CoRT Thinking | Edward De Bono | Teaching Lessons
The CoRT Thinking Lessons were first published in 1974 – there must be many millions of people who have benefited. CoRT stands for Cognitive Research Trust. CoRT can also be regarded as being short for cortex where all thinking takes place in the brain. The objective is to help students’ master lifelong thinking skills that will help them in any situation. Once you’ve taught each tool to your students you will be able to customize each lesson to meet your specific needs.
A Message from Edward de Bono
CoRT Thinking Lessons have been taught in schools since the mid 1970s. They have since become the most widely used school materials for the
direct teaching of thinking as a basic skill worldwide. All of this experience has contributed to developing CoRT Thinking Lessons that
1. Are practical and hands-on in nature.
2. Can be taught as a separate subject–thinking skills–or embedded in existing curriculum to strengthen student learning and develop independent thinkers.
3. Are focused on equipping students to become effective, open-minded thinkers–critical, creative, constructive, and comprehensive.
4. Address the increasing interest and recognition for the need to teach thinking as a basic skill along with reading, writing, and mathematics; the traditional basics.
5. Can be used in a wide variety of situations from schools in disadvantaged areas to elite schools to students being home schooled.
6. Appeal to a wide range of ages (6-adult) and abilities (IQs of 75-140).
It used to be felt that a person with a high IQ would naturally be an effective thinker. This doesn’t seem to be the case. Some people with high IQs turn out to be relatively ineffective thinkers. Some
people with much more humble IQs turn out to be more effective thinkers. Here is my definition of thinking:
“The operational skill with which intelligence acts upon experience.”
For example, if IQ is equivalent to the horsepower of a car then thinking skill is equivalent to driving skill.
Just because a car has huge horsepower doesn’t mean the car will be driven well. It takes a skilled driver. This important realization has led many schools for the exceptionally gifted to teach CoRT Thinking Lessons as a deliberate attempt to help their gifted students avoid the “intelligence trap” which occurs when a high IQ is not accompanied by effective thinking skills. The general method used is what I call the “glasses method.” If you have poor eyesight you cannot see the world clearly. With glasses you can see the world more clearly. As a result your actions can be more appropriate and your behavior more effective. Experience has shown that students who learn these thinking tools develop a much broader view of situations. They are more complete in their thinking.
The CoRT PROGRAMME/LESSONS.
Thinking is as much a skill as tying a shoelace, riding a bicycle or playing football. When we neglect to treat thinking as a skill we are relying on raw intelligence and knowledge to carry out the thinking function—this is rather like relying on a player’s reach and the tennis racquet to play tennis for the player.
Intellectual virtuosity as such is definitely not an aim of CoRT.
Brilliant mental gymnastics as such are often of little practical value except to delight and dazzle.
There are people who can think brilliantly about everything except what they really need to think about!
It is a CoRT aim to encourage students to feel that they can think about anything that is put before them – but in a practical and sober way.
For instance, in the Experimental Results section is described the effect of some CoRT lessons on the thinking about the suggestion that everyone should spend one year doing social work after leaving school.
Before the lessons there was a great deal of idealism with only positive points being considered. After the lessons the thinking was more balanced and there was far more consideration of administrative difficulties and the like.
CoRT aims to get students to look at thinking objectively instead of regarding it as based on ego and emotion.
Students should be able to be cool and critical about their own thinking and dispassionately observant of the thinking of others.
Emotions do have a real value – in fact they are the ultimate value. But emotions should be based on good thinking and not become a substitute for it.
The CoRT aims could be summarised as follows:
1. To acknowledge thinking as a skill.
2. To develop the skill of practical thinking.
3. To encourage students to look objectively at their own thinking and the thinking of others
Find more information follow this link – http://www.debonoforschools.com/pdfs/80850_CoRT1_Introduction_Section.pdf