CoRT Thinking Programme

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    Each of the lessons in CoRT 1 is designed to encourage students to broaden their thinking.


    In the thinking of both children and adults, the dominant fault is often the tendency to take too narrow a view. An example of this would be to take up an instant judgment position on an issue without examining all the factors involved, before you reach, or make a decision.

    The lessons in CoRT 1 define attention areas into which thinking can be directed:

    Looking for plus and minus points

    Considering all factors


    Aims and objectives

    Assessing priorities

    Taking other people's views into account.

    By making the deliberate effort during the lessons to direct their thinking towards these areas, students can develop the habit of broadening their thinking.

    Research has shown that the use of these lessons can have a considerable effect in increasing the number of aspects of a situation that are considered.


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    The first five lessons in CoRT 2 deal with five common thinking operations.


    We begin by focusing on the subjects of deliberate attention, so that students can use them in an organised manner: asking specific questions and looking for specific answers.


    The next five lessons deal with the overall organisation of thinking so that it can be used in a deliberate and productive manner.


    The intention is to treat thinking as an organised operation rather than a discursive ramble in which one thing leads to another.

    Some of the lessons in the second half refer to processes learned in CoRT 1 (BREADTH) but the lessons can still be used even if CoRT 1 has not been taught, by omitting references to it.

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    CoRT 3 deals with two-people situations.

    The thinker is no longer looking directly at the subject matter but at someone elses thinking. The main area is that of argument, debate, conflict, opinion, etc.

    These lessons provide ways of assessing evidence.

    We also examine different strategies used to prove a point and the two main classes of error.

    There are two practical procedures for helping to solve conflicts;

    "Examine Both Sides (EBS)" and in the mapping operation called

    "Agreement, Disagreement, Irrelevance (ADI)."

    The aim of CoRT 3 is to encourage pupils to listen to what is being said and to assess its value.

    We are also encouraged to adopt a constructive approach to resolving arguments.

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    It is too often assumed that creative ideas come only from inspiration and that there is nothing else that can be done about it.

    This is a mistake. We all have the potential to be creative.

    CoRT 4 covers the basic creative techniques, procedures and attitudes.

    Creativity is treated as a normal part of thinking, involving processes that can be learned, practiced and applied in a deliberate manner.

    Some of the processes are concerned with the escape from imprisoning ideas. Others are concerned with the provocation of new ideas.

    We understand how "Problem definition" is an important part of creativity, as is the evaluation of "Suggested solutions".

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    Information and feeling underlie all thinking.

    Thinking depends on information and is strongly influenced by feeling.

    CoRT 5 deals with information processes, such as questions, clues, guessing, belief, ready-made opinions and the misuses of information.

    We also deal with emotions and values and the part these play when dealing with information..

    The aim of CoRT 5 is to encourage a definite awareness of these influences - not to change them.

    The students are also trained to recognise what information they have, what they still require and how to use information.

    The techniques used in each lesson are designed to develop detachment and observation.

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    In this set of ten lessons the structure takes the form of a framework.

    The purpose of the framework is to divide the total thinking process into definite stages.

    At each stage in the overall framework there is a definite thinking task to be carried out and a definite aim.

    This method simplifies thinking by both removing complexity and confusion.

    Without a framework everything tends to crowd in at once on the thinker, who tends to be overwhelmed by all the aspects of the situation. This can result in the thinker taking the easiest way out and useing a slogan, cliché or prejudice instead of thinking.

    The stages suggested in the framework are very simple and straightforward.

    At each stage the thinker concentrates on carrying out the task defined by that stage.

    To make the stages of the framework memorable each of them has been given an initial letter.

    These letters have been specially chosen so that they add up to a word that is catchy enough to be memorable.

    This is simply a mnemonic device.

    The total framework is called TEC-PISCO which stands for Target-Expand-Contract-Purpose-Input-Solutions-Choice-Operations.

    The choice of letters has to some extent been dictated by the need for them to add up to a pronounceable word. For example "decision" might have been more appropriate than "choice."




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