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

Develop craft
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?