The Three Habits of Highly
Effective Teachers
Rodney H. Clarken
School of Education
Northern Michigan University
Presented at the 18th Annual National YouthAt-Risk Conference, Savannah, GA
March 4-7, 2007
What is a habit?

hab·it (n) 1. something done all the
time; an action or behavior pattern that
is regular, repetitive, and often
unconscious.
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What is effective?

ef·fec·tive (adj) causing a result,
especially the desired or intended result
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What is a teacher?

teach·er (n) 1. somebody who teaches.

teech (v) 1. impart knowledge or skill.
(all from Encarta Dictionary)
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In other words,
this program will describe three
things which if regularly done by
somebody who imparts
knowledge and skills will be more
likely to cause the desired result:
developing our students’
potential.
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How can we know what is
effective?
5 ways of knowing/determining truth
1.
Senses and experience
2.
Reason, logic and empiricism
3.
Tradition and tested wisdom
4.
Inspiration, intuition
5.
God tells us
Others?
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All these ways are fallible.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Senses (illusions, mirages) and experience
(biased)
Reason, logic and empiricism (scientist and
scholars disagree, new findings replace old)
Tradition and tested wisdom (varies)
Inspiration, intuition (differs)
God (may be infallible, but our
understandings and interpretations are not)
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The best we can do is to
use as many of the ways of knowing truth
as possible. The more ways we can
verify truth, the more we can rely on it.
openly and independently investigate
truth, freed from bias, superstition and
limitation.
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In this presentation,
I have tried to combine ideas from 1)
experience, 2) scholarship, 3) traditional
wisdom, 4) intuition, and 5) sacred
scriptures to identify and synthesize the
principles that I feel are the most
fundamental in being an effective
teacher.
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1. My senses and experience
As all experience is biased, it is only fair you know some
of mine:
Grew up poor on an Iowa tenant farm
Attended six different colleges in five states and have
five degrees in liberal arts, education, psychology and
administration
Traveled to 60 countries and lived in Africa, Asia,
Caribbean, Europe and several US states
30 plus years in education at elementary, secondary
and post secondary levels in rural, urban, reservation
and international areas
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2. Scholarship
Effective teaching has an extensive literature in
education, psychology and management.
For example, an emerging field of psychology,
Positive Psychology, draws on science,
philosophy and religion to identify positive
emotions, six core virtues, twenty-four
signature strengths and ways of using the
signature strengths in relation to work, love,
and parenting. (www.authentichappiness.org)
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Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of
Highly Effective People
Dependence



Habit 1 Be Proactive: Principles of
Personal Vision
Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind:
Principles of Personal Leadership
Habit 3 Put First Things First: Principles
of Personal Management
Independence
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


Habit 4 Think Win/Win: Principles of
Interpersonal Leadership
Habit 5 Seek First to Understand, Then to be
Understood: Principles of Empathic
Communication
Habit 6 Synergize: Principles of Creative
Cooperation and Communication
Interdependence
Habit 7 Sharpen the Saw: Principles of
Balanced Self-Renewal
The 8th Habit (2004) is to "Find your voice and
inspire others to find theirs".

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3. Traditional wisdom


“…virtue and happiness were intimately related for
Socrates and Plato with wisdom a necessary and
sufficient condition for behaving well and being
happy." (Parducci 10)
Aristotle: the full realization of human potential
results from two kinds of habits:
1. mental activity, such as knowledge, which lead
to the highest human activity, contemplation;
2. practical action (moral virtues conforming to the
golden mean) and emotion, such as courage.
(Nicomachean Ethics)
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Anishinaabe Seven Grandfathers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Bravery
Honesty
Truth
Respect
Wisdom
Love
Humility
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4. Inspiration/Intuition
Combining what I have learned from other
sources and meditating on what was the best
way to serve teachers so that they might
better be able to serve their students, I
developed the model that I will share with
you in this presentation. It has come over
many years in bit and pieces, in part through
inspiration and intuition, the result of much
deliberate effort.
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5. Sacred scriptures

As part of my orientation as a Baha'i, I
believe in the sacred nature of all the
revealed religions. Therefore, I have
read extensively from the holy books of
the world’s religions to find and
understand the truths that are
contained therein. I have looked for
similarities and commonalities in
teachings.
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The Golden Rule:
From Baha’i, Buddhist
Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish & Zoroastrian Scriptures





Hurt not others in ways that
you yourself would find
hurtful.
Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you.
Blessed is he who preferreth
his brother before himself.
Do not to others what ye do
not wish done to yourself; and
wish for others too what ye
desire and long for yourself.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.




What is hateful to you, do not
to your fellow man.
Only that nature is good when
it shall not do unto another
whatever is not good for its
own self
No one of you is a believer
until he desires for his brother
that which he desires for
himself.
Choose thou for thy neighbor
that which thou choosest for
thyself.
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What then are the three habits of
highly effective teachers?
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1. Truth
(Being Honest)
2. Love
(Being Caring)
3. Justice
(Being Fair)
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They combine the highest virtues
of each of the three essential
aspects of a human being: mind,
heart and body
1.
2.
3.
Truth-mind
Love-heart
Justice-body
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Habits of the mind: Truth
trōōth n.
1. Conformity to fact or actuality.
2. A statement proven to be or accepted as
true.
3. Sincerity; integrity.
4. Fidelity to an original or standard.
1.
2.
Reality; actuality.
often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme
reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of
existence.
American Heritage Dictionary
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Truth: Scholarship and Scripture




The scientific method is a powerful tool for
ascertaining truth and advancing civilization.
"Veracity (adherence to the truth) is the heart
of morality" (Thomas H. Huxley).
“Truthfulness is the foundation of all human
virtues” (Abdul-Baha).
"I am the way, and the truth" (John 14:6).
(Comparable statements can be found in other scriptures)
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Truth and knowing
What we know and believe to be true can
be weighed against our experience,
traditions and intuition. In addition,
scientific and religious truths should be
considered: religion to check
materialistic scientism and science to
check religious superstitions, dogmas
and fanaticism.
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Developing the habit of truth





Judge using the five ways of knowing truth.
Be truthful to ourselves, which enables us to
“know thyself” and “to thine ownself be true.”
Practice understanding and communicating
reality as it really is, rather than as how we
imagine or fancy it to be.
Investigate truth with an open mind and
consult with others.
Insist on truth in your community and
institutions.
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Habits of the heart: Love
luv (v)
1.
an intense feeling of deep affection
(Oxford)
Acting intentionally, in sympathetic
response to others (including God), to
promote overall well-being. (Thomas Jay
Oord).
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Love: Scholarship and Scripture


"Love conquers all" (Virgil).
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not
envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is
not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily
angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love
does not delight in evil but rejoices with the
truth. It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres. Love never
fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
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Love and emotion

Emotions are expressions of our loving
capacity, and affect motivation. We feel






Happy when loved things are near, well-treated, pleased.
Sad when loved things removed, hurt, grieved.
Angry when loved things mistreated, threatened, wronged.
Fearful when loved things insecure, at-risk.
Disgusted when loved things violated, offended, made
repulsive.
Understanding these forces of love can help
us to regulate and direct their influence in
ways that are beneficial to ourselves and
others.
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Developing the habit of love.




We should first love ourselves, which
give us the love needed to love others.
Considered the most fundamental
element in all of the world’s religions.
Love gives us energy, directs our
actions and leads to unity.
On the highest level, love is the
attraction to good, beauty and truth.
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Habits of body: Justice
jus·tice (n)
1.
fairness or reasonableness, especially
in the way people are treated or
decisions are made (Encarta)
2.
the quality of being just;
righteousness, equitableness, or moral
rightness (Dictionary.com)
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Justice: Scholarship and Scripture


"Justice is the first virtue of social
institutions, as truth is of systems of
thought” (John Rawls).
It is always better to be just than unjust
(summary of Plato's Republic)

“Be fair to yourselves and to others”
(Baha’u’llah).
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Developing the habit of justice






Be just to yourself.
Combine love and truth with justice.
Practice in small ways using justice in
your classroom.
Demand justice in all your affairs.
Justice requires bravery and courage.
Day by day, little by little, one step at a
time.
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Consult with your neighbor


On how you can use or develop the
habits of truth, love and justice in your
lives and your classrooms?
Take one student or one case that you
are concerned about and share. Apply
the habits to the case. How would it
look. Would it work?
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In dealing with your situation ask
yourself the following 3 questions
1.
2.
3.
Is it or am I being truthful?
Is it or am I being loving?
Is it or am I being just or fair?
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Part 2

If we have time and you are still
interested.
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How can we learn more about
truth, love and justice?




Read the world’s great philosophical and
spiritual traditions for more insights and
principles.
Study the sciences to better understand their
social, psychological, physiological and
neurological connections and effects.
Apply these habits in your life and use the
complementary ways of knowing as checks
and balances.
Consult with others in an open manner using
the Seven Grandfathers.
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Education is a process


of the development of our capacities for
truth, love and justice.
Developing these capacities is a lifelong
endeavor: the more we have of them
the more we want them, as they bring
increased happiness and fulfillment.
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The 3 habits from different angles
Truth
Think
Head
Mind
Logic/Epistemology
Truth
Cognitive
Reason
Love
Feel
Heart
Heart
Ethics/Aesthetics
Beauty
Affective
Compassion
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Justice
Act
Hand
Body
Metaphysics
Good
Conative
Courage
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Truth, love and justice together



When all three habits work positively in
harmony, the individual and society grow,
develop and advance.
When a positive habit is matched with a
negative habit, trouble results.
For example, those who love (+)
untruth/dishonesty (-), hate (-) truth/honesty
(+), or do not know (-) how to love (+), or
do not love to know, a problem of growth is
created.
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TLJ: the formula version

T x L x J = V: Truth (T) times Love (L) times
Justice (J) equals Value (V)




A zero in any capacity = zero value


+T x +L x +J = +V
-T x +L x +J = -V
-T x –L x +J =+V
3T x 2L x 0(J) = 0
Mathematical properties

Increased quantity in any variable=increased
value
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TLJ are contextual and
developmental



Partly depends on environment, culture,
interrelationships and level of development.
Are influenced by our paradigms, emotional
states, beliefs, interests, goals and
established habits of mind, heart and body.
The more we exert and practice TLJ, the
more we will develop them.
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Learning TLJ




is key to promoting human happiness
and well-being.
is part of developing our higher nature,
which must overcome our lower
natures.
will enable us to develop our individual
potential.
takes effort.
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Setting Goals for TLJ



The more we are attracted to, understand
and are able and willing to work for TLJ, the
more likely we are to achieve them.
Educators can assist learners develop TLJ
through developing high resolve, sense of
purpose, self-esteem, sense of personal
capability and an internal locus of control.
TLJ give meaning to life. They direct energy
towards healthy values.
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Help students



develop their own TLJ in more complex,
expanded and unique situations.
use consultation, reasoning, independent
investigation of truth, meditation, parables,
stories, metaphors, prayer and reflection to
help develop TLJ.
unite body (hand), mind (head) and heart to
work together.
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


TLJ involve the knowing, wanting and
creating conditions within the self and in
interaction with the environment.
The educators' modeling and use of TLJ
affect the classroom environment and
learning.
Change in each capacity changes the context
and effects the learning and becoming
process.
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Motivation



Extrinsic motivators, though needed and
useful, are limited, and can actually hinder
motivation, especially if one is intrinsically
motivated.
Encourage autonomy and authenticity in TLJ.
Self-actualization occurs when all three
capacities are fully and actively engaged.
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Social influences


It is primarily in social groups that TLJ are
exercised and developed.
Positive relationships are:




Loving: courteous, caring, compassionate,
creative,
Truthful: consultative, open-minded
Just: complementary, chaste, constructive,
collaborative and cooperative.
Positive social environments are:

safe, secure, service-oriented, fair, united,
peaceful, joyous, respectful and refined.
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Individual differences.



Each person has unique strategies,
endowments, powers, responsibilities, talents,
interests and capabilities based on innate,
inherited and acquired characteristics for
which they are ultimately responsible to
develop.
Help students know, love and actualize their
their unique capacities using TLJ.
We have all been created noble. Do not
abase anyone, let others abase anyone or let
them abase themselves.
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


Educators are responsible to diagnose and
prescribe what is needed for each student
unique endowments, experiences and
heredity to encourage optimal development
as best they can.
Each person is a mine filled with precious
gems and minerals. Education can help each
each person find his/her unique value and
contribution to the world.
Unity in diversity is vital in all aspects of
education.
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Standards and assessment.




Justice and equity are key in standards and
assessment. The evaluation of all things
depends upon them.
Students show the results of their learning
through their lives, deeds and actions.
Encourage all to achieve excellence in all
things, to become the most they can.
The most important qualities, such as TLJ,
are the hardest to validly and reliably assess.
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o
n
n
e
c
e
s
s
i
t
y
a
n
d
a
r
Conclusion: Education is a
right and a necessity




Education is the foundation of human
excellence, prosperity, joy and glory. Its
acquisition is incumbent upon everyone.
Knowledge is as wings to life and a ladder for
our ascent.
The root of wrongdoing is ignorance.
To be effective, education must address our
knowing, loving and creating capacities.
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Extra slides for further
explanation
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Many levels of TLJ
Each level includes and builds upon the
lower, but each higher level transcends
quantifiably in its capacity for TLJ.
 Physical/Material/Concrete
 Mental/Abstract/Conceptual
 Spiritual/Moral/Ethereal
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•Truth
•Science
mind
thinking
•Love
body
heart
feeling
doing
•Arts
•Justice
Morals
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The habits of TLJ as processes of
mind, heart and body
•Truth
Mind
•Love
Heart
•Justice
Body
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Faculties of mind, heart and
body to develop habits of
TLJ



Mind: To Know, Think about,
Understand TRUTH
Heart: To Feel Love for Unity and
BEAUTY
Body: To Will and Do Justice for
GOOD
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Some correlates of TLJ
Truth
Love
Justice
Consultation/
Investigation
Think
Compassion/
Caring
Feel
Creation/
Construction
Do
Authenticity
Altruism
Autonomy
Truth
Beauty
Good
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Understanding Unity
Justice
Head
Heart
Hand
Cognitive
Affective
Conative
Mind
Heart
Body
Reason
Compassion
Courage
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Logic/
Epistemology
Aesthetics/
Axiology
Ethics/ Ontology
Objective (It)
Subjective (I)
Intersubjective
(We)
Science
Arts
Morals
Agencypreservation
Erostranscendence
Communionadaptation
Differentiate
Integrate
Transcend
Pure Reason
Aesthetic
Judgment
Practical Reason
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•Know truth
•Habits of Body
•Mind
•Heart
•self
•Feel love
•True Self
•Do justice
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Paradigms and paradigm shifts

Paradigms are the mental maps that we
use to describe the world around us.
They are the lens that each of us uses
to understand everything and every
thing. The key of a paradigm isn't as
much in the true nature of a thing as
much as our perception of the thing.
(http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Seven_Habits_Study_Guide/Paradigms_and_princi
ples)
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Individual capacity differs.

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

Everybody’s capacity for truth is different.
What we know and how we know is different.
Everybody’s capacity for love is different.
What we love and how we love is different.
Everybody’s capacity for justice is different.
What we do and how we act is different.
What, when, why, how and how much we use
these three habits in relationship to one
another also differs.
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Teachers

need knowledge, skills and dispositions
related to a host of areas, such as
content knowledge, pedagogy,
assessment and professionalism, but for
these teachers to be highly effective
they must teach with the habits of
truth, love and justice.
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Individual and Collective
Expressions of TLJ
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The Three Habits of Highly Effective Teachers