Monday, 24 September 2012

Thinking Hats

Tomorrow, I'm planning to do two lessons using DeBono's Thinking Hats. The first lesson is a Year 8 lesson which will see the class picking apart the plot in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery; the second being my Year 10s using it in a role play exercise where they will play the doctors and nurses of Ken Harrison, the paralysed protagonist in Brian Clark's play, Whose Life Is It Anyway?

De Bono's Thinking Hats is an exercise which is designed to challenge students to analyse ideas/texts/subjects from a number of different angles. We all tend to adopt particular stances when thinking: those of us who struggle to see the positives will naturally see the negatives in things, whereas the more logical of us rather deal in facts. These two are approached by the black and white hats. In short, the hats work like:

Yellow - the positives/benefits Green - the creative applications White - the facts/information Blue - thinking about thinking Black - the negatives/problems Red - emotions/our gut response

The kids must consider all aspects of the thinking hats to develop well-rounded thinking and analytical skills. It is surprisingly difficult as we tend to revert to form. The kids, in particular, tend to wear the red hat most comfortably, from my experience, because of their gut instincts and less mature approach to decision making.

My hopes for tomorrow will be that the Year 8 group will go on to use this throughout the rest of the year with me. I hope that they're young enough for the use of this to enhance their thinking ability more naturally. I am concerned, after the Socratic circle lesson last week, that the Year 10s will be less amenable. They're quite set in their ways. I've structured the lesson carefully around a strong focus with a central aim so, with any luck, that will help them to adapt more easily.

I shall report back tomorrow evening!

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