Instructor: Joel Beatty
Course: WRIT 101
Lesson: Using the 5 Habits of Mind with Double-Entry Journals (Reading, Writing. Research and Reflection Journals)
Rationale: In his book “Five Minds For The Future”, Harvard University’s Developmental Psychologist and Educator Howard Gardner describes five distinct habits of mind that are “competentcies which young people and society need in the twenty first century.” For him these are the habits of mind that can transcend linear and non-linear thinking and provide a dynamic model for students now and in the future.
To build his argument Gardner offers up this analogy:
“ A hundred years ago, most people didn’t go to school, and those who did left school at twenty years old, confident that they would never have to be further educated. But nowadays as one biologist told me, if one doesn’t keep up for three months one will never be able to catch up again. All of you know the speed with which knowledge accumulates in almost every sphere. Much of our education has to be self-education.” (Gardner 2008).
Basically, these are “minds” that can take students outside of the systemic thinking of today and lead to more autonomous and dynamic thinkers for tomorrow: The Disciplined Mind, The Synthesizing Mind, The Creative Mind, The Respectful Mind and the Ethical Mind. Paying attention to and developing the habits of mind can provide a powerful tool to analyze the writing and thinking of other’s, and it can act as bridge to self assess our own thinking, writing and tendencies.
This lesson is designed to identify and develop these habits of mind inside the context of academic journal writing in order to build deeper reading comprehension and self analysis skills through meaningful reflections.
To place the habits of mind in dialogue with journal writing, using a dialectical journal, (or double entry journal) offers a way to promote both better journaling habits and practiced metacognition that serves to enhance the learning process. This journaling strategy can be used in almost any “type” of journal entry including, reader response journals, research logs and journals, reflective writing. It can even be used to as a critical lends in which to read with.
This activity is meant to be used over the course of a semester. It takes practice to see its full effect and it helps to think of it as a reflection about reflections.
• Learn and apply the comprehension strategies of journaling, reflection and self- evaluation by making intertextual connections between and setting goals for improvement.
• Define, understand and identify the 5 Habits of Mind
• Make connections and react to various texts (journals) using a double-entry journal
1. Discuss the different “types” of Journal Entries. – 10min
(I usually break it down into four groupings)
a. Reading Journals – Reader Response, Highlighting, Abstraction
b. Writing Journals – Freewrites, brainstorms, lists, ideas, poems, inquiries
c. Research Journals – Data, Stats, Facts, Bibliographical Information, Key words and concepts.
d. Reflection Journals: Not to be confused with a reader response or a freewrite, An academic reflection asks the question: ‘What have I learned?’ and ‘What do I still want to know?’
2. Introduce the Double Entry Journal – 5 min a. read handout and discuss strategies for labeling your own Double Entry Journal
3. Practice the 5 Habits of Mind – 25 min
a. read HOM handout and discuss each habit of mind.
b. Activity 1: read a sample text and reading journal and ask students to identify as many ‘habits of mind’ as they can within the text.
c. Discuss sample text and how these habits of mind can be used to assess student’s own journal entries? How can reflecting on the habits of mind be used to track progress? to set goals? to write in-depth reflection journals?
4. Create Double Entry Journal for your In-depth Study – 10min (or for Homework)
a. Using the model come up with in class, re-visit student work from the semester and create a Double-Entry journal and begin to identify your own habits of mind.
b. Is there one habit stronger than the other?
c. What habits do you may need to strengthen?
d. How will this improve your final portfolio?
Howard Gardner’s 5 Habits Of Mind –
“The Five Minds are competencies which young people and society need in the twenty first century going forward.”
What it means to be of a certain mind: (prepared by Donna Miller)
The disciplined mind shows evidence of training to perfect a skill. Consider where we see evidence of diligence, persistence, or thoughtful application or on what topics/occasions the reader is invited to engage those qualities.
The synthesizing mind raises and addresses the largest questions. What inferences does the text ask readers to make? Synthesis often bring concepts to life by invoking metaphors, by capturing wisdom in short, memorable phrases, or by shaping concepts into theories. With a proclivity to connect, synthesizers apply the tools of understanding and engage in the boldest forms of interdisciplinary connection making. Where/how does the writing support this kind of thinking?
The creating mind poses unfamiliar questions, conjures fresh ways of thinking, arrives at unexpected answers, posits new ideas, and considers as many angles as possible. Innovative, creators will strike out in unfamiliar directions and offer fresh insight. Motivated by uncertainty, surprise, and disequilibrium, the creator will seek not to order what is known but to extend knowledge, to ruffle the contours of a genre, to pursue new visions. Where does the reading and writing that I do invite me to think creatively? Where do I see evidence of creative thinking in other’s work?
Responding sympathetically and constructively, the respectful mind notes differences between human groups but avoids stereotypes and caricatures. Individuals motivated by respect offer the benefit of the doubt to all human beings and avoid thinking in group terms. Their search to understand and to work with groups who differ extends beyond political correctness and surfaces in a capacity for forgiveness. A respectful mind will display active interest in and affection for those of lower status.
Embodied in tolerance, the ethical mind considers the needs and desires of society. Susceptible to noticing unprincipled values, the ethically minded will bear witness to destructive behaviors and to connotations of goodness and best efforts. Ethically minded persons focus on fulfilling a role that will improve the quality of life and living. Sensing an obligation to monitor what others are doing, they may call them to account or make references to an individual’s role as a citizen oriented towards succeeding generations. Stewards of a domain, they think in terms of missions with little focus on the self. Can you identify the Ethical Mind in the Text? Where do you display your ethical mind?
For more information on how to use the “Habits of Mind” concept in the Writing Classroom: