Step 4: Perspective and Context (What view does it model for me?)
In addition to how a text composes its subject are questions about the perspective it models and the context it provides.
- The photo showcases the mother’s facial expression while obscuring the children’s faces from view.
- Similarly, the photo includes no reference to or details about the father of this family.
- What is significant about these omissions?
- What would be different if the photograph included the father or showed the children’s faces?
- The photo limits itself to a depiction of the family itself – the mother and her three children. Viewers see very little of the larger setting in which the family finds itself.
- Why set these boundaries?
- What might be the goal or objective behind limiting our view of the wider setting?
critical thinking moves
- Identification: to examine a text from a perspective other than your own
- Abstraction: to extrapolate the main idea(s) a text’s elements convey
- Articulation: to identify the strategies a text uses to present or express these ideas
The critical thinking scaffold: Stop and think
To recap, here is a list of the critical thinking moves this exercise involved:
- Abstraction: to extrapolate the key concepts or ideas a text is presenting
- Articulation: to identify strategies a text uses to present each main idea/concept
- Attention: to examine a text closely and carefully
- Characterization: to order and prioritize a text’s formal elements
- Evaluation: to assess a text’s rhetorical or persuasive power on you
- Identification: to address a text’s claims or ideas from a perspective other than your own
- Noticing: to identify which specific elements most catch your attention
- Reflection: to consider the purpose or goal a text brings to its encounter with you
- Self-Inventory: to review your own assumptions around a text or topic
- Self-Reflection: to consider how the assumptions shape your interactions with a text or topic