The 5 Habits Framework

1) Evidence (How do I know what's true?)

2) Perspective (Who might think differently?)

3) Connections (What other areas of knowledge are connected?)

4) Supposition (How might it be different if..?)

5) Significance (Is this important?)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The 5 Habits of Mind: A Framework for Critical Thinking in the Classroom

The Five Habits of Mind

The infusion of critical thinking into a lesson is the most crucial aspect for ensuring positive educational experiences.  The 5 Habits of Mind, as promoted by education activist Deborah Meier, is a framework on which the concepts and application of higher-order thought can be drawn for a 5 minute discussion or 5 lifetimes worth of contemplation.  In a system which all-too-often shows a laundry line of seemingly disconnected ideas and facts to uninterested and coerced students (sorry for the strong language) the 5 Habits stand in stark contrast as universal criteria for clear thought and engagement with complex material.  The questions of 1) evidence, 2) perspective, 3) supposition, 4) connections, and 5) significance are just as important to consider today as Aristotle did 2,400 years ago or a student on the colony of Mars 240 years from now will.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a resource for teachers at any level in any subject to incorporate critical thinking into their classroom.  I will post a link from publications designed for students and then provide guiding questions for each of the 5 Habits.  Possible project or activity extensions are outlined at the end as well.  The questions and exercises are not intended to be exhaustive or complete since your students will begin to generate inquiries once they are primed, taking the conversation to interesting places.  Questioning for complex thinking in a classroom is a skill that can be developed and I hope these postings help you in your journey.  If you have suggestions or additional questions to ask or want to relate how you used these brief guides in classroom, I'd love to hear from you in the comments section.   

When our goals are to help students become life-long learners and independent thinkers there can be no better time than the present to give them an environment in which to practice.  

Deborah Meier on the 5 Habits

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