Some of the drive team recently attended a thinking skills conference organised by Thinking Schools International. The conference was an opportunity to attend workshops, share practice and reflect on what we already do in school. We attended workshops on thinking hats and questioning and also listened to keynote speakers discussing thinking skills as tools for academic progress.
Since the conference we have reviewed several elements of our practice and these were discussed at a Cognitive Drive Team meeting. We have adapted the way we use De Bono’s red hat thinking. We felt that we spent too much time on this hat in the past thus removing the “gut reaction” element of it. We will now aim to spend a maximum of 30 seconds on this hat.
We will also develop some staff training on questioning to strengthen our practice in this area.
We also discussed out general teaching of thinking skills and their integration into our curriculum. One of the key note speakers at the conference discussed how to effectively introduce children to thinking skills. He discussed research that suggests the best way to achieve this was a mixed approach. That is, explicit sessions teaching thinking skills in addition to thinking skills integrated into subject areas. This is consistent with what we currently do in school, so it was decided that we should continue this approach.