The seven transdisciplinary habits of mind of creative teachers: An exploratory study of award winning teachers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Although discussions of thinking skills often revolve around students and learners, it is equally important to consider habits of mind and thinking skills for successful and creative teachers. Teachers are primary mediators of thinking and learning for their students, and understanding how excellent teachers function and use thinking skills is an important, albeit often underserved, area of research. Amid the expansion of research and discussion around thinking skills in general, one approach that has garnered interest in recent years is the idea of “transdisciplinary” thinking—which entails effective approaches to thinking and working, that cut across disciplinary boundaries. Existing research has shown that the most successful creative thinkers in the sciences tend to use a set of meta-level cognitive “transdisciplinary” skills. While others have suggested this transdisciplinary skill set as a framework for teaching, it has not yet been formally studied with regard to teachers, particularly those deemed as “effective” or “creative”. This article discusses a qualitative study that investigated the use of seven transdisciplinary thinking skills among highly accomplished and nationally award winning teachers. National teacher of the year award winners and finalists were interviewed with regard to their use of transdisciplinary thinking skills in their teaching beliefs and practices. Results exemplify how such skills are used by such effective, creative teachers in a diverse range of ways, with broader implications for future study and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-232
Number of pages21
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Creative teaching
  • Creative thinking
  • Creativity
  • Cross-disciplinary
  • Effective teaching
  • Teacher skills
  • Transdisciplinary skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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