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CoRT 1 Breadth Thinking …

A Tool to Strengthen Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication Skills



"...CoRT is straightforward, ingenious, and quite easy to apply. Intelligence can be taught with CoRT." --David Perkins, Ph.D

Educators and administrators around the world have been learning, teaching, and applying these CoRT Thinking Tools for over 25 years. Read the introduction here.

There are 10 quick thinking tools in this tool kit. Let's take a look:


CoRT poster - Breadth Thinking Tools Breadth Thinking Tools

Learn to become an excellent lifelong thinker.

Think of a person setting out to learn to be a carpenter. Each carpenter's tool is designed to carry out a specific function. The carpenter learns when and how to use each of the tools one-by-one. A lot of practice is required to become a skilled carpenter. Learning to become a skilled thinker is the same approach: to make the basic operations of thinking second nature so that they are carried out automatically, smoothly, and without fuss or effort.

You are going to learn a new vocabulary to help direct your thinking attention. Each thinking tool has a name--one word or short acronym that's easy to remember. For example--CAF is pronounced "caf" and stands for consider all factors, PMI is pronounced "p," "m," "i" and stands for Plus, Minus, Interesting.

Key Points:
  • Think using one thinking tool at a time.
  • There is no one right order to these thinking tools.
  • Use the thinking tools that make sense for your thinking challenge.
  • The tools emphasize thinking as a deliberate act rather than a reactive one.
  • The tools are designed to be used objectively with an open mind--to broaden perception instead of defending a particular view.

You should know more about and have a broader view of each thinking situation after applying any of these tools than you had before you started. You should be more complete in your thinking.



Everything You Need to Teach CoRT 1 Breadth Thinking Tools: for learners aged 8-Adult


80850--CoRT Thinking Lessons--CoRT 1 Breadth Thinking Tools: The Complete Learning, Planning, and Teaching Guide for Teachers, Administrators, and Home Schoolers, Edward de Bono, 198 pages. Click here to read the contents and introduction section PDF. Buy Now

80851 Student Notes CoRT 1 Breadth Thinking Tools: Easy to Follow Learning Guide for Students Aged 8-Adult, Edward de Bono, 20 pages. Buy Now

80852 PowerPoint Presentation CoRT 1 Breadth Thinking Tools: Designed for busy faculty members, and professional development consultants, this presentation can be used right away. Buy Now

80853 A Thinker's Journal CoRT 1 Note Paper The Personal Assistant to Support Excellent Thinking. Buy Now

80803 CoRT 1 Breadth Thinking Tools Pocket/Wallet Cards--a handy lifelong reference tool. Buy Now

70851 Cuaderno de notas para el alumno--Spanish translation for Student Notes. Buy Now


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 learners 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.


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 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 you 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.


CoRT Thinking Lessons

  1. Make a great professional development event for faculty, administrators, and board members. It helps to start at the top with education thought leaders. Check out our public events schedule.
  2. Challenge “gifted” students and strengthen “remedial” students.
  3. Equip students with practical tools to become excellent lifelong thinkers--creative, constructive, critical, and productive.
  4. Helps students learn to think things through before acting.
  5. Enable schools to infuse the teaching of thinking across all age and ability levels.
  6. Help develop specific thinking skills to improve performance in all subject areas.
  7. Help to improve yearly assessment scores.
  8. Provide structured discussion tools for group work.
  9. Strengthen MBA student performance.
  10. Are perfect to equip administrators, faculty, and board members needing to resolve challenging education issues in new ways with tight budgets.


Thinking Tools