The “six thinking hats” describe a particular way of thinking about problems and decisions. It was first coined by Edward de Bono in his book Six Thinking Hats. De Bono’s six thinking hats are intended to stimulate thought and creativity by forcing people to think about problems from different perspectives. Problem-solving with the six thinking hats can help people think more creatively, critically, and objectively.
The six thinking hats are:
#1: White Hat
The white hat represents pure logic and facts. Students look at the problem from an objective, rational perspective when wearing the white hat. They are not considering emotions or personal biases; they are just looking at the cold hard facts. These types of students will always follow their heads instead of their hearts. For instance, when faced with a difficult decision, a student wearing the white hat will look at all the pros and cons before deciding.
#2: Red Hat
The red hat means these students prioritize emotion and intuition. The red hat also means “gut feelings.” When a student is a red hat thinker, they usually follow their heart instead of their head. So, if a student feels strongly about an issue, they’ll likely vote based on their emotions rather than logic. An example of a red hat thinker is someone who supports a cause because it tugs at their heartstrings, even if they don’t necessarily have all the facts.
#3: Black Hat
The black hat symbolizes caution and skepticism. Students who “wear” the black hat are often very critical thinkers. They tend to see the negative side of every issue and are always looking for ways things could go wrong. Also, they are often pessimistic and tend to be quite cautious in all aspects. Black hat thinkers tend to point out all the potential risks associated with a decision before coming to a conclusion.
#4: Yellow Hat
The yellow hat represents optimism and positive thinking, the opposite of the black hat. Students who “wear” the yellow hat see the glass as half full instead of half empty. They are hopeful and look for the best in every situation and will always be the positive ones in the given case. During certain situations, yellow hat thinkers will be the ones to try and find the silver lining.
#5: Green Hat
The green hat is all about creative thinking and new ideas. When students opt for the green hat, they’re open to new possibilities and thinking outside the box. These thinkers are often very creative and come up with unique solutions to problems. These thinkers often work best when paired with black hat thinkers, as the black hats can help ground the green hats’ sometimes-wild ideas.
#6: Blue Hat
The blue hat is the thinking hat. It represents cool, calm, and collected thinking. The blue hat is all about thinking things through and looking at the problem from all angles. These types of thinkers are often very methodical and systematic in their thinking. For example, they might create a step-by-step plan to solve a problem and often work best when paired with green hat thinkers, as the green hats can help provide new and innovative ideas.
So, those are the six thinking hats! As you can see, the hats represent different styles of thinking. And each type of thinker has its own strengths and weaknesses. So, when it comes to making decisions, it’s often best to have a mix of all six types of thinkers on your student’s teams. That way, you can ensure that all angles have been covered and that the best decision is made.
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