Mentoring Minds identified the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™ to foster high-quality, disciplined thinking. To become stronger thinkers and problem solvers, students should be provided ongoing opportunities to learn about and to practice the nine traits. Each trait contributes to the development of skillful thinking in academics and in social interactions.

The responsibility of the teacher is to cultivate the development of the traits. More explicitly, teachers should introduce, teach, and integrate the nine traits during daily learning experiences, helping students become increasingly aware of how thinking affects learning and behavior. Student actions become more productive when the nine critical thinking traits are used to face unknown situations or challenges, to complete tasks, and to make disciplined choices as problems are resolved at school and in the real world.

Each trait is accompanied by a visual that can trigger its use by students. The nine traits may be introduced or utilized in any sequence or in any combination. The application of the traits will depend on the nature of the work task or activity. When students acquire a deeper understanding of each trait, the students themselves may determine which one or more traits are needed to sufficiently process their thoughts to complete an activity or bring resolution to a task.

By visiting, you can see several resources that assist students and teachers in learning about and integrating the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™ into daily instruction across any content area. As the traits are applied to real-life situations outside of school, the value of the traits can be observed at home and in the community. Long after the K–12 education years, the traits continue to be beneficial as individuals apply them no matter their responsibilities. Application of the critical thinking traits can strengthen the thinking process throughout one’s life time. Our intent at Mentoring Minds is to help students to become mindful of their thinking and to support teachers as they nurture the development of the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™.

In a series of ten blog posts, you’ll learn about the 9 traits, forming a vision for each and how the trait might be applied in- and outside of the classroom. In the next blog post we’ll explore the critical thinking trait adapt.