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Critical Thinking Resources

Articles on Critical Thinking in the Arts

  1. Barber, T. C. (2011). The online crit: The community of inquiry meets design education. Journal of Distance Education, 25(1) 

    This article is meant to determine the appropriate alignment of curriculum and faculty and student interactions to the environments best suited. Guiding principles, learning objectives, and tasks are developed to support cognitive, social and teaching presences essential to foster critical discourse in asynchronous discussion environment.  

  2. Conn, M. S. (2008). Rembrandt's art: A paradigm for critical thinking and aesthetics doi:10.1353/jae.0.0005

    The writer introduces a paradigm for teaching critical thinking skills, using the work of Rembrandt as his vehicle. A number of sections of the essay begin with a foundational discussion of the links between art and the general curriculum, including how the effectiveness of that curriculum may then be measured.

  3. Donar, A. (2011). Thinking design and pedagogy: An examination of five canadian post-secondary courses in design thinking. Canadian Review of Art Education: Research and Issues, 38, 84-102. ACCESS THROUGH ILL OR UBORROW

    Reports findings from a study that investigated the following question: What is design thinking and how is it being taught?

  4. Hanney, R. (2011). Are we any good at it: Using risk as a tool for reflection and critical enquiry: Report of research in progress doi:10.1386/adch.10.1.103_1

    The article will look at the use of 'risk' in relation to promoting deeper reflection and critical enquiry by student groups engaged in media practice project work.  

  5. Kent, L. (2007). Enlivening the old with the new: 21st-century thinking applied to 16th-century art worlds doi:10.2307/27696192

    Art educators can use the Renaissance era (1420–1600) as inspiration for lessons in art history and artmaking as well as visual and cultural research through contemporary research methodologies and critical thinking.

  6. Knochel, A. D. 1. (2013). Assembling visuality: Social media, everyday imaging, and critical thinking in digital visual culture. Visual Arts Research, 39(2), 13-27.

    Art education faces significant curricular challenges through the confluence of two contributing innovations that are transforming learning in the art classroom: networked digital technologies and shifts in curricular focus to a visual culture pedagogy.

  7. Kraft, M. (2006). Practicing theory: The intersection of aesthetic theory and artmaking practices for preservice teachers doi:10.2307/27696142

    Connecting theory to art making allows students to approach the making and viewing of art reflectively, through higher levels of critical thinking.

  8. Lampert, N. (2007). Critical thinking dispositions as an outcome of undergraduate education. Journal of General Education, 56(1), 17-33.

    This article discusses findings of a study that investigated the variance in critical thinking dispositions between arts and non-arts undergraduates. A consensus of findings in research literature on education and critical thinking indicates that an inquiry-based curriculum positively influences gains in critical thinking. 

  9. Lampert, N. (2006). Critical thinking dispositions as an outcome of art education. Studies in Art Education: A Journal of Issues and Research in Art Education, 47(3), 215-228. DOI: 10.2307/25475782

    Discusses findings of a study that investigated the variance in critical thinking dispositions between arts and non-arts undergraduates. The article utilized quantitative data from the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) to illustrate that the inquiry-based curriculum  or arts courses positively influences gains in critical thinking.

  10. Lampert, N. (2006). Enhancing critical thinking with aesthetic, critical, and creative inquiry. Art Education, 59(5), 46-50. DOI: 10.2307/27696171

    Article reviews research on inquiry-based instructional techniques that enhance critical thinking and offers suggestions on ways to use aesthetic, critical, and creative inquiry in art classrooms to stimulate higher thinking in art students

  11. Orr, S. (2003). Teaching play analysis: How a key dramaturgical skill can foster critical approaches. Theatre Topics 13.1: 153-158. (2003)

    Development of an introductory theater course which encourages students to fashion well-informed views of plays which foster skills that could start students on the road to becoming active, critically informed practitioners in whatever role they chose to take on in production.

  12. Parrish, M. (2009). David dorfman's "here": A community-building approach in dance education. Journal of Dance Education, 9(3), 74-80. DOI: 10.1080/15290824.2009.10387389

    This essay illuminates Dorfman's community-building approach is based on personal reflection, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, genuine caring, respect, and honesty by applying these pedagogical practice and teaching methods employed in relation to pre-service teachers' thoughts on teaching.

  13. Ravas, T, & Stark, M. (2012). Pulitzer-prize-winning photographs and visual literacy at the university of montana: A case study

    This article explores the experience of using visual media from the exhibit Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs to encourage information literacy in undergraduate students enrolled at The University of Montana. By promoting visual literacy as a cornerstone of lifelong learning, libraries can help users extend their critical thinking skills into the realm of images.

  14. ROLLING JR, JAMES HAYWOOD1 (2013). Art as social response and responsibility: Reframing critical thinking in art education as a basis for altruistic intent. Art Education, 66(2), 6-12.

    The article discusses the role of altruism as a sociobiological trait and the role of mark making as a social response to cultural behavior. The article discusses the evolution of critical thinking skills as a tool for social responsibility, art as a perpetuation of culture and the specific importance of making marks, making models and "making special."

  15. Vanada, D. I. (2013). Developing dynamic Artist/teacher/leaders in preservice art education programs. Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue, 15(1), 101-116.

    This paper offers a theoretical and research-based view of needed changes in 21st century visual art and design preservice programs, toward the preparation of artist/teacher/researchers who possess a critical balance of creative, critical, and self-directed skills and dispositions for effectiveness and success.

Articles on Critical Thinking in Design

  1. Berk, R. A., & Trieber, R. H. (2009). Whose classroom is it, anyway? improvisation as a teaching tool. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 20(3), 29-60. Request this article through Interlibrary Loan

    Improvisational techniques derived from the experiences in improvisational theatre can be adapted for the college classroom to leverage the characteristics of their multiple intelligences and learning styles. The authors describe the key features of improvisation along with four generic, easy to execute exercises applied to real course content.

  2. Blair-Early, A. (2010). Beyond borders: Participatory design research and the changing role of design. Visible Language, 44(2), 207-218.

    This paper looks at the role of social networking tools and participatory research in addressing cross-cultural and multicultural challenges, exploring whether the use of classroom collaboration, participatory design research, and online critique and workspaces can encourage creativity, innovation, and critical thinking in student and professional designers.

  3. Charette, C., & Concordia University (Canada). (2009). Ethnographic research on design-based-learning (DBL). the design process as a teaching and learning strategy and as a stimulus to critical thinking, problem solving and transfer of learning Dissertation Abstracts International. Request this article through Interlibrary Loan

    This research presents the teaching methodology called Design-Based-Learning (DBL) and identifies what differentiates it from the traditional methods used in art and design education. This research aims to better understand the contribution of design to education not only as a discipline, but as a strategy for getting the learner to think about his/her environment.

  4. Kindelan, N. (2010). Demystifying experiential learning in the performing arts. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, (124), 31-37.

    In this article, the author presents an example illustrating how the preparation of a theater student's undergraduate honors thesis on dramaturgy promotes intentional learning through emphasizing critical thinking and analytical skills as well as developing leadership and citizenship skills.

  5. Lazo, V. G., & Smith, J. (2014). Developing thinking skills through the visual: An a/r/tographical journey. International Journal Of Education Through Art, 10(1), 99-116. doi:10.1386/eta.10.1.99_1

    This article reports on research that investigated how students' critical thinking skills can be developed through images.

  6. Rayala, M. (2012). Design thinking means looking beyond. School Arts, 111(9), 8. PHYSICAL COPY AVAILABLE ON THE 2nd FLOOR AT STROZIER LIBRARY.

    In this article the author reflects on how design impacts human thought.

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