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Supporting critical thinking using Visuals LC2 update

Friday, 13 December 2013

Supporting critical thinking using Visuals LC2 update

Using Images to Develop Critical Thinking for Students with Special Educational Needs

Visual Literacy 
Our second learning communities are in full swing! The focus of this learning community for HSP (Home School Program) Special Education teachers, has been the use of images as information sources. Teachers are able to use photographs to create a rich discussion about the explicit versus implied message, as well as to encourage students to create educated hypotheses about the image to foster critical thinking.

During this learning community, Itinerant Resource Teachers (IRTs) modelled one way Special Education teachers could use images in their classrooms to facilitate such a discussion. In ActivInspire, IRTs modelled how you can cover a photograph using a rectangle and then, using Magic Ink, you can slowly reveal the image, as the discussion progresses. (The importance of asking specific open questions to support higher order thinking skills (HOTS) was also incorporated.)

For example, this image was found through Creative Commons (Photo by Casey Martin). By only revealing part of the image you can ask your students: Where was this photo taken and how do you know? Who is in the image? What is the person doing? It’s important to have students justify their answer, by providing details orally or by annotating on top of the image.

The IRTs continued modelling the lesson, by revealing another section of the image to continue the discussion. In this example, you could ask your students: what are the people doing and how do you know? What do you think happened right before this picture was taken and how do you know? What is the relationship between these people? It’s also important to re-visit the original hypotheses to confirm if they are accurate or to modify them when more of the photograph has been revealed.

The last part of the modelled lesson , was revealing the entire image and determining which of the hypotheses was most accurate. It’s also great to provide students with a context for the photograph. In this example, this is a Nevada National Guard member, who is part of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan stationed at Camp Mike Spann in northern Afghanistan, who is sharing a soccer ball with children.

Magic Ink
To find out how to use Magic Ink in ActivInspire, check out our YouTube video:  http://youtu.be/eLnN5q79lUo

To learn more about using images as an information source and to develop critical thinking, check out the resources from The Critical Thinking Consortium:  http://tc2.ca/en/teaching-resources/online-resource-collections/investigating-sources-online.php

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