In education, the term "metacognition" describes thinking about thinking. Within mathematics, the term "metacomputation" describes thinking about computational methods and tools (Shumway, 1994). This article shows how the Six Thinking Hats can be used to demonstrate metacognition and metacomputation in the primary classroom. Following are suggested teaching and learning sequences for developing these concepts, using Dr de Bono's hats as graphic organisers.
A Melbourne primary school recently adopted Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats across all grade levels as an adjunct to their meta-cognitive curriculum. First, each hat and its thinking style was introduced individually progressing to the introduction of hat sequences. Figure 1 illustrates all Six Thinking Hats by colour and type of thinking identified as relevant to the mathematics curriculum in no particular order.
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While the Thinking Hats can be organised into different sequences of any number and in any order, certain sequences work better than others do. It is recommended that Yellow Hat be presented first in order to "set the stage for innovation", while presenting Red Hat after Green Hat is recommended for "prioritising key areas" and "discarding others" (McQuaig, 2005).
A source reference currently used by this primary school is Teaching Thinking Skills in the Primary …