Co-founders: Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono

“The Clever Country” mission of the School of Thinking has been to get thinking taught on the Australian school curriculum as a core subject.


40 years ago, the School of Thinking (SOT) was founded in New York on 17 November, 1979, by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono. Since then, SOT has disseminated over half a billion thinking lessons to 51 countries.

Edward de Bono and Michael Hewitt-Gleeson in New York in 1980

SOT pedagogy is founded on Dr Hewitt-Gleeson’s idea of ‘thinking instructors’.

Michael’s idea is brilliant. He is also a brilliant teacher! – Edward de Bono, Co-founder

In 1982 they co-authored the School of Thinking blueprint for training thinking instructors and published Learn-To-Think: Coursebook and Instructor’s Manual, ISBN 0884961990.

In 1983 they co-designed a method for teaching thinking skills called Six Thinking Caps. Edward de Bono claims that their thinking caps method “may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past 2300 years”. Edward de Bono later developed the method and published his book version called Six Thinking Hats. It became a classic best-seller.

In 2000, after his 50th birthday, Michael added The Seventh Hat for Wisdom. It’s a Grey (Gray) hat and the only hat that cannot be taught. It has to be acquired.


Today, after 40 years of teaching the world to think, there are more than 6.6 million thinking instructors in the world. Over 3 million in primary schools and over 3.5 million in secondary schools.

Many are still teaching the Six Thinking Hats method originally developed by the co-founders of the School of Thinking in 1983. It was Edward de Bono who then wrote the book on the idea and no-one has done more to promote it successfully around the world.

In 2020 there is a growing high level movement in London to ask the Queen to use her fons honorum to create Sir Edward de Bono to be a knight bachelor. I can think of no-one in the field of thinking whose work deserves it more. Edward once told me he enjoyed fantasising about being King of Australia. As a thought experiment. So, I’m sure he would very much enjoy being a real Knight of Britain. Long live Sir Edward!

Dr Edward de Bono in London.

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