Book Reviews

Integrating and Sustaining Habits of Mind

by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick

Reviewed by Joseph W. Rudnicki
Superintendent, Sunnyvale School District, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Arthur Costa and Bena Kallick’s Integrating and Sustaining Habits of Mind is the fourth book of a developmental series on discovering and exploring, activating and engaging, assessing and reporting, and now integrating and sustaining habits of mind. The books are quick reads loaded with references, resources and practical tools to develop thoughtful, caring and sensitive learning communities.

Persisting, thinking flexibly, finding humor, thinking about thinking and gathering data are among the 16 traits in the list of habits. The list is not exhaustive. The authors invite further elaboration and identification from readers.

Late in the book, “thinking chimerically,” pops up. Such thinking is described as the ability to imagine and fantasize, a la filmmaker George Lucas. This is the authors’ tease to the reader to consider additional habits beyond their 16. This stimulation is precisely what the writers had in mind.

The writings provide habit descriptions, instructional strategies for acquisition, assessment tools, means of involving the whole learning community of adults and students, and models of those who have incorporated the habits into schools. Practicing the habits of mind is suggested as a possible anchor of stability in a chaotic environment. The overarching goal behind the development of the habits of mind is to develop more cooperative and creative approaches to world peace.

(Integrating and Sustaining Habits of Mind by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Va. 2000, 107 pp., $21.95 softcover. Available from Amazon.com.)