This semester I have introduced and constantly use DeBono’s thinking hats in my class. I ask students to put on their black critical analysis hat or to put on their green alternatives hat. When a student asks a question, I identify which hat the student is using. Ive found that using the 6 hats (white-data/facts; red- emotion; black- critical/negative; yellow -positive’s; green – alternatives; and blue – overview/process/reflection) creates a structured approach to their thinking about something. I can say “We think of other ways of doing this” so use your green hat. Therefore, there can be no negativity, no emotion, no facts, no positive, only alternative thinking. Students feel uncomfortable at first in compartmentalizing their thinking but they do become better thinkers.
How do you help your students to think more critically?