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Arts Curriculum Framework:
The Practice Of Creating

Habits of Mind

These are ways of thinking, attitudes, and approaches to work that contribute to lifelong learning. The habits of mind developed through experiences in the arts reflect the Common Core of Learning's three broad goals for students, Gaining and Applying Knowledge, Thinking and Communicating, and Working and Contributing.27

Thinking and Communicating

  • Imaginative thinking. As they create and perform, students draw upon imagination, perception, and memories. They learn to take risks and devise multiple interpretations.
  • Heightened perceptual awareness. Students learn to pay close attention to what they see and hear, to perceive how details fit together to make a dynamic whole, and to appreciate subtlety in visual, aural, and verbal communication.
  • Reflective thinking. Through discussion and self-assessment, students learn to accept and give constructive criticism, and to regard critique as an integral part of refining communication.

Gaining and Applying Knowledge

  • Organization, curiosity, and persistence. Students learn to plan and pursue a sequence of steps in rehearsing, creating, and performing. They learn to develop their own questions and to persevere even when they hit obstacles and disappointments.
  • Analytical thinking and the ability to make connections. Students learn to analyze works of art, research historical and cultural contexts, draw conclusions, and make informed judgments.

Working and Contributing

  • Personal and social responsibility. The experience of public performance and exhibition teaches students that they are accountable for the quality of their own work, that overall success is dependent upon group cohesiveness, and that each person has a responsibility to help others achieve at high levels.
  • Respect for creativity in others. Because students invest so much of themselves in their artwork, they appreciate why people devote themselves to work, projects, and ideas that attempt to make sense of and give structure to human experience.

Last Updated: January 1, 1996
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