Creating the Habits of Mind CoP

Creation of Habits of Mind CoPThe 2012 Basic Skills Initiative Leadership Institute (BSILI) initiated a Habits of Mind (HoM) Community of Practice (CoP) to explore and pilot campus activities for improving students’ academic habits of mind.  By building students’ habits of mind, in and out of the classroom, we promote completion of educational goals.

In preparation for BSILI participants developed initial leadership projects for their respective campuses and, at various points during the institute, reconsidered/modified them.   Participants were introduced to three models for improving student completion, namely acceleration, reading apprenticeship and habits of mind.  For HoM, participants were introduced to content illustrating habits of mind and its importance to understanding learners and their success.   They also engaged in activities to generate ideas for building habits of mind within classrooms and across campus.

Subsequent to the presentations and activities surrounding acceleration, reading apprenticeship and habits of mind, participants were introduced to BSILI’s CoPs designed to support their progress during the coming year.  Participants then joined the CoPs that would best assist them in accomplishing their campus leadership projects.  Members of the BSILI HoM CoP jointly created a unifying leadership logic model and intended outcomes for their work together.

Carrie Fastidiously taking minutes at the HoM creation

Carrie Fastidiously taking minutes at the HoM creation

From LINKS V Onward

Beginning with 60 educators expressing interest in the Habits at LINKS V, there are now more than 400 educators, from at least 75 colleges, who have participated in professional learning provided by the project. Through these activities
practitioners have been challenged to develop “mindful” practices to influence students’ expectations and values and build intellectual habits of mind.

To accommodate the wide range of interest in Habits of Mind, 3CSN began offering online professional learning modules grounded in a faculty inquiry approach. Within the modules, participants collect student accounts and perspectives as the basis for gaining first-hand understanding of habits of mind. They also explore improvement strategies/routines to “try out” for their ongoing professional practice. In 2012-13 four modules were offered:

  • Self-knowledge and Self-assessment,
  • Goal setting,
  • Responsibility and Self-efficacy, and
  • Time Management).

Nearly 200 educators from 36 different colleges registered for the modules. Beginning in 2013-14 modules will be offered for Questioning and Problem-posing and Persisting. In addition, an Introduction to Habits of Mind module will be offered. It is expected that modules will be developed and offered for each of the Habits in the framework over the coming years and that colleges will be able to use them as options for flex credit.

In addition to the online modules, several of 3CSN’s BSILI campus teams are working on leadership development activities related to Habits of Mind. To date, a total of 20 campus teams have brought various aspects of Habits of Mind to their campus communities. Most recently, to extend the learning opportunities available throughout the state, 3CSN is supporting BSILI campus teams in establishing Professional Learning Hubs to integrate Habits of Mind (and Reading Apprenticeship strategies) into content courses, Learning Assistance and college-wide practices.

Powerful Classroom Song (to the theme music of the Adamms Family)