Keys to Effective Learning: Developing Powerful Habits of Mind / Edition 5

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Habits of mind can be developed, and Keys to Effective Learning will help you do just that. Each chapter in this text focuses on one habit of mind that will help you reach your potential in school, in your work, and in your personal life.

1. Persist

2. Manage Impulsivity

3. Gather Data Through All the Senses

4. Question and Pose Problems

5. Apply Past Knowledge to New Situations

6. Listen with Understanding and Empathy

7. Think Flexibly

8. Take Responsible Risks

9. Strive for Accuracy and Precision

10. Think and Communicate with Clarity and Precision

11. Stay Open to Continuous Learning


Instructors using Keys to Effective Learning, Fifth Edition, are eligible to attend, fee-waived, a two-day seminar in July in Denver featuring Dr. Joyce Bishop and Carol Carter. Please sign up in advance by filling out the registration information at Click on Faculty Development.


If you need help thinking through your syllabus, class notes, and strategy, or would like guidance on how to use any of the Prentice Hall package materials, please call Carol Carter toll-free at 877-737-8510.


Most of the photos in this book feature the award-winning photojournalism of The New York Times. For more information on the NYTimes programs for college students and the annual photojournalism contest for students, visit

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132295406
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/13/2007
  • Edition description: 5TH
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.84 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Carter is founder of Lifebound, a career coaching company that offers individual coaching sessions and seminars for high school students, college students, and career seekers. She has written and co-authored multiple texts. She has taught welfare-to-work classes, team taught in the La Familia Scholars program, and conducted numerous workshops for students and faculty around the country. Carol is a national college and career expert and is interviewed regularly in print, on the radio, and for television news programs.

Joyce Bishop holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has taught for more than 20 years, receiving a number of honors, including Teacher of the Year for 1995 and 2000. For five years she has been voted "favorite teacher" by the student body and Honor Society at Golden West College, Huntington Beach, California, where she has taught since 1987 and is a tenured professor. She worked with a federal grant to establish Learning Communities and Workplace Learning in her district, and has developed workshops and trained faculty in cooperative learning, active learning, multiple intelligences, workplace relevancy, learning styles, authentic assessment, team building, and the development of learning communities. Joyce currently teaches on-line and multimedia classes, and trains other faculty within her 21 college district. In addition, she has co-authored multiple texts and is the lead academic for the Lifelong Learning Telecourse.

Sarah Lyman Kravits comes from a family of educators and has long cultivated an interest in educational development. She has co-authored several books and has served a Program Director for LifeSkills, Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to further the career and personal development of high school students. In this role, she helped facilitate both curricular and organizational elements of the program, working closely with instructors as well as members of the business community. Sarah has also given workshops on critical thinking.

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Table of Contents


1. Welcome to College: Opening Doors

2. Values, Goals, Time, and Stress: Managing Yourself

3. Diversity Matters: Learning Styles and Communication

4. Critical and Creative Thinking: Solving problems and Making Decisions


5. Reading and Studying: Focusing on Content

6. Listening and Memory: Taking In and Remembering Information

7. Taking Notes: Recording Concepts and Information

8. Test Taking: Showing What You Know

9. Quantitative Learning: Becoming Comfortable with Math and Science

10. Effective Writing: Communicating Your Message

11. Creating Your Life: Building a Successful Future

APPENDIX: A Guide to Library and Internet Research

Answer Key


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Students and professors have consistently praised the thorough coverage of study skill. and strategies in Keys to Effective Learning. In this edition, we have built upon these strengths to cover three main ways for students to achieve their best as learners.

  1. Managing yourself effectively
  2. Putting knowledge into action
  3. Taking initiative on your own behalf

Build Habits of Mind: Tools for Self-Management

Developed by educator Arthur Costa, who was intrigued by how successful students work through problems, the Habits of Mind are problem-solving attitudes and approaches that are transferable to all kinds of problems. Each chapter features a different Habit and shows you how to use it to enhance and actively apply the chapter material. When you complete the text, you will have twelve positive Habits that will help you to manage yourself successfully, enabling you to become a better problem solver and more successful learner.

Turn Knowledge into Action: Active Learning Exercises

We frequently learn information in the moment--and then, after the test or the course is over, we might forget it quickly if not forever. The best learning is the learning that you keep with you so that you can use it. The exercises in this book will help you solidify what you learn by putting your knowledge to work:

  • Take Action. New to this edition, Take Action exercises provide the opportunity to use what you just learned to explore diverse topics such as your college's academic integrity policy and financial aid deadlines and your personal test-taking strategies. Three Take Action exercises appear in everychapter.
  • Critical Thinking: Applying Learning to Life. You will apply critical thinking to chapter topics. Developing a habit of critical thinking will bring you success in all of your academic courses.
  • Teamwork: Collaborative Solutions. You will interact and learn in a group setting, building your teamwork and leadership skills in the process.
  • Personal Improvement Plan. You select the chapter strategies that mean something to you and design a detailed plan for using one of them to improve your skills.

Taking Initiative on Your Own Behalf: Resources and People

You are your own best advocate. As a freshman, you will need to recruit the resources of people who can help you. The following features help you to make and use these vital connections:

  • Quick Start to College "Prependix." College success depends, in part, on making a rapid adjustment to a new environment. Quick Start will introduce you to information and requirements you will need to know, and resources you will need to access, in your first weeks of school.
  • Survival Checklist. On a pullout card in the front of the book, you will find a Survival Checklist on which to write all the important course information you will need this semester--including course names and locations, how to contact the instructors, required texts, and syllabi. Carrying this card with you makes this information available anytime you need it.

Your Future--Your Choice

Choosing to commit to this course, this book, your instructor, and most of all yourself will strengthen your mind and skills for college and beyond. Your perseverance makes all the difference for your future. Your success is in your hands.

Students and instructors. Many of our best suggestions have come from you. Send your questions, comments, and ideas about Keys to Effective Learning to Carol Carter at We look forward to hearing from you, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with you.

Features to Help You Succeed

  • Study Skills Material. Chapters on reading and studying (S), listening and memory (6), note taking (7), test taking (8), and writing and researching (10) provide practical skill-building strategies useful in every one of your college courses. Since math and science are so important to success in the 21st century, a chapter on quantitative learning (9) presents basic problem-solving approaches and helps you conquer math anxiety, especially in testing situations.
  • Learning Styles. When you know how you learn, you can choose learning strategies that maximize your unique skills. In Chapter 2 you will develop a picture of your learning styles through two complementary assessments. In each of the chapters that follow, a Multiple Intelligences grid provides helpful strategies, linked to individual intelligences, for learning that chapter's material.
  • Creative and Critical Thinking Focus. Thinking creatively and critically will boost comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Chapter 4 inspires your creativity and critical-thinking skills, and subsequent chapters connect study skills material to critical thinking.
  • Profiles in Success. To inspire motivation, this text profiles courageous role models. The Rising to the Challenge profiles in each chapter feature a real-life story of a person who overcame difficult circumstances in the pursuit of education and fulfillment. The Success Breakthrough profiles at the end of each part feature stories of famous people who have achieved despite intense challenges.
  • Reflect & Respond Journal Questions. Look for the Reflect & Respond box to appear three times in every chapter, at various points within the chapter text. Each journal question provides a different opportunity to reflect on chapter material and respond in writing using the "Reflect & Respond" module on the Companion Website.
  • Thinking It Through Checklist. Checking off the ideas you can relate to encourages you to begin to connect your current knowledge and attitudes with what you will read in the chapter.
  • End-of-Part Exercises: Becoming a Better Test Taker. This feature tests you on material from the chapters in each part, using multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions. The objective questions help you make connections among material from different chapters, and the essay questions encourage you to develop new ideas.

New to This Edition

  • Quick Start to College "Prependix"
  • Expanded discussion of academic integrity (Chapter 1)
  • Expanded discussion of values (Chapter 2)
  • Expanded discussion of choosing a major (Chapter 3)
  • Revised critical-thinking chapter with an enhanced focus on creative thinking (Chapter 4)
  • Study-skills segments updated and refocused on the most useful strategies (Chapters 5 through 10)
  • An independent chapter on note taking (Chapter 7)
  • A variety of test questions in different disciplines (Chapter 8)
  • A revised, improved chapter on writing and research, including new Internet research strategies (Chapter 10)
  • Added material on plagiarism (Chapter 10)
  • Multiple Intelligence grids
  • Take Action exercises
  • Reflect & Respond journal questions
  • Personal Improvement Plan exercises
  • Becoming a Better Test Taker questions
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