As the first and only preschool in Singapore to be certified for Habits Of Mind – a world-renowned framework used by MOE’s Gifted Education Programme – here’s how Mulberry Learning grooms your tiny tots to be able to behave intelligently and respond effectively to dilemmas and uncertainty in everyday life.
About Habits Of Mind
The Habits Of Mind framework was developed by California’s Co-Director of the Institute for Intelligent Behaviour – Dr Arthur Costa. In a nutshell, they’re guidelines for skilful, critical thinking.
With 16 Habits Of Mind in total, here are some essential life skills your child will pick up:
Persisting – Seeing a task through to completion despite obstacles
Many children are prone to short attention spans. When one thing doesn’t work out the way they envision, they might throw in the towel to avoid frustration. Such a mindset is unhealthy later in life, as we can’t all just swing from one path to another as soon as an obstacle presents itself.
The framework emphasises persevering in tasks through to completion, remaining focused and searching for new ways to achieve one’s goal when stuck.
Listening with understanding and empathy
Due largely to the rise of digital communication and shortened attention spans, people nowadays may listen to others – without actually hearing them. Grownups are especially guilty of this, scrolling through social media instead of giving the conversation undivided attention.
Through the framework’s teachings, kids will question whether they’re listening with the intention of truly understanding the speaker, or just waiting for their turn to chime in. It’ll also push them into making a conscious effort to perceive others’ emotions and points of view.
Managing impulsivity – Taking time out to weigh your options
Be it major life decisions or simple day-to-day interactions with people around them, no good can come out of making an uninformed choice on impulse.
It can be something as simple as not losing one’s temper at a friend during playtime today, all the way to making high-commitment choices with long-lasting, rippling effects 10 years down the road. Imagine ending a relationship or quitting your job due to the heat of the moment, yikes.
One Habit Of Mind is to think before acting, remain calm and weigh all options in a deliberative manner.
Questioning and problem posing
A familiar line from our days in school is “there’s no such thing as a stupid question”. Yet, the shyer ones always find it difficult to raise their hand in the classroom when something has them stumped.
Especially vital amidst a culture of “losing face” and being paiseh among peers, the Habits Of Mind framework instils a questioning attitude in the early years of childhood. This means challenging notions and delving into the How and the Why of everything comes naturally to the child’s mind.
Habits Of Mind in Singapore
The framework equips children with the confidence and know-how to tackle sticky situations, and is cemented in their mind through a rigorous yet effective routine:
- A habit is introduced each month during formal lesson settings
- Repetitive teaching even during playtime and wash-up instills the habit within children outside of the classroom
- Active parental involvement leads to children practising the habits at home, leading to long-term remembrance as it becomes part and parcel of how a child conducts oneself
By the time your precious tot graduates preschool, they’ll enter the next chapter of his or her life with a bright, inquisitive mind and grow up to become a well-balanced individual with a big heart to match.
*Article courtesy of TheSmartLocal.com Singapore, By Locals For Locals.
Extracted from this article originally written by Renae Cheng for TheSmartLocal.com and republished with permission.*