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Do you want change? Let’s talk about it: Teaching critical analysis with Banksy

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 4:00pm – 5:30pm parallel mini-workshop



Room 8 – 303 B09 Sem



Farrah Jabeen
University of Auckland, New Zealand



Critical analysis of ideas is integral for academic skill development. Doctoral students as novice researchers need to evaluate literature, choose appropriate methodologies and research methods and analyse findings from data. Developing reasoning in written format demands coherence; critical analysis for idea development assists in demonstrating this logical flow of thoughts. Critical analysis of ideas can be challenging for many international students, as rote learning is still an academic practice in several tertiary education contexts. Students can grasp the literal meaning but face difficulty in deciphering the connotative implication of ideas. The practice of rote learning also hinders students from learning to provide their own opinions with substantial reasoning.

In this mini workshop, I focus on teaching critical analysis using excerpts from poems and a graffiti work. Literary items are often considered as effective sources for teaching critical analysis. This mini workshop will involve close reading of literary and graphic items for critical analysis of ideas, synthesising from the sources for idea development and expressing own opinions by writing a short paragraph. The participants will:

  • View the graffiti work and exchange first impressions (10 minutes)
  • Read a handout on how to do close-reading (5 minutes)
  • Read a short biography of Banksy (3 minutes)
  • Decipher the possible underlying meaning of the slogan in the graffiti work which says ‘I want Change’ and express their ideas (15 minutes)
  • Read a hand-out containing extracts from different love poems from different periods and discuss how the idea of love changes in different extracts (10 minutes)
  • Read a paragraph from an essay on love (5 minutes)
  • Choose two sentences that they like best from those extracts and provide reasons for their choices (10 minutes)
  • Write a paragraph based on love synthesizing their chosen ideas from the extracts (10 minutes)
  • Reflect on their experiences in higher education, write and share their opinions on the changes they want in higher education (17 minutes)

The workshop will follow an interactive teaching session. I will facilitate the session based on a lesson plan that I have previously trialled with success. The classroom activities will include pair work, group work and voicing own opinions based on selected themes. The target audience will be doctoral students and academics who want to support them from all disciplines.  As critical analysis of ideas is an essential aspect of academic writing, the participants will have a practical experience of thinking critically and expressing those ideas in writing. Moreover, the classroom techniques of teaching critical analysis will assist doctoral students and academics who are already in teaching profession or intend to step in teaching career.


Presentation topic

Mini-workshop 12

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