critical evaluation: critical reading & critical thinking

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Critical Evaluation (February 2014) slides. Delivered as part of the Durham University Researcher Development Programme. Further Training available at https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/research/training/

TRANSCRIPT

  • 1. Critical Evaluation Critical Reading Critical Thinking [email protected]
  • 2. Session outline - What is Critical Reading / Critical Thinking? - Definitions, Three types of reading a text - Approaching a process for critical reading - Scanning/Skimming, Critical Reading, Critical Thinking, SQ3R - Evaluation of Research Information - What to look for as a critical reader when evaluating a text - Recognising your evaluative criteria in your role as a researcher - What you bring to the table, self awareness and cognitive bias
  • 3. Exercise 1 Spend 5 minutes to read the short extract on your desks, and make some brief notes which you would find useful to return to later to re-appraise yourself of the text. Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Stuti Sakhalkar. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/theblackcanvas/2945878325/
  • 4. Part 1 What do we mean by critical reading & thinking?
  • 5. The non-critical reader - Reads a text as a source for... - memorising facts & statements - repeating facts & statements - building a narrative around facts & statements without analysing validity, reliability or applicability
  • 6. The critical reader - Reads a text as... - One interpretation of facts - Recognises the importance of... - what a text says - how the text evidences and portrays the subject matter
  • 7. Critical Reading Critical Reading involves understanding the content of a text as well as how the subject matter is developed. Critical reading takes in the facts, but goes further. http://www.rimt.edu.au/studyandlearningcentre/
  • 8. Exercise 1 Do the notes you made share more similarities with the first or second example on the handout? (Note, the example notes provided represent only one interpretation of the text of the extract. You may have identified additional points, concerns, facts and questions).
  • 9. The critical thinker - Reads a text as... - One interpretation of facts - Recognises what a text says and does - applies own knowledge & values - to evaluate and interpret a texts overall meaning.
  • 10. Critical Thinking Critical thinking involves reflecting on the validity of what you have read in light of our prior knowledge and understanding of the world. http://www.criticalreading.com/critical_reading_thinking.htm
  • 11. What a text says (Restatement)
  • 12. What a text says (Restatement) What a text does (Description) What a text means (Interpretation)
  • 13. What a text says (Restatement) What a text does (Description) (how it says what it says) What a text means (Interpretation) (what it means to you, as the reader)
  • 14. What a text says (Restatement) Restate the same topics and facts. What a text does (Description) Discuss the topics & facts within the context of how the original argument was made. What a text means (Interpretation) Interprets an overall meaning within the wider context of the readers prior knowledge and values.
  • 15. Exercise 2 Spend 5 minutes to read the following short [edited] extract and think about: - what the text says - what the text does - what the text means Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Stuti Sakhalkar. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/theblackcanvas/2945878325/
  • 16. Goals of critical reading - recognise author's purpose - what is within the scope of their writing, and what isnt - what they are trying to do; does it match what you are looking for
  • 17. Goals of critical reading - recognise author's purpose - what is within the scope of their writing, and what isnt - what they are trying to do; does it match what you are looking for - understand tone & persuasive elements of the argument - in contrast to the objective data and evidence - what are they trying to sell you; what are you actually being sold
  • 18. Goals of critical reading - recognise author's purpose - what is within the scope of their writing, and what isnt - what they are trying to do; does it match what you are looking for - understand tone & persuasive elements of the argument - in contrast to the objective data and evidence - what are they trying to sell you; what are you actually being sold - recognise bias - identifying patterns of choice of content and language (eg negative vs positive language, repeated omission or discounting)
  • 19. Critical Reading & Thinking - Is not about: - being negative or finding fault. - It is about: - assessing the strength of the evidence and the argument presented
  • 20. Part 2 An efficient approach to critical reading:
  • 21. Critical Reading & Thinking - "If we sense that assertations are ridiculous or irresponsible (critical thinking), we examine the text more closely to test our understanding (critical reading) https://www.york.ac.uk/media/biology/documents/careers/critical_reading_handout.pdf
  • 22. Critical Reading & Thinking - "If we sense that assertations are ridiculous or irresponsible (critical thinking), we examine the text more closely to test our understanding (critical reading) https://www.york.ac.uk/media/biology/documents/careers/critical_reading_handout.pdf - Conversely, you can only think about a text critically if you have understood it (critical reading) - to understand why we agree or disagree with an alternative opinion, statement or conclusion. - to understand which issues we agree and/or disagree with in an argument.
  • 23. Critical Reading: Myth busting - You do not have the time to read everything. - You do not have the time to read everything critically. - You must be selective. - Stay focussed: get the info you need.
  • 24. Adopt an efficient approach - Start with some basic principles - Quickly scan/skim the material - [Critical Reading] Read more thoroughly and make notes - [Critical Thinking] Consider/Review against your prior knowledge and understanding of the topic
  • 25. Some basics
  • 26. Some basics - Most readers have an attention span of 15-20 minutes.
  • 27. Some basics - Most readers have an attention span of 15-20 minutes. - Be clear about why you are reading the text.