Two kinds of thinking0 analytical 0 generative0 convergent 0 divergent0 vertical 0 lateral0 probability 0 possibility0 judgement 0 suspended judgement0 focused 0 diffuse0 objective 0 subjective0 left brain 0 right brain0 verbal 0 visual0 linear 0 associative
What are thinking skills?0 collecting information0 sorting information0 analysing information0 drawing conclusions from the information0 „brainstorming‟ new ideas; creative thinking0 problem solving0 determining cause and effect0 evaluating options; critical thinking0 planning and setting goals0 monitoring progress0 decision making0 reflecting on one‟s own progress
Why are thinking skills important?0 The „banking theory‟ of knowledge based upon rote learning has been discredited as it is recognised that individuals cannot „store‟ sufficient knowledge in their memories for future use.0 Information is expanding at such a rate that individuals require transferable skills to allow them to address different problems in different contexts at different times throughout their lives.0 The complexity of modern jobs requires staff who demonstrate comprehension and judgement as participants in the generation of new knowledge or processes.0 Modern society assumes active citizenship which requires individuals to assimilate information from multiple sources, determine its veracity and make judgements. (WILSON 2000)
Lateral ThinkingLateral thinking is a term coined by Edward deBono. It first appeared in the title of his book TheUse of Lateral Thinking (1971). De Bono defineslateral thinking as methods of thinking concernedwith changing concepts and perception. Lateralthinking is about reasoning that is not immediatelyobvious and about ideas that may not beobtainable by using only traditional step-by-steplogic.
Lateral Thinking“Lateral thinking is closely related to creativity. But whereascreativity is too often only the description of a result, lateralthinking is the description of a process. One can only admire aresult but one can learn to use a process…Lateral thinking is concerned with the generation of new ideas.There is a curious notion that new ideas have to do withtechnical innovation. This is a very minor aspect of the matter.New ideas are the stuff of change and progress in every fieldfrom science to art, from politics to personal happiness.” (De BONO 1971)
Lateral Thinking techniquesCAF (Consider All Factors)PMI (Plus Minus Interesting)C&S (Consequences and Sequel)AGO (Aims Goals Objectives)FIP (First Important Priorities)APC (Alternatives Possibilities Choices)OPV (Other Point of View)
How can thinking skills be taught?0 Specifically designed programmes (the skills method)0 Embedded in the curriculum (the infusion method)0 By chance (the traditional method)
The skills method“Those who believe that it is possible to teachthe skills of thinking directly, by means ofactivities and exercises designed to improvethinking techniques or basic thinking abilitywhich are independent of the subject matterthat makes up the rest of the curriculum” (MACLURE 1991)
Examples0 Feuerstein‟s Instrumental Enrichment0 Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT): de Bono0 The Somerset Thinking Skills Course0 Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (CASE)0 Philosophy for Children (Lipman & Fisher)
The infusion method“... seeks to make more effective thinking aself-conscious aim within the existingcurriculum ... devising strategies which willtransform the teaching of ordinary schooldisciplines in such a way as to focus onthinking and strengthen students‟ powers ofthought.” (MACLURE 1991)
The traditional method“Those who are interested in the applicationof cognitive knowledge to the teaching ofthinking but see thinking as a by product oftraditional disciplines and pedagogy, and whoremain agnostic about particular methods.” (MACLURE 1991)
A possible frameworkMcGuinness (1999) proposes that a general framework forteaching thinking should include: 0 making thinking skills explicit in the curriculum 0 adopting a coaching style to teach thinking 0 operating within a metacognitive perspective 0 developing collaborative learning in both face-to-face and computer-mediated learning 0 encouraging good thinking habits or general dispositions 0 generalising the framework beyond a narrow focus on special skills to encompass the whole curriculum and concepts of „thinking classrooms‟ and „thinking schools‟.
Thinking skills in the curriculum and the Design and Technology teacher1 Explore the opportunities that exist for secondary school pupils to demonstrate and develop their creative and critical thinking skills across the curriculum, referring to a range of subject areas*.2 Examine the concepts of creative and critical thinking in relation to Design and Technology in the secondary curriculum, drawing on your own personal experience and relevant literature.3 Explain how Design and Technology teachers can ensure that they capitalise on the special contribution that their subject makes to the development of creativity in the classroom, evaluating the effectiveness of current practice and suggesting ways in which this might be improved. *excluding D&T
Six Thinking HatsWhite Hat:Focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and seewhat you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either tryto fill them or take account of them.Red Hat:Look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Try to thinkhow other people will react emotionally; understand the responses ofpeople who do not fully know your reasoning.Black Hat:Look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it cautiously anddefensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important because ithighlights the weak points in a plan. It allows you to eliminate them, alterthem, or prepare contingency plans to counter them.
Six Thinking HatsYellow Hat:Think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all thebenefits of the decision and the value in it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you tokeep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.Green Hat:The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creativesolutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which thereis little criticism of ideas. A whole range of creativity tools can help youhere.Blue Hat:The Blue Hat stands for process control. Worn by people chairing meetings.When running into difficulties they may direct activity into Green Hatthinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will ask for Black Hatthinking, etc.
References0 DE BONO, E., 1971. The use of lateral thinking. Harmondsworth: Harmondsworth : Penguin.0 MACLURE, S., and DAVIES, P., 1991. Learning to think: thinking to learn: the proceedings of the 1989 OECD conference organised by the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. Oxford: Pergamon.0 MCGUINNESS, C., 1999. From thinking skills to thinking classrooms.0 WILSON, V. and SCOTTISH COUNCIL FOR RESEARCH IN EDUCATION, EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM), 2000. Can thinking skills be taught? Methods, 39, 6.2.
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