Just off the Press

March 1992 Masthead


Six Thinking Hats for Schools by Edward de Bono

Do you know about the Six Thinking Hats method developed by Edward de Bono? If not, you must see a copy of the Six Thinking Hats for Schools (series of Teacher Resource Books for Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). You have probably told your students at one time or another to “put on their thinking hats” as a way to get their attention to think hard. This phrase takes on a whole new meaning when you teach the thinking hats method.

In the Introductory chapters of the book, the meaning for each thinking mode, signified by a different colored hat, Is explained and accompanied by several Illustrations for practice. Teachers and students learn to associate the colored hats with key words and questions. This directs, redirects, and sequences their thinking.

Sample key words and associated questions follow.

White Hat:
What are the facts?
Yellow Hat:
What are the good points?
Red Hat:
What do I feel about this?
Blue Hat:
What thinking is needed?
Black Hat:
What is wrong with this?
Green Hat:
What new Ideas are possible?

Some sample student activities to Introduce the six thinking hats Include the following:

Put On Your Yellow Hat

A local grocery store has decided to sell only products that are better for the environment – like recycled paper Items, vegetables grown without pesticides, and household cleaners that don’t pollute. Who will benefit? What are the benefits? (page 54)

Put On Your White Hat

Arriving home from school, you find that the door Is locked and no one answers. Someone Is usually at home at this time of day. What Information do you need, and what are your sources for the Information? (p. 70)

Put On Your Green Hat

There has been an outbreak of car thefts In your neighborhood. What are some creative ways to stop the thieves? (p. 85)

The Six Thinking Hats for Schools is so well designed that teachers will feel comfortable Implementing the lessons after reading about the thinking hats concept and experimenting with the practice activities. All lessons are organized with background notes, guidelines for discussions, reproducible activities, and discussion notes. Students learn about the thinking modes using a lesson format that Includes: lead-in, explanation, demonstration, practice, and elaboration. The lesson format Is a simple, but effective, paradigm that can be used to create new lessons that expand the curriculum. In fact, Edward de Bono Illustrates just how this was done In the final section of the book on sample applications. Model lessons developed by classroom teachers focus on the typical content areas of language arts, social studies, science, math, art, and music. But, of course, with de Bono’s work he always goes beyond what is expected. Two additional areas are conflict resolution and conflict avoidance.

Teachers and students will certainly enjoy Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats for Schools which is available from Perfection Learning, 10520 New York Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. 50322.

Reviewed by E. Jean Gubbins
The University of Connecticut

Now Available from CPRE: Two New Reports on Teacher Empowerment
CPRE (Consortium For Policy Research in Education) Rutgers University

The following reports are available from: Publications Department, CPRE, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Prices include handling and book rate postage. For information call (908) 828-3872.

Building School Capacity for Effective Teacher Empowerment: Applications to Elementary Schools With At-Risk Students by Henry M. Lenin ($10)
The term “teacher empowerment” may already be fading from use, in large measure because of its vagueness. Does it mean giving teachers authority over school-level and/or classroom decisions? Does It Involve mainly Issues of governance? Does it focus mainly on classroom effectiveness and enhancement of teachers’ knowledge of content and Instructional strategies?

Levin argues that decentralizing decision-making and Increasing school staff participation In running schools are necessary elements of teacher empowerment. But they are not enough. Capacity building at the school and district level is required to make teacher empowerment “more than a tantalizing slogan,” says the author.

Drawing on his experience In developing accelerated schools for at risk students In five states, Levin discusses features of school-based decision-making that could be the focus of a capacity-building effort. The paper addresses topics such as leadership, technical assistance, and accountability.

Teacher Empowerment and Professional Knowledge by Gary Lichtenstein, Milbrey McLaughlin and Jennifer Knudsen ($7)
This paper presents a view of teacher empowerment which Includes professional knowledge as a crucial aspect. The authors also propose a new definition of “professional knowledge” for teachers, one that goes beyond staff development efforts and other commonly proposed strategies to enhance teacher knowledge.

After a year of field study and literature review of structural, formal, and Institution-based efforts to empower teachers, the authors found that decentralization or enhanced teacher authority did not necessarily lead to teacher empowerment. The authors then shifted their research to look at knowledge-based reforms.

Through this approach, the authors discovered teachers who believe they are empowered In principle and practice, whose attitudes about teaching are upbeat, hopeful, and even enthusiastic. These teachers believe their practice represents a model or professionalism that ought to be widely developed.

Have You Been Reading The Creativity Research Journal?
Mark A Runco, California State University, Fullerton

Educators and Individuals Interested in gifted and talented children will enjoy the first 1992 Issue of the Creativity Research Journal (vol. 5). It is devoted to “Play, Imagination, and Vygotsky’s Theory,” and contains articles by Brian Sutton-Smith, A. Pellegrini, Janet Sawyers, Olivia Saracho, Francince Smolucha, Saba Ayman-Nolley, and Vera John-Steiner.

Other CRJ articles are also relevant to the study of gifted and talented students, Including “Family adaptability, cohesion, and creativity” (John Moran, vol. 3); “Social influences on creativity” (Theresa Amablle, vol. 3); “Development of creative skills: A must for science education” (Yager, vol. 2); “Teacher’s creativity, playfulness, and style of Interaction with children” (Janet Sawyers, vol. 2); On the development of creativity In children” (Urban, vol. 4); “Maternal teaching techniques and preschoolers’ Ideational fluency” (Goble et al., vol. 4); and “Mother-child relationships and creativity” (Stephanie Dudek, vol. 4).

The Editor welcomes articles specifically on the creativity of gifted and talented children. Write to Mark A. Runco, CRJ Editor, EC 105, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634. (Email: Runco@Fullerton.edu) (Fax: 714-773-3314)

The CRJ is published four times each year by Ablex Pub. Corp., 355 Chestnut St., Norwood, NJ 07638 (Tele: 201-767-8450)

Ablex has also recently published:
Roberta Milgram’s Counseling Gifted and Talented Children; Arthur Cropley’s More Ways Than One: Fostering Creativity In the Classroom; and
John Wakefield’s Creative Thinking: Problem Solving Skills and the Arts Orientation.

Several volumes are expected in 1992, Including Rena Subotnik’s Genius Revisited: High IQ Children Grown Up and Beyond Terman: Longitudinal Studies in Contemporary Gifted Education.


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