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De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats: Differentiation strategies


Using De Bono’s Six Thinking hats techniques as a strategy in DIFFERENTIATION

Learning Intention: As a provocation for the new topic about an inquiry into how government’s decision impacts the community, Success Criteria:

  • students are able to use De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats in a situated case
  • students are able to organoize their thinking in any form of presentation

Learning Engagement: 

Starter (15 minutes)

  • Introduction to De Bono’s Thinking Hats
  •  explanation of the activity (Students are given a simple case of how to make the classroom be better learning environment. They need to think differently by using the six thinking hats)
  • Grouping system (consist of six people in a group), one person has a role to be one of the six thinking hats

(Eliciting: ask students’ understanding if they have already understood of what they need to do)

Main Activity (Hands on activity)

Students in group were engaged in organizing their thinking hats

Students were busy thinking based on their thinking hats. After finished thinking, students in group need to organize their thinking hats into a free form presentation.


All of the groups decided to use a visual presentation to express themselves.

All the students enjoyed the activity. The interesting part was when they tried to combine many ideas from different perspectives of thinking into one package of presentation. 

Some visual arts students helped the others who could not make the hats.

 De bono’s six thinking hat as a strategy to explore different perspectives.

De Bono's Thinking Hats enable all students express their mind based on their hats. All students can involve. Differentiation occured.

White Hat: With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from it.

Red Hat: ‘Wearing’ the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. Try to understand the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning

Black Hat: Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important because it highlights the weak points in a plan. It allows you to eliminate them, alter them, or prepare contingency plans to counter them.

Yellow Hat: The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.

Green Hat: The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little criticism of ideas.

Blue Hat: The Blue Hat stands for process control. This is the hat worn by people chairing meetings. When running into difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may direct activity into Green Hat thinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will ask for Black Hat thinking, etc.

I was so great to see this technique works in my classroom. After this activity, I am sure the students are ready to use the thinking hats for some more complex issues and decisions. Because next activity, the students are going to explore some government’s decisions and analyze them through manyt different perspectives, of course, using DE BONO’S SIX THINKING HATS.

May 19th, 2011

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2 thoughts on “De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats: Differentiation strategies

  1. Hai, saya Nona dan sangat tertarik dengan program de Bono Anda. Saya mendengar dari teman bahwa di sekolah Global Jaya juga mengajarkan Six Thinking Hats. Setelah saya browsing saya menemukan Anda sebagai pengajarnya. Apakah ini termasuk dalam kurikulum sekolah Global Jaya? Karena saya ingin kedua keponakan saya juga mempelajarinya? Mereka berumur 12 dan 13 tahun. Berapa lama dan berapa biayanya? Apakah bentuknya kursus?

  2. Hai, nama saya Nona Tamnge. Saya mendengar dari teman bahwa di sekolah Global Jaya mengajarkan Six Thinking Hats. Saya kemudian browsing dan menemukan blog Anda. Apakah ini termasuk kurikulum sekolah Global Jaya? Saya mempunyai 2 orang keponakan (umur 12 an 13 tahun) dan saya ingin mereka mempelajari teknik ini. Apakah Anda memberikan kursus? Berapa lama dan berapa biayanya? Terima kasih.

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