International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Helping Students Transition to Critical and Creative Thinking at the Intersection of Communication and Art
Richard C. Emanuel, Siu Challons-Lipton

With today’s overreliance on credits, attendance, grades, and general “spoon feeding”, an infusion of creative and critical thinking is essential. If the goal of college-level general education is to prepare students for generative and productive civic, personal, and professional lives, then few things could be more crucial than the cultivation of critical and creative thinking. This paper offers a philosophical and practical approach to helping students transition to critical and creative thinking through the rhetorical/visual criticism of art. Specifically, visual criticism of a commercial print, Coffee Cup, is used as the vehicle for analysis. Students use Socratic circles to generate questions about the artifact. Art history provides careful visual examination in the form of formal and contextual analysis and an analytical approach. This collaboration across disciplines enables students to realize connections that exist not only between disciplines, but between their own experiences and those of others as communicated through art.

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