Critical Reading Master Program of Literature Study on Translation Gunadarma University
Learning Outcomes By the end of this lecture, EXPECTEDLY students will: • Better understand what critical thinking and critical readingare • Know why critical thinking and critical reading are important • Have some knowledge of model of critical thinking and elaboration on critical reading • Accept the challenge to think critically in reading text
On Being Critical and Critical Thinking Part 1:
The use of the term “critical” • “Critical” in this context means • “to analyse and evaluate” – • It does not mean • “to make unkind remarks”
“Disciplined, self-directed thinking . . . ”* WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING? T H I N K I N G The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987.
“ (Thinking) . . . which exemplifies the perfections of thinking. . .”* WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING? T H I N K I N G The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987.
In “everyday” language: Thinking “outside” the box Thinking about thinking “Unlimited” thinking Divergent thinking WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING? T H I N K I N G
“The intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information.”* T H I N K I N G * The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987.
“Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it.”* *The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts And Tools, 5 ed. The Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2008. T H I N K I N G
“Critical thinking is . . . • Self-disciplined • Self-monitored • Self-corrective thinking.”* T H I N K I N G *The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, 5th ed. The Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2008.
It concerns itself with 8 elements of thought • Point of view • Purpose • Questions at issue • Implications and consequences • Information • Interpretation and Inference • Concepts • Assumptions • *The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts • and Tools, 5 ed. The Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2008. T H I N K I N G
Point of View What are the . . . • Frames of reference • Perspectives • Orientations And how do they influence “point of view”?
Purpose What are the • Goals • Objectives And how do they relate to point of view?
What does critical thinking involve? • Making logical inferences (based upon the information presented) • Drawing logical conclusions (based upon the information presented) • Higher levels of thinking, such as . . .
Conceptualizing— developinga “mind picture” • Applying—puttingconceptual info to use • Analyzing—closelyexamining, • tearing apart or breaking down to • really look at • Synthesizing—pullingthings together in a well- organized • logical way • Evaluating—making decisions about; reviewing; assessing; rtc. • Conceptualizing • Applying • Analyzing • Synthesizing • Evaluating
ACTIVITIES TIME PERMITTING, WORK THROUGH ACTIVITIES IN YOUR BOOKLET. BE SURE TO THINK CRITICALLY! Why is Critical Thinking Important?
Why Is Critical Thinking Important? • Critical thinking helps us develop: • Intellectual Humility • Intellectual Autonomy • Intellectual Integrity • Intellectual Courage • Intellectual Perseverance • Confidence in Reason • Intellectual Empathy • Fairmindedness • . . . traits important to the development of a multi-cultural world view and the diminishing of irrational thought! • . . . it underlies the basic elements of communication • . . . it plays an important part in social change. . . • . . . it is a path to freedom from half-truths and deceptions
Characteristics of “cultivated” critical thinkers Goal: to become cultivated critical thinkers Cultivated critical thinkers . . .
Raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely; A well cultivated critical thinker . . . By : --raising vital questions --formulating questions clearly and precisely Raise vital questions Formulate questions and problems clearly, precisely
Gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively, • Gather information • Analyze and assess it • Evaluate it By: --gathering information, then --assessing it and determining what it means and what it is worth
Comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; Draw conclusions Find solutions Use relevant criteria to test them By: --drawing conclusions from the information presented --finding possible, plausible solutions and testing them with relevant criteria
Keep an open mind By --maintaining an open mind
Communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems. Network w/others; keep lines of communication open By networking with others and maintaining open lines of communication with them and others.
To become a cultivated critical thinker: • Develop a sense of observation and curiosity • Become interested in finding new solutions • Share ideas • Ask pertinent questions • Assess statements and arguments • Seek understanding and information Dare to think outside the box!
Also . . . • Examine beliefs, assumptions, and opinions; wei gh them against truth • Listen to others, think about what they say, • give feedback • Become an open-minded listener and reader
On Reading and Critical Reading Part 2:
reading: a differentiated practice No text is neutral. All texts position readers to accept certain views of the world. Readers, however, have the reciprocal power to counter that positioning. • Dominant: reading in agreement with the text. • Alternative: reading in mild disagreement across the text. • Resistant: reading in opposition to the text.Johnson (2001) & Moon (2001)
Read with purpose Read and assimilate thought Read critically and ask questions to evaluate the author arguments Read a variety of books Enjoy reading Read aimlessly Get loss in the muddle of word Swallow everything One tracker reading Hate to read, reading is boring Good Reader vs. Poor Reader
What is “critical reading?” • Preface – “Critical” is not intended to have a negative meaning in the context of “critical reading.” • Definition: An active approach to reading that involves an in depth examination of the text. Memorization and understanding of the text is achieved. Additionally, the text is broken down into its components and examined critically in order to achieve a meaningful understanding of the material.
Passive vs. Active Reading • Passive Reading: - (4 traits) • 1. Largely inactive process. • 2. Low motivation to examine the text critically or at an in-depth level. • 3. Important pieces of data and assumptions may be glossed over and missed. • 4. Data and assumptions that are perceived by the passive reader are accepted at face value or are examined superficially, with little thought.
Passive vs. Active Reading • Active Reading: - Active reading involves interacting with the text and therefore requires significantly more energy than passive reading. • Critical reading ALWAYS involves active reading. The active reader invests sufficient effort to understand the text and commit important details to memory. • The active reader identifies important pieces of data, the assumptions underlying arguments, and examines them critically. They rely on their personal experiences and knowledge of theory to analyze the text.
What Is Critical Reading? • To non-critical readers, texts provide facts. Readers gain knowledge by memorizing the statements within a text. • To the critical reader, any single text provides but one portrayal of the facts, one individual’s “take” on the subject matter. Critical readers thus recognize not only whata text says, but also how the author convey the message.
Critical Reading The critical reader acknowledges that writers make choice; the critical reader makes judgments about the text. • Content: e.g., evidence, examples, details • Language: e.g., “politicians” or “senators” • Structure:e.g., comparison/contrast, analogy
A critical reader • attempts to understand and analyse the reasoning in the text • evaluates the evidence offered • recognises assumptions • takes a challenging and questioning attitude towards the text
A critical reader doesn’t • accept the authority of the text without question • take a passive and purely receptive role towards the text • ‘write off’ the text immediately if the writer’s meaning is not immediately clear • quickly dismiss the text because the views do not match his/her own
To what extent do these everyday reading tasks require a critical reading approach? • reading the instructions to set the thermostat on your • heating boiler • reading a local newspaper report about an attack on an Asian shopkeeper • reading a primary school prospectus for your child • reading a course outline • reading descriptions of 2 sofas in different furniture catalogues • finding out the train times on a website
Critical Reading So all texts, to a certain extent, require critical reading. It is not about criticising everything you read - it’s about asking questions about the text: its purpose, the claims made and the evidence presented.
Some general questions to think about • Can I believe everything I read? • Are experts always right? • What makes me take more notice of one academic writer and less of another? • What makes a scholarly, rigorous piece of research, and what makes research findings weak or strong?
Some questions to think about when surveying a text • Who is the writer writing for? • Who is the publisher? • Is it in the interests of the author/publisher to make a particular claim? • Which sources has the writer cited? • What sort of adjectives are used? • How does the writer rely on authority? • What does the writer present as fact? • How does the writer select evidence?
Some questions you can use to interrogate the text… Does this follow? How do you know? Where is your evidence? Who exactly said this and when? Is this a fact or an opinion? Why? Why not? What exactly? Are you assuming x is true here? Where can I check this out? What’s been missed out?
Interacting with the text You don’t have to fully agree or disagree with what the writer is saying but you can raise questions about the claims that s/he makes based on the evidence there is to support you.
Part 2.1. Goals of Critical Reading
Goals of Critical Reading • to recognize an author’s purpose • to understand tone and persuasive elements • to recognize bias
More specifically; • recognizing purpose involves inferring a basis for choices of content and language • recognizing tone and persuasive elements involves classifying the nature of language choices • recognizing bias involves classifying the nature of patterns of choice of content and language
On Recognizing Author’s Purpose • Understanding the way a passage is organized may help you determine the author’s purpose. • Consider the italicized introduction, the main idea, and the tone; by examining them together, you may discover what the author’s purpose is. • Think about what point the writer is making, how he or she organizes ideas, and the words used, which will reveal tone (attitude/possible feelings). !
On Recognizing Attitude, Mood, and Tone • The terms attitude, mood, and tone often refer to the author’s slant on a subject, or the author’s emotions or feelings. • Attitude and tone are related in that the tone of a selection often reflects his or her attitude. • Think about how “tone of voice” reflects feelings and attitude.
Tone • Tone is often described as the way an author feels about both the topic and the reader. • The tone in a selection can be formal, casual, playful, serious, sarcastic, or any other attitude one can imagine. • Connotative and denotative language is a very useful tool for expressing attitude and tone. • Writers use words on purpose to create a desired effect.
Helpful Hints • Pay attention to the author’s choice of details. The author has a purpose, and the reader must determine what that purpose is. • The author’s purpose can be found in the choice of details which reveal attitude or tone. • In order to fully understand author’s purpose, it is important for the reader to recognizing the details provided by the choice of words the author uses. • As stated before, purpose and tone are closely related, so if you immediately recognize the author’s purpose, you may easily identify his/her tone.
Typical Attitude, Mood, and Tone Questions: • What is the author’s attitude about this subject? • Which description best portrays the author’s feelings? • Which of these words adds to the mood (tone/attitude) of the selection? • What is the author’s overall tone in the last paragraph?