibly

50 minutes

We explore the brain as a pattern making and recognition machine and how this restricts our ability to think flexibly. We also challenge the idea that flexible thinking can’t be taught.
Through a group activity teachers are lead to develop new and practical flexible thinking strategies that can be taught and applied in school and more broadly.

Striving For Accuracy

30 minutes

Teachers explore and discuss a range of strategies to help students develop the Hom of striving for Accuracy – challenging long held ideas about “correcting” students work.

Review and planning forward

40 minutes

A “walk and talk” is conducted to review what the teachers have learnt for the day and plan the content for the online component of the course.

Depending on the size of the group the strategy to achieve this varies.

Online Component

6 hours

Teachers will be given the opportunity to negotiate and select a relevant set of topics that best meets the needs of the groups. Options to select from include:

1) Introducing Habits of Mind to your Classroom
2) Leading the change with Habits of Mind
3) Further Habits of Mind (Thinking Flexibly, Questioning and Posing Problems, Responding with Wonderment and Awe, any others)

Topics not covered will be available in a future course.
4) A Habits of MInd School
5) Developing Habits of Mind
6) others by negotiation

The duration of each topic will reflect the needs of the group. Total time commitment to the online component is approx 6 hours

What To Bring

Each participant will be expected to purchase a copy of “Succeeding with Habits of Mind” available from www.mindfulbydesign. You will need note paper and a pen.

User Rating


Latest Reviews

Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.

by Dessie Kocher on 03/05/2011

Needed more time to be able to comprehend and go through the course otherwise.


Informative, entertaining, creative. The presenter was very likable and personable.


James was insightful, passionate, knowledgeable and spoke so we felt comfortable as learners. He provided great examples throughout with appropriate humor. It was sad that it was so short.


An engaging and purposeful course. I am interested and keen to utilise this in the classroom. A little unorganised in some parts. Overall a great day.

by Jenny Croker on 03/05/2011

Very engaging, easy to understand and easy to see how to apply techniques to a real classroom.


Interesting and engaging. Thanks.

by Danneelle Heyne on 03/05/2011

I enjoyed the alternate ways of thinking.

by Christine Essey on 03/05/2011

Very engaging, great introduction.

by Nicola Kidston on 03/05/2011

Need more time to digest into and further course on implementation of habits at schools. Excellent food for thought.


Content very relevant to classroom teaching. Humorous, interesting, entertaining presentation.


Motivating and eager to improve my practice.


Good introduction but need to follow up course. More practical suggestions for integration in curriculum.


Extremely knowledgeable, entertaining and well prepared.

by Ingrid Jensen (Holmes) on 03/05/2011

Thorough, interesting, effective and humorous.


Presented with enthusiastic and sincerity.


Found it hard to maintain focus at times. A lot of chalk and talk, james knew his stuff well, though!


The presenter was very good, held attention and content was great too.


Very enlightening presentation on habits of the mind.

by Simone Mcklaren on 03/05/2011

A great introduction to HOM that stimulated new thoughts for a changing approach to education.

About the team

James Anderson


James Anderson is the director and principal consultant of Mindful by Design. An experienced and successful teacher, James began working with Art Costa’s Habits of Mind in his own classroom in 2000. James is a highly experienced and engaging presenter with experience at all levels of schooling from early learning through to tertiary.

Check out the Habits of Mind website