This blog explores hexagonal thinking, a method that bolsters students’ critical thinking by fostering analysis, comprehension, problem-solving, teamwork, and inquiry-based learning.

Critical thinking is an often undervalued skill that can frequently be linked with later life success. Unlike some other talents, this is a skill that individuals can be taught, and the earlier, the better.

Introducing teaching practices in higher education that inculcate critical thinking skills in students is now being seen as a very important practice. One such method is Hexagonal Thinking.

Hexagonal thinking aims to help an individual connect the dots. Imagine a hive (yes, the bee kind), and each hexagon is connected to the next. Together, they form a web and function together as a unit.

Similarly, hexagonal thinking places ideas, situations, or information on several hexagons. Students are required to find the nuances in each and interconnect them. A deeper dive might be needed here to better understand the concept.

Table of Contents:

  1. Importance of Critical Thinking Skills
  2. Understanding Hexagonal Thinking
  3. How Does Hexagonal Thinking Boost Critical Thinking Skills?
  4. Methods to Introduce Hexagonal Thinking into a Classroom
  5. Critical Thinking: Way to Long-Term Success

Importance of Critical Thinking Skills

Imagine being stuck in a problem and not solving your way out of it! It sounds like a nightmare

However, if you are someone with well-developed critical thinking skills, this is not a problem you will ever have to face. Critical thinking is the key to making your own path and leading a successful life.

Whether you are trying to resolve a conflict or just making day-to-day decisions, you need to practice critical thinking. Thus, there is no one reason why one should develop critical thinking skills.

Every aspect of individual lives requires people to be able to analyze a situation and create original solutions. Critical thinking is the basis of both science and society. Unfortunately, it is lacking in the public at large.

A suggestion across the board is to introduce methods that promote critical thinking during curriculum development. One such very popular teaching method is hexagonal thinking.

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Understanding Hexagonal Thinking

Hexagonal thinking is a visual teaching method. Imagine a hexagon; it has six sides, right? Place an item on each side. Imagine multiple such hexagons, with each side representing an item. You can only connect the sides of one hexagon to another if they are related in some way. 

As you add more and more hexagons of ideas to the mix, you get a web of interconnected ideas. To do this, you need to think outside the box. You must be able to analyze the topic at hand, find every dimension and nuance associated with it, and connect it with other elements it shares similarities with.

Created by Betsy Potash, hexagonal thinking, like many other popular teaching methods, is a B-school export. Although students can work individually on exercises, their true power is unleashed when working in groups. Thus, not only does it encourage cognitive flexibility, but it also promotes teamwork.

How Does Hexagonal Thinking Boost Critical Thinking Skills?

Although it might just be evident from learning how hexagonal thinking works, here is a list of key highlights on how hexagonal thinking boosts critical thinking skills:

  1. It teaches students to interconnect concepts and ideas.
  2. Learning concepts using hexagonal thinking goes beyond rote, thus promoting better comprehension of a subject.
  3. It teaches students to analyze first before blindly learning facts.
  4. It builds a cohesive understanding of related concepts and draws connections between them.
  5. Hexagonal thinking helps develop the habit of considering multiple perspectives when dealing with a topic, further promoting creative problem-solving.
  6. As hexagons are a visual tool, students find it easier to recall required concepts and connect them whenever necessary.
  7. It teaches students to map out concepts in their minds, and based on this principle of connecting ideas, forming a larger picture becomes the norm.
  8. To be able to find connections and analyze an idea, which is the norm, students’ depth of understanding of a problem automatically increases.
  9. It promotes debates and discussions, a key part of building community-based critical thinking skills.
  10. It promotes inquiry-based learning, a key factor in enhancing critical thinking in individuals.

Methods to Introduce Hexagonal Thinking into a Classroom

Now, the question remains: how can you introduce hexagonal thinking to your classrooms? There are a couple of ways to do it. Primarily, all of them follow the same set of steps.

  1. Select the Right Curriculum: Choose a suitable topic from the curriculum.
  2. Design the Right Graphics: Create hexagons with units under the topic. Online tools with pre-made templates can help you create interesting visuals.
  3. Encourage Teamwork: Teamwork is key to this form of teaching. Create several groups within the class to create a collaborative learning experience.
  4. Hand Out ‘Tools’: You can give your students pre-filled hexagon cards. Then, ask them to connect those cards to the correct “big picture” or “heading” card.
  5. Show the Way: Correct students in real time, show them the right path, and allow them to think for themselves.

Not only will hexagonal thinking elevate critical thinking in students, but it is also one of the best student engagement strategies a teacher can employ.

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Critical Thinking: Way to Long-Term Success

According to a survey, critical thinking is not promoted in a typical college classroom. Thus, inculcating critical thinking skills is the next big goal. Hexagonal thinking is a colorful tool that makes this achievable. 

Designing the right curriculum and having access to the right tools is key to implementing hexagonal thinking in a classroom. For that, you need the right partner. Hurix Digital can be the one for you on this journey.

Hurix Digital provides custom solutions for digital learning. One of their key products is customized content for hexagonal thinking programs. Leveraging the power of AI and ML, Hurix Digital can create accessible content for your students, tailor-made to your curricular needs.

Whether you are looking for content for your K12 students or you need a robust set of tools for your workforce, Hurix Digital is the way to go. As long as you need programs to help individuals develop critical thinking skills, Hurix Digital can create the perfect educational and vocational content for you.

So, if you have decided to enhance your skills and elevate your current curriculum book a quick call with us. We can make it happen for you.