The Habits of Mind: A Vehicle to Life Long Well-being through Sport and Exercise

Charmaine DeFrancesco, Florida International University, USA

Theme: Life skills/learning strategies (includes coping)

Program ID: LEC-04B

Presentation: October 2, 2013 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Room: Jasperwood


The Habits of Mind (HoM) as described by Costa and Kallick (2000) consist of 16 dispositions that direct the actions of individuals and groups to behave intelligently when confronted with tasks and problems. When these intellectual resources are employed, the outcomes are positively compelling. Educational researchers and practitioners who study human learning and development established the HoM for academic purposes. However, the “habits” are not situation-specific and as such, they may assist individuals in developing a holistic, positive well-being throughout their lifespans. The HoM are gaining significant attention in the academic literature, particularly within K-12 settings internationally, but they have yet to surface significantly within the areas of physical activity and sport psychology. Many AASP consultants and sport and exercise educators use some of the habits within their professional practices already, but do so without being cognizant that they are touching upon the HoM (DeFrancesco, 2013). The 16 HoM consist of: persisting, managing impulsivity, listening to others with understanding and empathy, thinking flexibly, developing metacognition, transfer, communicating with clarity and precision, using all of one’s senses, creating/imagining/being innovative, responding with wonderment, taking responsible risks, finding humor in activities and self, thinking interdependently and learning continuously. Several of these dispositions are fundamental to effective coaching and positive sport and exercise outcomes. This presentation will introduce strategies that could be used by consultants and educators interested in assisting their clients and students in acquiring the HoM. Similar to the model offered by Fitts and Posner (1967), the habits are developed in three stages and these will be discussed as well. The HoM can serve as an educational and performance enhancement platform within physical activity and sport environments to help participants become more mindful and successful in their daily pursuits.

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