Scenario-Six thinking hats

Access rights: 
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

Edward de Bono’s (1999) Six Thinking Hats is a widely adopted creativity technique in various fields, including education. Essentially, Six Thinking Hats provides directions for adopting different modes of thinking, characterized by six coloured hats: White, Red, Black, Yellow, Green, and Blue.Normally this creativity technique is applied in a group setting. Participants can wear real physical hats or imaginative ones (i.e., by asking all group members to utter loudly together the colour of the hat or presenting the image of the hat in a way perceivable by all of them). It is important that putting on and taking off hats is performed as explicit actions of gesturing or verbalizing. Also, group members should use the same colour hat simultaneously. By switching hats, participants can refocus or redirect their thoughts and interactions. Furthermore, the hats can be used in any order that is deemed appropriate and can be repeated as many times as necessary to address the issue at hand.The Six Thinking Hats technique has successfully been applied to teach STEM subjects and several advantages have been identified such as promoting creativity and problem solving, stimulating diversity of thoughts and empathy, etc.

Inquiry Learning Phases: 
Example ILS: Six Hats Approach for Archimedes' Principle ()
Apps in use: 

A simple note taking app for the students. This app automatically saves the notes for each student separately.Read more

General apps
App type: 
OpenSocial gadget
Orientation (Orientation)
Conceptualisation (Conceptualisation)
Investigation (Investigation)
Conclusion (Conclusion)
Discussion (Discussion)

Further reading

  • De Bono, E. (1999). Six thinking hats. London: Penguin.
  • Childs, P. (2012). Use of six hats in STEM subjects. In Proceedings of the High Education Academy STEM Learning and Teaching Conference, April 12, 2012, London, UK. doi: 10.11120/stem.hea.2012
  • Garner, A., & Lock. R (2010). Evaluating practical work using de Bono’s ‘Thinking hats’. SSR Science Notes, 91(337), 16-18
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