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“Wear your 6 Hats of intelligence as often as you can, providing it's not windy and preferably not at the same time because you'll look ridiculous. And above all, have them blocked (used) regularly.” - Edward De Bono.
What are the Six Thinking Hats?
Six Thinking Hats is a strategy devised by Edward de Bono which requires students (and teachers), to extend their way of thinking about a topic by wearing a range of different ’thinking‘ hats:
White hat thinking focuses on the information available and needed.
Black hat thinking examines the difficulties and problems associated with a topic.
Yellow hat thinking focuses on benefits and values.
Red hat thinking looks at a topic from the point of view of emotions, feelings and hunches.
Green hat thinking requires imaginative, creative and lateral thinking about a topic.
Blue hat thinking focuses on reflection, metacognition (thinking about the thinking that is required), and the need to manage the thinking process.
The colours help students to visualise six separate modes of thinking and to convey something of the meaning of that thinking, for example, red as pertaining to matters of the heart, white as neutral and objective.

What is the purpose of the Six Thinking Hats?
Students learn to reflect on their thinking and to recognise that different thinking is required in different learning situations.

How might I use the Six Thinking Hats?external image 6hats.gif
Consider an issue or topic which you would like your students to explore, for example cellphone text bullying. Explain what thinking is required for each of the hats. Have students working in small groups to ask themselves a range of questions:
White hat - What are the facts about cellphone text bullying?
Black hat - What are some of the negatives about cellphone text bullying?
Yellow hat - What do people gain from cellphone text bullying?
Red hat - How does cellphone text bullying make us feel?
Green hat - What could be changed about cellphone text bullying?
Blue hat - How does cellphone text bullying affect us now and in the near future?

Groups report back to the whole class about the types of ideas generated using the six hats. The teacher points to the breadth of views and thoughts, and explains that this is the end result of applying a range of different types of ’thinking‘.

How can I adapt the Six Thinking Hats?
Six Hat Thinking can be used in many situations where tasks like brainstorming, problem solving, creative and lateral thinking are required. The six thinking hats strategy can be a very useful tool in reviewing a range of texts or even creating a character profile.

How can the Six Thinking Hats be used to evaluate students' language and learning?
Six Hat Thinking strategies help learners...
  • Understand and interpret the task
  • Use strategies to assist or facilitate dialogue
  • Contribute to discussion
  • Comprehend and applies the six ways of thinking
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Where can I go for more information?

See the de Bono Institute for further information.
See also a summary of Six Hats Thinking.

Links also worth checking out:
Helpful plans and resources - http://www.eastonsd.org/eaa/teachers/brodheadj/Site/Thinking_Hats.html