The Six Thinking Hats: Directing One’s Mind Laterally

six-thinking-hats

For Module 5, we were taught about teachers being continuous learners and how we should reflect upon our experiences so that we essentially form beliefs and knowledge.

The six domains of continuous inquiry are there to enhance our teaching careers. May we use them to make meaning of our calling (if this is how some of us would view it).

We learned about the importance of coaching skills and how we must treat this as a serious brainstorming session rather than merely chatting during our free time.

We also chanced upon the term mental maps which are tools that can help us improve the way we perform inside our classrooms. We can further the quality of our teaching by continually expanding our know-how in terms of the organizing principles in each discipline.

Heck, we’re not done yet as we also need to fully comprehend ourselves by defining our professional identities, use alternative means of teaching, and truly getting to know our students.

We also looked into CPD or continuing professional development as well as the PLCs or the professional learning communities. As professionals, I have learned that we need to be organized into communities.

A decrease in isolation is not the only reason that we are supposed to commune with others with the same profession. We are also able to increase our commitment to our teaching goals and mission if we strengthen one another.

New knowledge and beliefs are also formed where PLCs are formed. The teachers also become more well informed, even better able to inspire their students.

Imagine all the results that could come from PLCs – from a decrease in student dropouts to lower absenteeism rates. It is inevitable for these students to increase their learning in the process.

While all of these new learnings are essential, I was particularly drawn to De Bono’s system. What could be more edifying yet fun at the same time than our reading about the Six Thinking Hats?

In our group, I was assigned to don the blue hat which was quite cool because I am one who wants to be in control. But I won’t discuss the thinking hat assigned to me in detail. I will be writing about how these six hats can affect my teaching success.

As we already know, our students need to learn critical thinking. Likewise we, as teachers, have to deliberately learn this skill, too. Thinking, after all, is an efficient pedagogical strategy, all these according to Dr. Edward de Bono.

Having conceptualized lateral thinking, de Bono’s programs have proven to be useful in many nations across the globe. Truly, he has made problem solving and parallel thinking as fundamentals for people to live in a civil society.

 Metaphorically, de Bono came up with a model wherein people were able to solve problems using the simplest methods. Through his six thinking hats, we are able to overcome – emotions, confusion, even helplessness.

These six cognitive approaches could help anyone in understanding issues and coming up with the right solutions.

As a teacher, all hats are important to me. The black thinking hat may be viewed as one that’s adversarial but it is one that weighs the feasibility of a proposal. Through this hat I, as a teacher, would learn how to check things out.

The green thinking hat is useful to me as a teacher because it teaches me to be creative and to come up with alternative solutions should the first resolution be not okay.

The red thinking hat is my emotional hat. Through it, I can trust my intuitions as a woman or I could express how I feel. The white thinking hat, on the other hand, is all about data gathering. This is crucial for teachers, too, as it gathers evidence and relevant information.

The yellow thinking hat is the teacher thinking optimistically. With this, she sees the good, favorable points and the strengths that can help solve problems.

Lastly, the blue thinking hat – my favorite – is absolute. Teachers will always need this thinking hat. This is all about metacognition, analysis, and comparison to past performances. It is the tool to define the very process that will lead to the solution.

Once again, our readings have uncovered my ignorance. There is so much more to add to my skills, techniques and approaches in terms of teaching students.

 

Resources:

Kivunja, C. (2015). Using De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats Model to Teach Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills Essential for Success in the 21st Century Economy. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from https://file.scirp.org/pdf/CE_2015031710033222.pdf 

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2017, from http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/profdev/resources/proflearn/importance 

Sachs, J. (n.d.). Learning to improve or improving learning: the dilemma of teacher continuing professional development. Retrieved June 27, 2017, from http://www.fm-kp.si/zalozba/ISBN/978-961-6573-65-8/009-020.pdf

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