Get Students Talking!

Using the 6 Thinking Hats

What is the Six Thinking Hats?

The Six Thinking Hats is a method devised by Edward De Bono and meant to improve the results of critical thinking and discussion. It may be used either individually or in a group setting. De Bono claims that by separating six different types of thinking we can make our thinking clearer and more comprehensive. We should “wear” each hat in turn, and analyze the issue at hand from the six different aspects separately. In a group setting, all members are encouraged to use just one hat at a time, thus contributing to an organized and all-inclusive discussion. Each hat is marked with a different color and represents a different point of view in which to consider the information one’s been given.

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How Can I Implement This in my Classroom?

1. Textbook reading -- have students read a chapter in the text ahead of time. Break students into 6 groups and use the 6 Thinking Hats to engage students in discussion about the reading (essentially a flipped model of teaching).

2. Case Studies -- have students read a case study. Break students into groups of 6 each, assigning each student a different 'hat'. Have students discuss the case study from the different perspectives they've been prescribed.

3. Group Project -- Students get into groups and go through the thought process by collectively wearing the hats one at a time. For example, start with the white hat to discuss data and information supporting the project. Then, the group wears the yellow hat to discuss positive side of the project's objective/outcome. The group continues to cycle through each hat and discuss. You may need to have students use the hats in varying orders depending on what you have them working on!

Companies that have used the 6 Thinking Hats