Habits of Mind
There are various ways in which individuals approach practical and intellectual learning. These ways are of much importance to college students because they are required to approach learning in more active ways than those in the lower grades. The class readings and understanding of the concepts taught in class are not enough at this level. They must know how they would apply the concepts and knowledge gained in class in their interactions with the outside world. Over the course of this semester, I have developed such habits of mind as persistence, curiosity, openness, and engagement skill, which are important for every individual due to their significance in the process of intellectual learning.
Persistence is the number one quality for those who wish to succeed in anything they do. Persistence is important both in school and outside the school. Success does not come easily, and those aimed at success must be able to pay the price by being persistent at what they do. There have been a number of activities that the students were involved in, which improved their persistence skills. The students were also engaged in challenging projects and assignments and were required to work overtime to complete some tasks.
All the support resources available in schools such as the instructors and learning and writing centers were to be taken advantage of at all the time. My persistence skills have been now much improved than before joining the class. My challenge in improving this skill was in taking overtime to complete projects. I have always believed in setting time for different activities, and taking extra time on a single project has always been my weakness.
Curiosity refers to a person’s desire to learn more about something. This was an important aspect that enabled students to learn everything they need to know regarding a topic. The instructor helped the students to develop this skill by encouraging them to seek more information about subjects other than what was provided in class. As a student, I have learned how to use inquiry techniques to find out more about a subject by asking relevant questions.
The questions are meant to have relevant answers to the subject area. I was involved in a number of research work including the class essays and library research. My curiosity skill was developed more because of being open-minded to new ideas and avoiding biases. Enthusiasm about the class and the subject areas also helped in developing the curiosity skill. The class assignments were demanding and challenging at times, but we learned to associate them with joy and fun by contesting with classmates on their first and effective completion.
Another way that the class helped in developing my curiosity skill was through its explorative nature. Most of the class activities involved explorations that resulted in new discoveries. The new discoveries prompted us to seek more information and ideas. The class had diverse learning activities, and students were also encouraged to avoid routine in their learning. Routine would create boredom among students, hence killing enthusiasm necessary for maintaining curiosity.
I admit that I was not able to develop the skill to 100 percent because I found something would remain routine no matter how hard one tries. A person has to wake up and do the same things in life almost every day. In school, almost everything is routine except the topic and learning activities. People follow the same timetables, and this is monotonous and could limit curiosity in some of the students.
Every writer should be open and willing to accept ways of thinking. In this writing class, we were encouraged to examine our own perspectives on global issues and compare them with those of other people. The students were also challenged to practice various ways in which they would develop, investigate, and present information. Listening and reflecting on other people’s ideas was another way in which the writing class developed my openness skill. This skill would be very crucial in our engagement with the world. Writers need to collaborate with people from various backgrounds with diverse views. Openness helps in promoting personal growth, as being open to new ideas enhances learning. The class encouraged me to develop open behavior through the numerous discussions we had with one another. Listening to others and accepting or considering their ideas could be challenging to some people, especially when the interaction involves people of different levels.
I learned that openness leads to more innovation. Writing also needs innovations in the ways in which topics are delivered to the audience. The world changes rapidly, and every student is expected to be able to innovate new ways of reaching delivering their contents to the targeted audience. Different writing purposes call upon the students to be more innovative in their writing. They must understand what they are required to do before they could deliver content beyond the ordinary.
I did not have problems with the development of the openness skill. I have always accommodated ideas from other people before deciding on doing anything. I believe that every person is unique and that people look at things from different perspectives. These perspectives many not be agreeable to my own, but they could help in reaffirming my perspectives. In some cases, people’s ideas have opened my eyes to important facts that I could not have understood on my own.
Any learner who wishes to succeed must be ready to be involved in the learning process and invest both his time and resource on learning. The instructor helped the students develop this skill by encouraging them to see the connection between their ideas and those of their classmates. The students were also encouraged to find meaning in their new experiences and add to the existing meanings they had attached to the experiences. The new knowledge discovered was supposed to be acted upon immediately to promote engagement.
This class helped many of the students develop their engagement skill by giving them the opportunities to reflect on their current experiences and their future achievement expectations. The various tasks, experiences, opportunities, and interests enabled me to set my goals and my future expectations. Clear goals promoted my engagement in the class activities and general school experiences. The engagement was further improved by the knowledge of the attributes and skills that the learners were expected to have achieved after the class. This skill would be important in future after school because employers expect to have employees who are totally engaged and committed to the goals of the company.
This skill was a bit challenging because it is not always easy to find meanings faster in new experiences. People find meanings at different pace; hence, ones are ahead and other people are left behind.
My advice to any person who wishes to join the class is that they should be ready to engage in active learning. Most of the learning activities in this class involve participatory learning. In the end, students must remain open and willing to learn from both their peers and the instructors.