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Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School

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Creative Thinking

Critical thinking is a general capability embedded across all Key Learning areas of the curriculum. It involves students learning to recognise and develop an argument, use evidence in support of that argument, draw reasoned conclusions, and use information to solve problems.

Creative Arts, which involves dance, drama, music and visual art, is a Key Learning Area of the primary curriculum and provides many opportunities to develop critical thinking as students learn to make and respond to artworks. In Creative Arts, critical thinking is about students learning to use their imagination, seek possibilities, see things in new and different ways, think unconventionally, break boundaries and go beyond information provided.

Critical thinking in Creative Arts can be organised into four interrelated elements:

Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas

This might involve students developing their knowledge and understanding of art as a means of communication and expression. Students can learn, for example, how artists create meaningful artworks depending on their choice of materials, techniques, and forms, as well as what ideas and feelings they intend to articulate.

Generating ideas, possibilities and actions

This might involve students learning to be innovative and imaginative as through art, they experiment with an idea, approach, action, product or representation and make discoveries about ways of seeing, sensing and understanding the world and themselves. Students can learn, for example, how to paint, sketch, act, design, sing, construct, plan, produce, invent, play, model, devise, film, animate, blog, re-mix, publish and direct.

Reflecting on thinking and processes

This might involve students learning to understand art as being complex and layered with multiple elements and meanings. Students can learn, for example, how to elaborate on and refine their original concepts, ideas, musical scores, scripts, performances, sculptures,  choreography, and designs with many opportunities to rethink and develop their conceptions and ideas.

Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures

This might involve students learning about the impact that art can have on shaping people and society including forming opinions, instilling values and sharing experiences. Students can learn, for example, how to consider and analyse the motivations, intentions and possible influencing factors and biases that may be evident in artworks which they make and to which they respond.

Creative Arts is an important part of the school  curriculum. It has an overall positive impact on academic achievement, and social and emotional development. It is a subject which gives students much joy and satisfaction as they make and respond to art in all mediums. By including critical thinking, Creative Arts, becomes a subject that provides many opportunities for students to draw on their curiosity, imagination and thinking skills to pose questions and explore ideas, spaces, materials and technologies in ways that can profoundly impact on themselves and others.

Critical thinking: A voyage of the imagination (Spring 1996) David

Glenn Hodgdon. University of New Hampshire, Durham