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Six Thinking Hats for schools and families

A colourful and engaging way to become a better thinker. The Six Thinking Hats approach provides a useful mental image that is easy to teach, to learn and remember. It is a tangible framework and language for learning about and understanding the different aspects of thinking. This makes practising better thinking more accessible and enjoyable.

This programme:

  • is suitable for a wide age range;

  • introduces practical thinking tools, lesson plans and practice items that will enrich the way you and your learners think;

  • shares the experience of teaching thinking directly rather than as a by-product of academic subjects; and

  • helps learners find their unique voice.

‘Thinking is the ultimate human resource.’

Dr Edward de Bono

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Student workbook coming soon

The benefits of the Six Thinking Hats:

  1. The hats provide a framework for organising thinking so that it is no longer a matter of drift, reaction and argument. Thinking becomes more focused, more constructive and productive.

  2. Once the hats have been learned, they become a common language for encouraging better thinking as well as for exploring and developing ideas rather than arguing over who is right or wrong. This is a simple and practical method for spreading good thinking habits since the hats can be explained easily to other people.

  3. Using the hats helps avoid confusion and argument by focusing everyone on one mode of thinking simultaneously. This broadens everyone’s point of view and leads to better decisions.

  4. The hats can be used to request a certain mode of thinking or to request a switch from one mode of thinking to another. The game-like nature of the method means this can be done without causing offence.

  5. The motivation changes from wanting one's "idea to win", to wanting to contribute to the discussion as a good thinker. 

  6. The method acknowledges that emotions, feelings and intuition are important aspects of practical thinking and should not be disguised. It values feelings as an ingredient in the thinking process without allowing them to dominate. 

  7. This approach separates out the critical, constructive and creative aspects of thinking, all of which are necessary. Thinking is too often just critical in nature, which conflicts with its value seeking and creative aspects.

  8. The hats provide a simple and practical way of showing that thinking is a skill that can be learned, practised and improved.

About the originator: Dr Edward de Bono

Dr Edward de Bono originated the term lateral thinking and dedicated his life to teaching thinking as a skill. He held faculty appointments at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London and Harvard. He wrote more than 60 books on thinking, with translations into 43 languages. His methods were adopted by major corporations and governments in more than 50 countries over his 50-year career. He taught thinking skills to executives, educators, children and Nobel Prize laureates. More on Dr de Bono

Become a Six Thinking Hats Teacher or School

Accreditation in the teaching of the Six Thinking Hats in schools is available from de Bono authorised trainers. The Six Thinking Hats and de Bono are registered trademarks. We want to ensure that the teachers and schools using the Six Thinking Hats for schools badge are competent and confident in teaching the methods.

If you wish to promote yourself as a teacher then please register for accreditation.

If you wish to promote your school using these trademarks then someone in authority at your school must agree to these Terms and Conditions and use an accredited teacher.

Both accredited teachers and schools commit to using the authorised materials and to follow the guidelines for the use of the badge in any marketing.

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Sample pages

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