Critical thinking is not only essential for analyzing individual texts. It also offers us a way understand the relationship between multiple texts. To illustrate, take a look at the photo above. How would you characterize what you are being shown? How does this compare to the portrait presented in “Migrant Mother”? Do these two texts offer similar depictions? Are they seeking to make similar points?
The Critical Thinking Scaffold
This exercise asks you to address these questions by applying the Critical Thinking Scaffold to this photo. As you make your way through the Critical Thinking Scaffold, complete the prompts for each stage in your digital journal or notebook.
Step 1: Preliminary Assessment (What Do I Already Know? What Do I Already Think?)
Before you begin examining a text, first consider what assumptions, associations, and expectations you bring to the encounter. Don’t focus on appraising or judging these preconceptions, just see if you can create a detailed list. This helps you better understand how your personal perspective informs your response. To help get this work underway, ask yourself: Do I have any personal experience with the kind of scene depicted here? Do I have any strong assumptions or associations with what is being shown? Does this photo evoke any strong feelings in me? If so, what?
Here’s what comes to mind when I first look at this photo: