STUDIO HABITS OF MIND (SHOM) as interpreted for Literary Arts
The Studio Habits of Mind (SHOM) is an influential thinking framework for arts education. It comes out of intensive research from Project Zero, an innovative educational research group at Harvard’s School of Education. SHOM is based on the eight habits of the most effective artists, and while it was initially developed around Visual Art, it is highly adaptable to Literary Arts (see below: the bullet points are our own, explaining the relation to Lit Arts). SHOM also encourages a balanced, holistic approach to assessing artists, and Lit Arts incorporates SHOM into its monthly 3P grading system (in which both students and teachers grade and write reflections about the students’ Participation, Progress, and writing Product).
8 Studio Habits of Mind
Stretch + Explore
Take risks with new genres and styles
Expand who and what you read
Convey emotion and ideas in creative work
Offer feedback to others
Verbalize reactions to texts
Perform work in front of audiences
Take seriously the Art of Writing
Revise, edit, revise
Think of writing as something that requires practice and effort
Work on taking writing from automatic expression to a polished, finished text
Imagine your stories! Envision your narratives!
Outline, brainstorm, doodle, sketch
Understand Arts Community
Familiarize yourself with writing communities on international, national, and local levels
Attend readings and events
Visit and explore bookstores and other literary spots
Listen to the work and ideas of your peers
Study your heroes and favorites—how do they do what they do?
Be aware of trends and themes in publishing
Engage + Persist
Banish writer’s block—arm yourself with techniques and tricks to get you through when inspiration isn’t striking
Follow-through, even when an idea becomes tired
Think critically and honestly about yourself and your work. What are you doing? What are you creating?
Praise yourself! What are you great at? Be real: What needs work?