In 1982, Professor Edward de Bono was asked by his co-founder, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, to write out the benefits for School of Thinking members. Edward was asked what he personally thought were the value and growth attributes of graduates that were trained by the School of Thinking. In his letter he wrote:
“I would expect an SOT graduate to use thinking in a quiet and confident manner. I would expect that person to have pride in his or her thinking skill. I would expect that skill to be focused in a deliberate manner on whatever needed thinking about. In any situation I would expect a “thinking reaction” rather than a reaction based on emotion or experience alone. The thinking might make use of experience and emotion, but these would be part of the thinking instead of controlling it.
It is the deliberate application of thinking to both problems and opportunities that is most important. I would not expect that person to be right all the time but I would expect a conclusion based on objective thinking. An SOT trained person would not try to defend a point of view at all costs. There should be an ability to see other points of view and to consider the many factors involved. An untrained person will use thinking only to back up a chosen point of view, without exploring the subject. A trained thinker will use thinking first to explore the subject, then decide priorities and make a decision.
I would expect a trained person to possess a great deal of wisdom and common sense. This arises from an ability to see any situation in a broad perspective. Wisdom is quite distinct from the sort of cleverness that is taught in school. Cleverness may be alright for dealing with puzzles but wisdom is required for dealing with life. I would expect a trained person to get on with his or her work and to get along with other people. If things went wrong I would expect that person to think them through and to put them right without creating a fuss.
I would expect a trained person to be able to spell out the factors involved in a situation and the reasons behind a decision.
Above all, a person trained in thinking can be asked to think about something. He or she can be asked to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Thinking should have become a tool that can be used at will. The use of this tool should be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking is practical–the sort of thinking that is required to get things done!“
– Professor Edward de Bono, Co-founder of the School of Thinking.
Exerpt from the Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructors Manual
Â© 1982 Edward de Bono and Michael Hewitt-Gleeson de Saint-Arnaud, Capra New USA.
You can visit Edward de Bono’s personal site: http://www.edwarddebono.com
BACKGROUND: For eight years (1977 to 1984) Dr Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono collaborated to launch a project to get THINKING taught in schools as a school subject. This was the Learn-To-Think Project and was first published in their textbook The Learn-To-Think: Coursebook and Instructors Manual, ISBN 0-88496-199-0 which was co-authored by Hewitt-Gleeson and De Bono in 1982.
Their original textbook on thinking skills was featured as a cover story on all global editions of Readers Digest (article entitled Seven Steps to Better Thinking, April 1983) with a readership of 78 million readers in 70 countries and published in 21 languages. This global publication event was the widest ever distribution of thinking skills and remains so to this day.
To advance this project they created and co-owned several corporate entities: Edward de Bono & Associates Inc, New York (1977), The Cognitive Research and Training (CoRT) Foundation Inc, New York (1983) and The Edward de Bono School of Thinking Inc, New York (1983).
In 1983 they developed The Six Thinking Caps method for teaching thinking skills. In the Preface of a recent edition of Six Thinking Hats Edward de Bono acknowledges that their thinking hats method “may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past 2300 years”.
Today the School of Thinking (SOT) is an independent, pro bono school now based on the internet at www.schoolofthinking.org and operated from Melbourne by Hewitt-Gleeson. In 2009 SOT exported more than one million thinking lessons to members in over 50 countries.