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Habits of Mind

The heart model below visualizes the core initiatives that make Garfield STEM Magnet unique in APS; namely, the emphasis of STEM characteristics to prepare our student scholars for greater success as global participants as they continue their educational and professional careers.

At the heart of this model is the Core Mindset:

“Making Things That Work and Making Things Work Better.”

Another way to characterize this mindset is that we are developing our students to be critical thinkers and creative inquirers as a means to finding and providing solutions to new, timely, and potentially unforeseen problems in the world (“Making Things That Work”), while also being caring, thoughtful, and reflective evaluators about solutions to problems that may need to be revisited as part of a continuous improvement pathway (“Making Things Work Better”).

Surrounding our Core Mindset are the Habits of Mind, which provide a network of supporting actions and characteristics to accomplish the Core Mindset.

These are broken down into two layers:

Engineering Habits of Mind provide a framework of tangible and measurable actions that, if specifically and strategically embedded in curriculum to engage students throughout all courses at each grade-level, can be used to assess our success in developing the Core Mindset in our Garfield scholars. The placement of the Engineering Habits of Mind directly surrounding the Core Mindset in the heart model is intentional, providing a visualization of this direct and measurable link between the two.

Learning Habits of Mind, represented in the outer layer of the heart model, symbolizes the learning traits and scholarly characteristics that are essential to the successful development of the Core Mindset in our scholars. Though more abstract and subjective (and, thus, not as measurable), these vital components are more likely noticeable over time through cultural shifts in our scholars and our school. These are characteristics that will be visible in the classroom, on the playground, and in the community, embodying what it means to be a lifelong learner and positive community participant.