Using Habits of Mind, Intelligent Behaviors, and Educational Theories to Create a Conceptual Framework for Developing Effective Teaching Dispositions

Mar. 01, 2019

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Volume: 70 issue: 2, page(s): 169-183(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The authors of this article address the need to provide professional educators with a sound construct for understanding dispositions in teacher education by offering a conceptual framework to better identify and promote constructive ways of thinking about dispositions as habits of mind in teacher education.
They created this construct by exploring how Costa and Kallick’s (2000) model of Habits of Mind can be used to cluster habits around educational theories and to better understand constructive ways of thinking and behaving as dispositions.
They suggest that their list of Habits of Mind (dispositions), based on intelligent behaviors, can assist teacher educators and researchers to explore, cultivate, and assess dispositions.

The content analysis of the literature presented in this article identifies well-researched and accepted explanations for ways of thinking and behaving that strengthen theoretical underpinnings for Habits of Mind as proposed by Costa and Kallick (2000).
To start this investigation, they reviewed the nature of Dewey an habit and under which conditions Dewey used habit interchangeably with dispositions.

The authors applied qualitative content analysis method to review the literature related to educational theories and Habits of Mind.
The directed approach to content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005), entails identifying categories prior to the analysis and using predetermined codes or key concepts to assign the reviewed text to the categories.
For the current study, the categories used were educational theories and the codes were the intelligent behaviors associated with Habits of Mind.
A research committee that was comprised of the three authors of the article, an expert in the field of teacher education, and an educational psychologist were involved in the process of relating 16 Habits of Mind to educational theories, which resulted in constructing a conceptual framework.
This process used an iterative approach that provided opportunities for the research committee to review, evaluate, and refine the outcomes
through a review of the literature and consulting with an expert in the field of education, the authors chose the following theories as their categories:

  • Constructivism;
  • Incremental Theory;
  • Self Regulated Learning Theory;
  • Mindfulness; 
  • Emotional Intelligence.

The next step was to get a better understanding of the codes planned to be used to relate Habits of Mind to the theories.
The lead author in collaboration with co-authors unpacked the intelligent behaviors associated with Costa and Kallick’s model (2000) and used them as a common denominator to cluster the educational theories and construct a conceptual framework.
These common denominators served as the codes to help the authors identify consistencies between Habits of Mind and educational theories.
As consistencies emerged, the intelligent behaviors, which were previously clustered under certain Habits of Mind by Costa and Kallick (2000), were re-grouped under associated theories.

The conceptual framework was developed through a content analysis of the literature related to dispositions and educational theories.
The researchers linked Habits of Mind to specific educational theories using intelligent behaviors as common denominators.
Teacher educators can use these intelligent behaviors as cues to understand how and why their students respond the way they do to different situations and settings.
After using approaches such as interviews, long-term observation, deliberation, and inquiry into the underlying motivators for preservice teachers’ actions, the behaviors can be linked to one of the clusters of habits (dispositions) identified in the model the authors introduce in this article.
As the clusters are now related to established theories, the findings from empirical research associated with those theories can be used by teacher educators to guide professional development of teaching dispositions.
By associating intelligent behaviors with educational theories, the authors have offered a framework that teacher educators can use in teacher education programs to help develop preservice teachers’ dispositions as Habits of Mind.
They believe that this framework will help teacher education programs move forward in understanding and applying dispositions in teacher education: it offers clearly defined intelligent behaviors that can be developed using research from well-grounded educational theories.

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2000). Habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Hsieh, H.-F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288. 

Updated: Jun. 06, 2019