Habits of Mind

What is Habits of Mind About?


Habits of Mind is a framework developed by Dr. Arthur Costa, an Emeritus Professor of Education at California State University. He is also the Co-Director of the Institute for Intelligent Behavior in El Dorado Hills, California.

Habits of Mind is focused on knowing how to behave intelligently while being able to respond effectively to uncertainty or dilemmas once they are encountered along the way. It’s assessing the pattern of learned behaviors which will then eventually lead to productive actions. The program intends to help students get into the habit of behaving intelligently.

In Singapore, the Ministry of Education, the country’s highest governing body when it comes to education, has adopted the Habits of Mind Framework. Habits of Mind primarily focuses on grooming the brightest students in Singapore under its Gifted Education Programme.

Mulberry Learning is proud to be Singapore’s first and only pre-school to embrace the Habits of Mind learning structure for preschoolers. Mulberry Learning believes in the principles of the framework and all 16 habits it teaches.


The Habits of Mind Framework that is adopted into the curriculum of Mulberry Learning includes the following 16 habits:


  • Persisting
  • Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Gathering Data Through All Senses
  • Listening With Understanding and Empathy
  • Creating, Imagining, Innovating
  • Thinking Flexibly
  • Responding with Wonderment and Awe

  • Thinking About Thinking (Metacognition)
  • Taking Responsible Risks
  • Striving For Accuracy
  • Finding Humor
  • Questioning and Posing Problems
  • Thinking Interdependently
  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  • Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

Benefits for Young Children

Research says that children will be able to focus better on the task at hand or manage distractions through the Habits of Mind framework. Their confidence will also be strengthened as they are confronted with challenges and difficulties. Aside from being passive about overcoming the problems, they are taught to ask good questions which will allow them to solve their problems on their own. It also focuses on socializing and working with other people. The main goal of the program is for the children to grow into independent learners who are well prepared to face their future in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (V.U.C.A) 21st-century world.


How Mulberry Incorporates Habits of Mind

Mulberry Learning is the pre-school network in the world to be certified by The Institute for Habits of Mind. We make sure to incorporate the framework in every activity we do in school. We achieve this in the following ways:

Formal Teaching

A new habit is introduced every month during lesson periods set aside to formally introduce the habit to the child. During these lessons, the child will explore the meaning of the habit and learn how to behave or react in accordance with the habit.

Parental Involvement

Parents are given updates on their child’s progress in Habits of Mind, alongside regular developmental updates. Special parenting workshops are also conducted from time to time to equip parents with activities and knowledge that can help reinforce these habits at home.

Repetitive Teaching

Habits are best learned when done repeatedly. We do so by constantly revisiting the habit throughout the term during lessons, playtime, and even during wash-up or meal time.


We meticulously prepare the environment for the successful planting of the Habits of Mind seeds. We have posters as reminders, celebrations to encourage behaviors that are in line with Habits of Mind, and teachers who are themselves role models for children to emulate.