Teaching Criticality as an aid to Engagement, Achievement and Transformation

Simon Dension

Hereford College of Arts, Hereford College of Arts, Folly Lane, Hereford, HR1 1LT; S.Denison@hca.ac.uk

23rd March 2016

Abstract

Hereford College of Arts has retained the traditional Dissertation, based around high-level theory and extended critical argument, as the culmination of students’ academic development in BA (Hons) programmes. In order to prepare students for the Dissertation, a range of strategies has been implemented to foster high levels of student engagement and achievement in critical writing projects from Level 4 onwards. Central to these strategies has been the teaching of criticality itself, as an aid to fostering student self-efficacy and intellectual self-confidence. This paper presents an outline of some of the methods used at HCA for teaching criticality, with some evidence of its impact on students’ critical thinking abilities and motivation, which can lead to transformative learning experiences at Level 6.