My first experience with the Habits of Mind came last year when I joined Plymouth State University. As A Community Director within one of the residence halls, I quickly learned about the HoM as we were launching out First Year Residential Experience, with these habits as the focus. Over the next year I learned a great deal about purposeful communication, problem solving, self-regulated learning, and integrative perspective. I had countless conversations with student staff as we worked to have them integrate these habits into the work they were doing with community building. This summer, as a department we re-envisioned our community development model, placing the HoM at the core. In Residence Life, many schools are moving to a curricular model when it comes to programming and community building, as it is best practice. The most challenging part of this process is usually identifying the learning outcomes. The advantage we have as we look toward that model, is that the habits of mind are those learning outcomes.
I have enjoyed my time in the CPLC trainings as I have had the chance to talk to colleagues from across campus. During these conversations though, it became clear that we needed to do more to bridge the world between academics and student affairs. This is not a new problem in Higher Education, however, having general educations courses focus on the Habits of Mind, could be the key to building that bridge. While we have begun to use them in Residence Life, I could easily see them expand to other areas of campus especially Orientation and Student Life. What if when a student started at Plymouth we talked about the Habits of Mind?
As I think about my work with the CPLC this next year at Plymouth State, I want to continue to connect the work I am doing inside and outside of the classroom. I believe Plymouth can utilize these habits of mind in a lot of unique ways, and I hope to continue to find them.