Most people do not bother any more about their thinking than they do about walking or breathing. Thinking seems a natural enough process and one is happy with one's competence. There is, however, much more individuality in thinking styles and sufficient difference between individuals to suggest that thinking may be a skill about which something can be done. It is with this in mind that Edward de Bono designed the CoRT Thinking Lessons for schools. The earlier that children can be taught to think the greater advantage they will have to understand and assimilate other subjects.

"The CoRT Thinking Lessons are now the most widely used materials for the direct teaching of thinking as a basic skill. The lessons have been in use since 1970 and in the intervening years a great deal of experience in the direct teaching of thinking as a skill has been accumulated. I write this because it is not difficult to devise new programmes which seem exciting at first but which do not withstand the test of time and use. Excitement and novelty are no substitute for practicality and experience.

The CoRT Thinking Lessons, in six sections, are now in heavy use throughout the U.S.A., in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Malta. In Venezuela, after a year's pilot programme, the CoRT Thinking Lessons have been added on to the curriculum of every school in the country. A number of other countries have already expressed interest in following this example.

The Success of the CoRT Thinking Lessons has depended on two things: an increasing interest in the teaching of thinking as a basic skill and the practical, hands-on nature of the lessons.

There is a growing feeling amongst educators that thinking is a skill that should be given direct attention. It is felt that thinking is a skill that can be improved by focused attention and the practice of some basic skills. The old idea that skill in thinking is developed as the by-product of such subjects as Geography and History is no longer tenable. Some thinking skills concerned with the sorting of information can be taught as a by-product of such subjects but these are only part of the broad range of thinking skills required for life. For example, the thinking skills required for action must include consideration of priorities, objectives, other people's views and the like. Descriptive thinking is not enough.

It used to be felt that a person with a high IQ would necessarily be an effective thinker. This does not seem to be the case. Some people with high IQs turn out to be relatively ineffective thinkers and others with much more humble IQs are more effective. I have defined thinking as: The operating skill with which intelligence acts upon experience.

If IQ is the innate horsepower of a car then thinking skill is the equivalent to driving skill. Because of this realisation many schools for the exceptionally gifted are now using the CoRT Thinking Lessons in a deliberate attempt to avoid the "intelligence trap" which occurs when a high IQ is not accompanied by effective thinking skills.

To be effective thinking does require an information base. But it is absurd to suppose that if we have enough information it will do our thinking for us. Only in very rare instances can we ever have such complete information that thinking is superfluous. In most cases we have to supplement inadequate information by use of our thinking skills. I have lectured to hundreds of thousands of industrialists, scientists, engineers, architects, teachers, public servants, and many other groups. Again and again there arises the complaint that nowhere in their education had they been taught how to think.

There need not be any complicated mystique about thinking. The CoRT Lessons have been designed to be practical and usable, in a wide variety of situations ranging from the jungles of Venezuela to IBM corporate headquarters in Paris. They have been used in the elite schools and in schools in disadvantaged areas. On the whole they have been used by teachers who have not had any previous training in the use of the lessons. The basic format allows lessons to be used over a wide range of ages (6 years to adult) and abilities (IQs of 75 to 140). This is not as surprising as it may seem, for the CoRT Lessons are concerned with the basic thinking processes and these are the same for any age. The lessons are designed to be simple and practical.

"In teaching the CoRT Lessons the idiom is: simple, practical, clear, focused and serious." - Edward de Bono

The CoRT Thinking Lessons are divided into 6 Groups with ten lessons in each group.

The complete set of 60 lessons for Teachers and Students

  • CoRT 1 Breadth (10 lessons)
  • CoRT 2 Organisation (10 Lessons)
  • CoRT 3 Interaction (10 Lessons)
  • CoRT 4 Creativity(10 Lessons)
  • CoRT 5 Information & Feeling(10 Lessons)
  • CoRT 6 Action (10 Lessons)

visit www.cortthinking.com for the complete course.