How students learn
Thinking and mind tools
Thinking tools can provide a scaffold to help students to think with more depth and structure, and can be very valuable in giving students a framework for individual and group problem solving.
There are many examples of thinking and mind tools which can be effectively used in educational contexts: for example, you've probably heard of the de Bono 6 Hats thinking strategy, and everyone's heard of brain-storming.
It's important to select the right tool for the particularly educational activity, and to scaffold the students' use of the tool carefully. You'll probably find that an approach which works well in one context is not really effective in another - keep careful note of what works with your students at various levels and in a range of problem solving activities.
We have prepared a resource which outlines the use of a number of thinking tools, including:
- Y charts
- PMI charts
- De Bono's 6 Hats
- 3-2-1 Thinking
In this resource, you'll see guidelines on best use of the tool in teaching, ideas on putting the tool into practice in Health education, and links to further resources.