The ‘Brilliant’ Model

Based on his military training and service as a Vietnam vet, Dr Hewitt-Gleeson utilised this experience to design a “train-the-trainer” strategy for School of Thinking. He says the first time he was formally taught metacognition in the form of brain software was in the Australian Army. He was taught and drilled in the practical use of the 5 Paragraph Order – S.M.E.A.C.

“I still use SMEAC whenever I’m planning a project or mission for SOT and that’s 40 years later!”

Hewitt-Gleeson is a third generation Australian returned serviceman following his father and grandfather who both served in the 2nd AIF in World War II.

Hewitt-Gleeson contends that military science has evolved,  in a darwinian sense over thousands of years, certain robust training strategies. In Australia, compared to business training, our military training is far superior because of the pressure of a much stronger bottom line.


In the 1980s he was the first to apply these strategies to accelerate the dissemination and teaching of thinking skills in the Learn-To-Think Project in North America and on the internet. DARPA’s invention of the internet, itself, is a military invention.

SOT’s “train-the-trainer” model has now become the biggest and fastest growing movement in the world for teaching metacognition. When Edward de Bono first saw it he described Hewitt-Gleeson’s model as “brilliant“. He was a Professor of Investigative Medicine at Cambridge University in the UK and he appreciated the value of military training for developing metacognitive skills.

FACULTY                                                   DFQs

COMMENTS                                        STUDENTS


Since 1979, a unique innovation of the School of Thinking is that the students–as individuals and as a body–are also part of the faculty.

In response to the SOT daily feedback questions (DFQs) students around the world voluntarily contribute many thousands of comments on the SOT lessons and articles. Many insights, edits, suggestions, corrections and improvements result from this ongoing interactive and daily collaborative effort.

SOT students range widely from farmers, truck-drivers and retirees to young school students, teachers, parents, scholars and Nobel scientists to knowledge-workers in media, business, sport, politics and the arts, and from more than 50 countries worldwide.

As a result of all this collaborative work over the past 16 years, the SOT instruction model has evolved to become a very robust and effective training method for transferring metacognitive skills online, pro-bono, and at a distance.

In 2001, Wikipedia launched a similar model of an online encyclopedia where the readers also become the writers. This is also an example of a voluntary and collaborative non-profit online model which has proven to be very effective. One of Wilipedia’s innovations has been to add a Donation Button top their website for those who wish to support the pro bono model. SOT is considering testing their idea to see what happens. What do you think?

— Click for the Official SOT Roll of Thinking Instructors

The School of Thinking Dashboard for Thinkers is a single screen with all the SOT brain software.

It features all the SOT brain software, brain widgets and brain apps — the code, the two switches, the greyscale, the cap/hat, the XIO memeplex, the GBB, cybertime 24/7 and other SOT brain apps … all in one scrollable screen!

The purpose of the SOT dashboard is to give SOT members – “in a single screen” – a brainuser’s dashboard that can help them to make bad things good and good things better in their lives through the deliberate use of their SOT training and SOT tools.

Glass and Pipes

The creation of the SOT dashboard was inspired by a “glass and pipes” combination of two existing dashboards:

1. NASA’s design of The Glass Cockpit used by the hard-working space shuttle orbiters, and

2. the dashboard console of the mighty Grand Concert Organ at the Town Hall in Melbourne can produce anything from a delicate whistle to deafening thunder. Have a listen!

What I like about Kalevi Kiviniemi’s performance on this improvisation is that most organists would be intimidated by an instrument of this gigantic size. But just watch this guy kick its ass!

Imagine if you could play the thinker’s dashboard with the same virtuosity.

Source: – Sep 14, 2011
NASA has revealed its new design for a next-generation heavy-lift rocket, Space Launch System (SLS), a giant booster that will eventually carry astronauts on future deep space missions. The first test flight is targeted for the end of 2017.

The SLS will be the most powerful rocket so far, surpassing the capability of NASA’s Saturn V rockets, which carried astronauts to the moon during the Apollo program.


SOT members who have completed all 72 lessons in the following two SOT training programs are qualified to apply for the TISOT Certificate and have their name registered on the Roll of Thinking Instructors:

1.  BCT: Beyond Critical Thinking – 40 Lessons

2. L-MHG: Advanced Leadership Training – 32 lessons.

The Thinking Instuctors training can be undertaken by anyone and is under the personal direction of Michael Hewitt-Gleeson.

Pro bono: There are no fees for this training.

Application: If you wish to apply write to Michael by clicking here. article Sep 14, 2011:

Intuitively we’ve long worried about computer screens, televisions, mobile phones and other devices frying our children’s brains.

But it may not be the average seven hours or more a day they’re spending “connected” that is compromising their cognitive development, but the inactivity involved when kids – and adults – are glued to a screen.

Our researchers have, for the first time, isolated physical exercise as the key factor in triggering the production of new functional nerve cells, or neurons, in the mammalian brain – a process that takes place in the hippocampus, the centre of learning and memory.