Category Archives: Critical thinking course

Critical thinking: American Art and the American Dream

Critical thinking. American Art and the American Dream.

Welcome to the course.

Critical thinking is widely regarded as an essential academic, everyday and professional skill. As humanities/social science academics, critical thinking is essential to credible and engaging academic work, whether in the form of discussion, article, book or essay writing.

Course aims

This course aims to further our critical thinking skills through the use of critical thinking dispositions and routines. Students will learn and develop and demonstrate competency is six key thinking disposition skills.

dispositions

Course outline

We’re going to work on our critical thinking knowledge and skills by practicing them this semester.

In the first half of the semester we will learn and practice some artful thinking dispositions and routines, using some notable American artworks (as well as some Chinese artworks for comparison).

In the second half of the semester we will further develop our critical thinking skills, by critically reflecting on aspects of the American Dream. 

Part One: Artful thinking dispositions and routines

The first half of the semester will focus on art and you will be required to write a short essay at the end of this section.

  1. Critical and artful thinking. Observation, description, reasoning.
  2. Critically thinking about  American art. Reasoning again
  3. Critically thinking about American art and myths. Questioning and investigating. What we mean by myths, why they matter.
  4. Critical comparisons: Chinese and American art and myths.
  5. Designing your critical comparison/analysis of artwork/s. Theory/Method lesson.
  6. Working week. Work on your assignments and seek feedback on your draft work.

Part Two: Critically reflecting on the American Dream.

The second half will focus on the myth of the American Dream and you will be required to write another short essay at the end of this section.

  1. The American Dream. Lecture on the American Dream as historical and ongoing myth.
  2. The American dream and education.
  3. The American dream, immigration, ‘race’.
  4. Designing your critical analysis, formulating a question/discussion statement. Theory/Method lesson.
  5. Working week. Work on your assignments and seek feedback on your draft work.
  6. submit your assignment.

Assessment

Participation 10%

Assignment one. Critical analysis of an American artwork. 40%

Assignment two. Critical analysis of an aspect of the American dream 50%