Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Creative Feedback Matters

Beyond Bloom, there are other ways of assessing the effectiveness of an argument or idea. Sometimes the only way to move forward from that point is to think 'outside of the bag'!

In my work in gifted education, we used a number of Edward de Bono's thinking models. Here's how the '6 Thinking Hats' might apply to responding to blog posts (or to solving a problem, or to planning an event...).

The White Hat is cold, neutral, and objective, like the lone ranger or a construction foreman. Take time to look at the facts.
• How do the ideas stack up against the realities of today's classrooms?
• Can our networks, computers, teachers handle things?
• Are policies impacted? Are new guidelines needed?

The Red Hat represents passion. Take time to listen to your emotions, your intuition.
• Why must we worry about? Why can't we do it?
• What effect will funding realities have on the project?
• Will past experiences have a positive or negative impact?

The Black Hat is gloomy and negative. Take time to look at why this will fail. Think like Darth Vader, or the calculating police officer.
• What are the barriers to consider?
• What technological gaps need to be filled?
• Why will teachers respond negatively?

The Yellow Hat is sunny and positive. Take time to be hopeful and optimistic, like Curious George's man in the yellow hat…
• How will this idea make things better?
• Who will be engaged by the project/plan/idea?
• What are the short and long term benefits?

The Green Hat is grass, fertile and growing. Take time to be creative and cultivate new ideas.
• Where might this take us in 5 years?
• What tools do we need to get there?
• What supports will be needed to ensure teachers and students are successful?

The Blue Hat is the color of the sky, high above us all. Take time to look from a higher and wider perspective to see whether you are on the right path.
• Think globally, nationally, provincially, locally...
• Think of where this fits in the 'big picture' or 'system plan'.
• Is there a fit with guiding policies and vision statements?

From my experience, there are a few keys in making effective use of this thinking tool:
1] Everyone is more comfortable thinking from one common colour/style/hat... forcing yourself to think in new ways is good for personal growth.
2] All members of a team should consider things from the same perspective at any on time (i.e., "We are all now thinking from the sunny perspective of the yellow hat.").
3] In considering any big question or issue, group members should rotate through all six perspectives.


Paul Bogush said...

This is super -- I have had kids do group presentations in which each kid "wore" one of the hats.