Get Smart!

The Intelligent Explorer

"Smart" is not something you have.
"Smart" is something you get.

These are the mental habits
you should practice to become
a more intelligent explorer.

1. Be Adventurous! People become more intelligent through the mental habit of seeking out new experiences and exploring new viewpoints. Exploration is sometimes uncomfortable, but as we proceed onward, our comfort zone gets larger. We learn to see and do more.

2. Be Curious! We deepen and strengthen our intelligence as we wonder, probe, find problems, observe closely, and form new questions. An active sense of wonder is the basis of intelligence.

3. Clarify Things! Do battle with confusion, construct explanations to test, focus on finding out, and wrestle with big ideas. Rely on evidence rather than guesses.

4. Get Organized! Make plans for figuring things out, build strategies for solving problems, set goals for learning, and keep careful notes and records. Intelligent workers learn to create and keep good filing systems, to decide on places to keep their tools, and to put things away when they are finished.

5. Be Careful! The mental habits of precision and thoroughness make your thinking more powerful. Be alert to errors or inaccuracies in your thinking. Re-read your work. Don't take short cuts. Don't hurry! Being in a rush is often a symptom of careless planning.

Adapted from "Teaching Thinking Dispositions" at Project Zero, Harvard University

1910 Expedition


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2007 Montana Heritage Project
Page 1 of 1 pages
student reading
Heidi Tynes