It is a shameful and disappointing fact that two official biographies of Edward de Bono have been published in Australia (one by an English author and one by an Australian author) yet BOTH stories conceal the true story of The Edward de Bono School of Thinking which was co-founded by an Australian working in partnership for 7 years with Edward de Bono himself!
This omission is not only unprofessional but is also a pity for Australian readers because this ‘secret’ story is not only colourful and interesting in itself but is foundational to the biography of Edward de Bono and the story of ‘teaching the world to think’. To hide this story is to wilfully mislead the public record.
Today, this story is out of the closet. It was commissioned by the School of Thinking and written under contract from the point 0f view of an SOT student and was based on interviews with three of the four co-founders, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Eric Bienstock and Alexandra Noble. The fourth co-founder, Edward de Bono, was invited to participate but did not do so. You can read it by clicking here.
In New York on 17 November 1979, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono founded The Edward de Bono School of Thinking in the USA. Shortly after that, Eric Bienstock and Janie Noble also became Founding Directors. These four directors were the primary stewards and builders of SOT during the first five years of The Edward de Bono School of Thinking from 1979 to 1984.
From the first meeting in New York, EDBSOT went on to establish the Learn-To-Think Project which was to reach over 60 million people and become the biggest program in the world ever to teach thinking skills to education, business and public sectors.
From 1979, under Dr Hewitt-Gleeson’s direction–using its famous stopwatches and bells–the School of Thinking trained many thousands of people around the US and also installed thinking skills into school districts, corporations and government organisations. By 1984 ‘teaching thinking’ in US schools had become, according to the New York Times, the biggest new trend in education.
PAUL MACCREADY JR, Inventor of the Gossamer Albatross and father of man-powered flight (1982):
“When first watching an SOT thinking class in action I was amazed that something so simple and so much fun could be so quick and effective in developing a person’s ‘thinking muscle’. We all, as individuals and caretakers of our precious earth, need these thinking skills.”