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Theory Prezi

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by

Greg Christensen

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Theory Prezi

Bringing critique back in from the cold:
What the &%*#@!! is critical thinking?
Critical, Critical thinking (skills), Critical reading, Critical writing, Critical perspectives, Critical analysis, Critical evaluation, Critical commentary
Right.
But what does critical thinking actually mean?
"Critical thinking" refers to:

1. An
awareness
of a set of interrelated critical questions

2. An
ability
to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times

3. A
desire
to actively use the critical questions
"Critical thinking consists of an
awareness
of a set of interrelated critical questions, plus the
ability
and
willingness
to ask and answer them at appropriate times."
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS - A GUIDE TO CRITICAL THINKING, 9/e - M. Neil Browne & Stuart Keeley (Prentice Hall, 2010)
Given that definition of critical thinking (as
problem solving
,
asking questions
about meaning and form, and
articulating clear ideas
about text and strategy, etc.) this is the core question I figured I needed to address in my course design:
http://www.gregteach.net/skyline/sky_110
"This territory,
in which we think explicitly about how meaning is made,
is called 'critical theory'."
"our understanding of a
'text' is shaped by the context in which we see it
...
[and] our appreciation of literary work is likewise often enhanced by our efforts to
say something about it.
"
Practicing Feminist Criticism: Questions for Study (for Shakespeare's Sonnet #18, "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?")
1. The poem aims to be flattering, it seems clear, but what is the basis of the flattery? That is, what does the speaker value?

2. It's usually assumed that this poem is addressed to a woman. Is there any support for this supposition in the poem itself? What is the sex of the speaker of the poem? Do these questions alter or trouble our perception of the poem, or open up alternate readings?

3. How does this poem reinforce conventional ideas about aging and beauty? How is a person not like a summer's day?
The aim is to "show students as clearly as possible how to think of interesting and insightful things to say about literary texts, and
how to organize these insights and observations into effective arguments and responses
- [responses that will] convey at an introductory level the assumptions, strategies, and questions available in the practice of critical analysis."
Fine.

So I need a text that teaches the canonical literary theories as important historical and literary events all on their own (which they are)
but also
as a
learnable
set of
rules
and
vocabulary
and
practices
, a
teachable

process
that turns the abstraction of critical thinking into a real practice that's useful to the reader in her attempts to make
meaning out of text.
"different theories generate
different kinds of readings
"
"A theory is a set of
assumptions
, a context for assigning value,
making meaning
, and guiding behavior"
Greg Christensen
SFSU / Skyline & Ohlone colleges
gregoryleif@yahoo | gregteach.net

Slideshow of Depression-era imagery from Tillie Olsen's
Yonnondio: From the Thirties
http://www.gregteach.net/media_annex/depression_era_imagery
Audio selections from Tillie Olsen's
Yonnondio: From the Thirties
http://www.gregteach.net/media_annex/audio_media
-Texts and Contexts, Steven Lynn
-Texts and Contexts, Steven Lynn
-Texts and Contexts, Steven Lynn
Literary Theory as Critical Practice
https://smccd.mrooms.net
-Texts and Contexts, Steven Lynn
= Repeated
26
times in
3
pages of the official course outline... without ever actually providing a clear and succinct statement that defines what we
mean by the term
So again...
for example:
How do I teach it?
Which is to say, if critical theory is supposed to be a core part of the literature genre survey curriculum (and it is), then it makes sense to use it to help me teach critical thinking skills since critical theory, just like critical thinking itself in this context,
is essentially about learning how to read
, and then, after that, learning how to fruitfully talk and write about what we read in ways that are useful and sophisticated and textually anchored.
Right?
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