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Contextual Studies Nurtures Critical Thinking

by 5 Oct 2019Education

The World Economic Forum rates critical thinking as the second most important skill to thrive in 2020. From its moment of inception, the foundation course of Contextual Studies has been focussed on developing critical thought.

The seeds for a curious engagement with visual culture is planted in CS100, when we introduce the basic theories behind visual literacy. During the first semester, the CS auditorium turns into a classical and modern art history timeline as our first year courses unfolds. Critical and flexible thinking is further nurtured in CS200, when the focus shifts to the theoretical frameworks informing identity politics and the construction of the ‘self’. Tutorial sessions for second year students come alive with animated class discussions on various relevant topics, ranging from critiques of ideology, to the unpacking of the complexities of postcolonial discourse and the representation of gender.

In the final year our critical enquiry becomes philosophical, as we start to question the ethical implications of our engagement with the constructs that inform our everyday cultural, social and political interactions. CS300 investigates the pressing issues of presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the invisible workings of language and power, and the nature of ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ through the lenses various philosophical thinkers. Throughout the year, Third Year students harness their powers of critical thought to produce a larger independent Research Project which investigates a topic of their choice.

With Contextual Studies we aim to sow, nurture and grow the seeds of critical thought so that it can blossom into a responsible personal ethics that will continue growing in the world of work and personal life outside of the CTCA.

Learning is not always limited to the classroom, as the CS courses include gallery visits, guest lectures and film and documentary screenings.

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