Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probably reason why so few engage in it.

                                                                                                    Henry Ford

As parents, as teachers, as a society, one of the most important things we can encourage our children to become, is thinkers.  

In particular, complex thinkers.  We often call complex thinking Higher Order Thinking (HOT).  

One of the keys to Higher Order Thinking is Critical or Analytical thinking.  We want children to be reflective, critical thinkers and not just blindly accept what they see and hear.  They need to have the ability to verify information, to be able to detect bias and make decisions based on sound information or research.  Equally important is the ability to be creative and not simply redo what others have done before them.  Finally, it is important to show a caring attitude towards themselves and towards others.  

Complex thinking then involves analytical thinking in three areas - 

Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking and Caring Thinking.  

Critical Thinking is about applying appropriate rules, criteria, standards, reasons and orders.  It is about decision making, planning, predicting, communicating.  It has links to de Bono’s Blue Hat and White Hat thinking.

Creative Thinking is about inventing, imagining and proposing.  It has links to de Bono’s Green Hat thinking.  

Caring Thinking is about thinking with your heart, thinking about your personal values and thinking about others.




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