School of Thinking

Why a School of Thinking?

The School of Thinking seeks to make a difference in the world.

Since it’s foundation in New York in 1979, School of Thinking has disseminated over a half a billion thinking lessons worldwide. It is the first and oldest school on the internet and went online in 1995.

Today, SOT lessons are still open access and exported, from Australia, to members in more than 51 countries … 24/7/365.


How does the School of Thinking model work?

The School of Thinking is independent. It has an all-inclusive, swinging-door, opt-in/opt-out membership policy. Members come and go as they please. Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. In 1995 SOT became the first online school on the internet.

Our viral training strategy has always been train-the-trainer. We are the longest-running program in the world and have been training Thinking Instructors continuously since 1980.

With whom is SOT affiliated?

SOT is free. It is an independent school. And so are the Thinking Instructors. SOT is not beholden to corporate sponsors, government grants nor to fundraisers. We do not have to meet public shareholders expectations. There is no cardinal, no censor, no imprimatur to tell us what we can say and what we cannot say. We use Wikipedia as our primary hyperlink resource for trainee due diligence and independent research.

DFQs = Daily Feedback

We also use DFQs – the daily feedback of our virtual campus – to inform our daily publishing effort. As a primary resource for our members SOT provides the coursebook, the lessons and training and the certificate for those who successfully complete the training and we list them on our Roll of Instructors. After that, Thinking Instructors are on their own and free to think for themselves, to experiment and to operate as they please.

As you would expect, SOT is neither traditional nor authoritative and does not seek to dictate a sets of rules for members to follow. The model is darwinian. It is is laissez-faire.

SOT does not offer to provide or manage affiliate programs or online community fora. Thinking Instructors are free to use the SOT tools within their own networks to start, train and lead their own independent groups with families, businesses, schools and communities and according to their own levels of energy and initiative.

SOT’s simple and robust design has proved to be a very successful model for long-term survival and with a less-inhibiting, faster and much wider spread of influence.

How do SOT members stay involved?

Since 1980 we’ve published weekly SOT newsletters as a regular resource. We keep members and instructors supplied with a steady flow of hyperlinked information, research, resources and ideas.

Practise. Repetition. Rehearsal. (PRR)

PRR is one of the four basic codes of SOT brain software (SDNT cvs2bvs QRH PRR). Members are encouraged to repeat the lessons as often as they can. Instructors may repeat the training anywhere and at anytime and also direct their students to SOT for online training 24/7.

We have three levels of training. Undergraduate, Graduate and Postgraduate.

There are SOT members and Instructors in over 50 countries since 1980. They are operating in boardrooms and on the shop floor. They work in universities and classrooms. They are parents, friends, professionals and adolescents.

There are now new cohorts of SOT Instructors in China, Italy and Brazil.

If SOT is independent then who funds SOT?

The SOT Model was created by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson in 1979 and its design has been continuously evolved since then and privately funded by him with proceeds from his publishing, lecturing and consulting activities to business, government and academic institutions.

We have maintained our independence for over 35 years and have been able to survive the rapidly changing environment during this time by using this simple but robust train-the-trainer darwinian viral replication model.

In 2013 we began our evolution into the next phase. We have a new business partner who is helping to fund the program to disseminate the next half billion lessons.



The School of Thinking is the only school in the world that utilises the hyperlink to accelerate the teaching of metacognition. It is the largest neuroplastic program in the world for:

  • teaching “thinking skills” and

  • teaching “teaching thinking skills”.

Edward de Bono, when first seeing the SOT model for the dissemination and teaching of thinking skills, described it as “brilliant”.

  • This school is pro-science, pro-business and pro-family. It operates in a non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-political precinct in cyberia.

  • School of Thinking (SOT) is an independent school for the direct teaching of thinking, creativity, innovation, thought leadership and cognitive science.

  • There are School of Thinking (SOT) Certificates in three levels – Undergraduate, Graduate and Postgraduate.

  • SOT training is available on an opt-in/opt-out basis for those who are interested. You may opt-in for training and lessons or opt-out at any time you choose.

  • The four main benefits to members are better: wealth, health, productivity and security.

In 2012, more than one million thinking lessons were exported online from Melbourne, Australia to SOT members in the following 46 countries: Australia, United States, United Kingdom, India, Canada, New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Netherlands, Germany, Philippines, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Ireland, Sweden, Japan, Belgium, Uganda, France, Mexico, Nigeria, Finland, Israel, Korea, Republic of, Norway, Czech Republic, Italy, The Vatican, Egypt, Brazil, Europe, Austria, New Caledonia, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Luxembourg, Thailand, Macedonia, Cameroon, Azerbaijan, Qatar and The Bahamas.

35 years ago I had an idea. That idea was to start a Learn-To-Think Project to train 300,000 ‘teachers of thinking’ around the world. I shared this idea with Edward de Bono who suggested we call this project the Edward de Bono School of Thinking and so we kicked it off in New York in 1979.

This project was so successful that it has led to the largest program in the world for the teaching of thinking skills in families, classrooms and boardrooms.

Even in China they are now training ‘teachers of thinking’ because they are beginning to realise that China’s greatest asset may be the potential brainpower of its families.

In business in the 80s, CEOs like Jack Welch of GE were among the first to see the value of innovation which could come from the brainpower of GE’s knowledge-workers. Since then, other companies like Apple and Google have followed suit and developed employee brainpower to deliver extra value to their shareholders.

Over the years, this Learn-To-Think Project has published an evolving range of cognitive technologies including CoRT thinking skills, Thinking Hats, universal brain software (cvs2bvs), English Thinking and the x10 memeplex.

In 1995 I put the School of Thinking (SOT) on the internet. This was the first school on the internet. It was also the first school ever to use hypertexttext with hyperlinks – as a teaching tool. We believe hypertext is one of the cleverest learning tools of the www era.

SOT began to send out millions of pro bono thinking lessons by email to students in over 50 countries worldwide and it still does this every day. Employees receive the lessons for free. We charge employers a modest fee. These brain technologies have reached over 100 million people worldwide since 1979.

In those first days the ethos of the internet was “Information wants to be free!” and SOT became the world’s first school for teaching thinking to anyone, anywhere and at anytime.

As Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW puts it, “The spirit of the internet was not one of patents and royalties but of academic openness”. In 1997 SOT won the coveted ‘Top 5% of the Web Award’.


Today, SOT is the world’s oldest and largest program for the teaching of THINKING AS A SKILL. It is an online school whose mission is “Teaching the world to think”. There are two strategies for accomplishing this mission:

Members start off with x10 THINKING and then they may proceed to further advanced training. The training is designed to help each trainee to become a skilled thinker through daily practice in speed thinking, creative thinking, positive thinking, lateral thinking and new brain software.

This training is provided because it goes beyond judgement to design thinking. It helps to provide a balance to hard-edged, religious ‘critical thinking’–the 2,500 year old Aristotelian Logic and Platonic Truth which was exported by Europe, with missionary zeal, around the world during the last milenium and which so dominates Western thinking.

Today, thousands of SOT members in over 50 countries from diverse cultures, careers and age groups received their email lessons. Some surf the lessons on a superficial level, others wade through each one slowly and academically and, of course, there is every other kind of utility in between.

Like an intellectual smorgasbord, members take from the training what they are ready to take and they apply the brain software – neuroware – in their own way and on their own terms. Nothing is ever imposed on them, however, each individual member does get his or her lesson from Michael every single day!

  • SOT training changes lives.

  • In 1979, SOT originated the strategy of not just teaching thinking skills but training ‘teachers of thinking’ which has became the world’s largest movement for the teaching of thinking in schools.

  • In 1983, SOT originated the method of using ‘thinking caps’ for the teaching of thinking skills of which Edward de Bono wrote in Six Thinking Hats: “may well be the most important change in human thinking in the past 2300 years”.

  • SOT also originated the concept of ‘brain software’ for the teaching of thinking skills worldwide and for raising innovation intelligence. The basic brain software taught by SOT can be stated in ten keystrokes as cvsx10=bvs and has been described as “the simplest idea in the world” .

  • SOT designed, built and operates the The Core Subject which is the world’s fastest platform for raising the innovation intelligence of an enterprise–a family, a school, a corporation or a city or a nation.

To opt-in and get involved go to and enrol with your name and email address if you want to start getting your First Ten Lessons. You can, of course, opt-out at anytime.

The Golden Rule: Never share private information! Ever!

2 thoughts on “FAQs about SOT

  1. Using the strategy of design thinking instead of, or in addition to judging, to me one of the most useful ideas i have ever encountered. Brilliant!

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