An exercise from Ron Ritchhart's book, Intellectual Character, asks us this:
"Jot down your own ideas of the characteristics, dispositions, or general attitudes that you feel a good thinker possesses." Along with this Ritchhart exercise, include a few values you'd like to cultivate and nurture in learners, and that will bring us to a good starting point for sharing ideas as we read Gardner's book, Five Minds for the Future together.
So please post a list of the top characteristics/dispositions/attitudes/values you'd like to see in today's--and the future's--learners.

Tags: cognition, learning, values

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Replies to This Discussion

How about knowing about not-knowing?
"I am not young enough to know everything," is a quote on my Zen calendar.
One thing I think needs to be gently awakened in young people is the ability to know when they don't know. We need to cultivate (among many other things) the absolute acceptability of saying "I don't know." We need to point out the strength of character it takes to constantly assess "knowing" and to be unafraid to say, "I'm not sure."
Great list. I especially love "an ability to generously value others' abilities..." This is often so painfully missing in adult relationships in the schools.
There is so much power in lifting each other up. One teacher here says "It's our job to make all of us succeed." Thank heavens for positive attitudes.
How about "a healthy degree of skepticism". The desire to know if what I see or hear is accurate and true. Last week, I read a student project done about a marketplace. Some of the things about the history of the place reported seemed questionable. A quick check showed that they were inaccurate. When I asked the kids about it, they said "but that's what some of the vendors in the marketplace told us". After a short discussion I think that the kids realized that for some information this was a great source, but for other things hearsay should be checked against more reliable sources.
I also desire to get students to want to do good work for its own sake and not just for the teacher or the grade: "To love truth because it is true" (Maimonides). I think that this isn't so easy to do in a traditional school setting.



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