Put your thinking hat on: How Edward de Bono’s ideas are transforming schools
Rapt in thought, the four-year-old is taking part in a discussion about improving playtime. With a scowl of concentration, he clutches on to Patsy, the black-hatted teddy, and says: “A football hit me in the face once.”
This is the reception class at Ditton Primary School, near Widnes, and the teacher, Jackie Timmis, has asked him about the negative aspects of football.
His classmates have already made it clear they recognise what facts are – it is what Fred, the white-hatted teddy, encourages. Red-capped Fifi puts them in touch with what they feel about an idea. Patsy is fixed on the negatives, yellow-clad Hal on the positives, while cuddly Ivor is as fertile with creative ideas as his green hat. Blue-hatted Bella is “the boss” organising their thinking.
They don’t know it, but they are using Edward De Bono’s structured thinking technique, the Six Thinking Hats, that colour codes different ways of tackling a question, to give them a framework for problem-solving and exploring ideas. The hats have been turned into teddies, given the pupils’ age.
These are advanced concepts for such young children but Ditton Primary is an accredited Thinking School, committed according to the head teacher, Carol Lawrenson, to creating “little thinking creatures”.
This scene at Ditton may be played out in classrooms across the UK in the next few years, if thinking guru Edward de Bono succeeds in introducing the key concepts of his thinking framework, the Six Thinking Hats and lateral thinking, into the national curriculum………………..