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Edward de Bono's Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono's "Thinking Hats" is a simple but useful approach

to ensure that issues are addressed from a variety of perspectives.

See below for suggestions regarding use.



"How do I feel about this right now?"

Emotions - intuition - feelings - hunches

There is no need to justify feelings.


"What do we know about this already?"

"What do we need to know?"

"How can we find out?"


"The good things about this."

Positive - good - benefits.

Why and how this can be done.


"The bad things about this."

Negative - weaknesses - caution - wrong.

Why this is not possible or practical.


"The possibilities are exciting!"

New ideas - different - suggestions - alternatives - variations.

Innovative ways we can approach this


"In considering this issue, what have we done

so far and what else do we need to do?"

Is our thinking about this matter clear and complete?


Suggestions for using Thinking Hats

The topic for consideration:

  • may be introduced by the teacher

  • may be suggested by students

  • may arise out of a recent lesson

  • may be introduced using a newspaper report or article

  • may be a recent news item

  • could be a "What if?"

Working as a whole class, students are asked to consider each hat in turn.  You will probably get a more genuine response to the RED hat if this considered first.  The BLUE hat should be considered last.  Otherwise the hats may be dealt with in any order.

Working in groups, each group takes a hat (apart from the BLUE hat) and focuses their attention on that particular aspect of thinking about the issue.

Incorporate THINK, PAIR, SHARE.

Working as individuals, each student takes one hat (apart from BLUE) and develops their thinking along appropriate lines.



Students could work in pairs - see TALK PARTNERS

The BLUE hat is used to focus students' attention on evaluating the quality of their thinking, and to check whether they have adopted a fair and balanced approach.

Alternatively, working as a whole class (or in groups), you could use the hats as a way of sorting and classifying arguments (either previously prepared by teacher or taken from a report or article).
"Thinking Hats" can be used in conjunction with some of the TALK strategies.  See THOUGHT SHOWERS, SNOWBALLING, RAINBOW GROUPS, JIGSAWING


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