Thinking Skills focuses on providing pupils with a series of strategies that will help them to become more accomplished ‘thinkers’. The children are provided with strategies that enable them to think more deeply about issues and to do so with increasing independence.
Pupils develop the strategy of using the six Thinking Hats (based on the research of Edward De Bono). By using the six hats, children are encouraged to think about different aspects of the issue as each hat relates to a different kind of thinking:
· Blue Hat – Planning and organising ideas.
· Red Hat – Emotions and how you feel.
· White Hat – Facts and the information that you know.
· Yellow Hat – Benefits relating to the issue being considered.
· Black Hat – Problems relating to the issue being considered.
· Green Hat – New ideas and creative thinking.
Having observed excellent learning in several different schools, we have chosen to train our staff and pupils in using the eight Thinking Maps developed by the Kestrel Education Company. These Thinking Maps act us ‘visual organisers’ and are a consistent and effective way of pupils organising their thinking about any issue, in any curriculum area. Each of the eight maps relates to a different thinking process as outlined below:
· Circle Map – Defining in Context – Putting down on the page the information that you already know (or think you know) about the subject.
· Bubble Map – Describing with Adjectives – Identifying the adjectives that best describe the different aspects of the subject you are thinking about.
· Double Bubble Map – Comparing and Contrasting – Considering the similarities and differences between two people, places, events, etc that you wish to compare.
· Flow Map – Sequencing and Ordering – Organising a series of ideas into the right or best sequence and understanding how they link together.
· Multi Flow Map – Causes and Effects – Used to identify the different factors that might cause something to happen and the range of possible effects of this.
· Tree Map – Classifying and Grouping – A range of people, places, events, etc are organised into different groups depending on the way that they relate to one another.
· Brace Map – For Analysing Whole Objects and Parts – One whole object is taken and is broken down into the different parts that go together to make it.
· Bridge Map – For Seeing Analogies – Used to make a bridge between different ideas and help students make connections between their learning in different areas.