Exploring critical thinking and critical citizenship education in a visual art course at a secondary school, KwaZulu-Natal

Van der Berg, Cecile (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Critical thinking and critical citizenship are generally considered to be desirable outcomes of the educational process as they enable students to make thoughtful choices. Citizenship Education does not currently form a separate part of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS), but is rather one of the main objectives and principles that shape the whole curriculum. In this research study, students took part in a project where the aim was to promote critical thinking and critical citizenship through the investigation of contemporary South African artworks. The purpose of the research was to firstly establish how students’ participation in the project affected their ability to think critically about Post-1994 South African art and the issues it conveys. Secondly the aim was to establish how effective the teaching strategies employed were in facilitating critical thinking and critical citizenship. An interpretative approach was followed in this case study. The nature of this research is predominantly qualitative, but is used in conjunction with quantitative methods to measure the increase of critical thinking applied. During the base-line assessment, students’ initial critical thinking skills were measured through the analysis of previously unseen images. Their ability to critically analyse artworks was assessed by utilising the Artful Citizenship Visual/Critical Literacy Scoring Rubric compiled by Rawlinson et al (2007). In the post-project assessment, the same visual examples and rubric were used, to detect possible changes in the students’ ability to apply critical thinking. Main themes and sub-themes were identified during the project. The main themes were knowledge, power and identity. The subthemes were meaningful knowledge, citing of evidence, experience, multiple opinions, exclusion of voices, power versus rights, binary oppositions and self in relation to other. With these themes, I aimed to unpack and explain the differences that occurred in the results from the pre- and post-project assessment. The findings of the post-project assessment showed a 39% improvement of critical thinking applied subsequent to the project. The teaching strategies followed during this project proved to be effective as the ability of the students to think critically was positively affected. The research indicated that activities which exposed students to multiple perspectives were conducive to the development of critical thinking.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kritiese denke en kritiese burgerskap word beskou as gunstige uitkomste van die opvoedingsproses omrede dit studente toerus om deurdagte besluite te neem. Burgerskapopvoeding vorm nie deel van die Nasionale Kurrikulum Verklaring (NKV) nie, maar is eerder een van die hoofdoelwitte en beginsels wat die hele kurrikulum uitmaak. In hierdie navorsingstudie het studente deelgeneem aan ‘n projek wat kontemporêre Suid-Afrikaanse kunswerke ondersoek. Die projek het beoog om daardeur kritiese denke en kritiese burgerskap aan te moedig. Die doel van hierdie navorsing was eerstens om te wys hoe studente se deelname in hierdie projek hulle vaardigheid beïnvloed om krities te dink oor Post-1994 Suid-Afrikaanse kunswerke, asook die kwessies wat dit kommunikeer. Dit was verder die doelwit om te wys hoe effektief die geïmplimenteerde onderrigstrategiӫe was in die fasilitering van kritiese denke en kritiese burgerskap. ‘n Interpreterende benadering is gevolg in hierdie gevallestudie. Die navorsing is oorwegend kwalitatief, maar word in kombinasie met kwantitatiewe metodes gebruik om die verbetering in aanwending van kritiese denke te bepaal. Gedurende die grondlynassessering is die studente se aanvanklike kritiese denkvaardighede bevestig deur die analise van onbekende kunswerke. Hulle vaardigheid om kunswerke krities te analiseer is gemeet deur middel van die Vaardige Burgerskap Visuele / Kritiese Geletterdheid-Telling-Rubriek saamgestel deur Rawlinson et al (2007). Dieselfde visuele voorbeelde en rubriek was gebruik in ‘n na-projekassessering om moontlike veranderinge in die studente se kritiese denke te bespeur. Hooftemas en subtemas was geïdentifiseer gedurende die projek. Die hooftemas is kennis, mag, en identiteit. Die subtemas is betekenisvolle kennis, ervaring, verwysing na bewyse, meervuldige opinies, uitsluiting van stemme, mag teenoor regte, binêre opposisies en die self in verhouding tot ander. Met hierdie temas het ek gepoog om die verskil in die resultate tussen die grondlyn- en na-projekassessering te verstaan en te verduidelik. Die bevindinge toon ‘n 39% verbetering in die aanwending van kritiese denke na afloop van die projek. Die onderrigstrategiӫe wat aangewend is in hierdie projek was effektief omrede die vaardigheid van die studente om krities te dink positief beïnvloed was. Die navorsing het aangedui dat aktiwiteite wat die studente blootstel aan meervuldige perspektiewe, bydra tot die ontwikkeling van kritiese denke.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96827
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