messy + free-flowing= to know is not enough

Make a Habit

on January 29, 2019

As part of a book group at school, I just finished reading Make it stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Brown, Roediger & McDaniel (2014). The book highlights several research studies done across the spectrum covering various professions and successfully makes the point that we as educators are doing just too much for our students–questioning–to what end? A wonderful read using a commonsense approach to teaching and learning…the thing that caught my attention was simply the phrase “make a habit” (p. 201). Reflecting on this simple notion, I stumbled upon Angela Duckworth’s ‘Thought of the Week: The Salvation of Habits.’ Duckworth writes that a “habit is a behavior that when repeated in the same situation over and over again, and reliably rewarded, becomes automatic. Unlike other kinds of behavior, a habit runs on autopilot when triggered.”

This occurs as mental links are constructed between a trigger, cue, behavior, and reward. The question I ask is: WHY we as educators are helping students solidify their bad habits, instead of helping them form good ones in our classrooms everyday? When connecting this to who I am today, I find that whatever I have learned to this day began with my habit of self-reflection. In an effort to make my thinking visible, a simple equation to depict this is:

push out of comfort zones into the uncomfortable + courage to confront = self-reflection

Simply make a habit!


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