Posted in Costa, Testing

Education is More Than Bubbling the Right Answer

Arthur Costa is Emeritus Professor at California State University, and Author of “Habits of Mind”. Drawing on his substantial experience as an educator, Costa speaks about self-evaluation, the construction of meaning and preparing for the 21st and 22nd centuries (see

On Finding the Right Answer:

One of the biggest mind-shifts that educators have to engage in is to give up the notion of simply knowing right answers. And you know, today, in education, we’re very right-answer oriented…knowing right answers is very important, but we also need to teach students how to behave when they don’t know an answer.

…preparing students for the dilemma, the enigma, the paradoxes, the problems, the answers to which are not immediately known…knowing how to persist when an answer is not immediately known instead of just giving up, for example. Knowing how to turn to other people and to think interdependently and as you consider the future…most of the problems are going to be solved…by groups of people who are working interdependently around the globe to solve problems.

“Intelligence is not what you know, but what you do when you don’t know.” – Piaget.

More from Arthur Costa…


All who envision a more just, progressive and fair society cannot ignore the battle for our nation’s educational future. Principals fighting for better schools, teachers fighting for better classrooms, students fighting for greater opportunities, parents fighting for a future worthy of their child’s promise: their fight is our fight. We must all join in.

Stop the Testing Insanity!


Retired after 35 years in public education.