Critical Thinking For Kids in ActionPear Tree Education
Pear Tree Education
14th Dec, 2014

Part 3: Critical Thinking For Kids in Action

Critical thinking skills for kids in action

In this part, we’ll be using critical thinking skills to study a second photo. The ultimate goal will be to do a compare and contrast write up about these two photos.

If you haven’t been following this series, here are the links to the previous parts:

PART 1: CRITICAL THINKING: HOW A CHILD CAN START THINKING DEEPLY

PART 2: CRITICAL THINKING FOR KIDS IN ACTION

Picture 2

SOURCE: http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OB-UI399_ilabor_G_20120828095407.jpg

 

 NOTES ABOUT PHOTO

Critical Thinking Notes Diagram

Critical Thinking: Example of making notes

CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS USED

PEOPLE & CHARACTERS: Who / What?

Critical Thinking - Who / WhatCritical Thinking - Why
NAME / ROLE: Who are they? What do they do?
They consist of three boys and a girl.
AGE: How old are they?
They are very young, probably between 5-8 years of age!
APPEARANCE: What do they look like? What are they wearing?
They are wearing very modern clothes. Interestingly, while one of the boys is dressed in warm clothes, the girl is only wearing a sleeveless dress. All of the boys have short hair, probably because it’s more practical.
SOCIAL STATUS: What social class are they?
Based on where I think they’re from, I would say that they are from a lower caste, though not necessarily the absolute lowest.
EDUCATION: How would you rate their intelligence?
I would imagine that they have very little education, if any, but are probably quite street-wise for their age.

 

PLACES: Where?

Critical Thinking - WhereCritical Thinking - Why
LOCATION: Where are they? What is the place like? What can you see there?

The background of the photo is blurred out, so this makes it hard to identify any geographic features. Nevertheless, the children’s faces – particularly the boy nearest – indicate that this is in South East Asia.

What is more, considering that they’re wearing quite warm clothing, I would think that this is in northern India, though I’ve no idea exactly where it could be.

 

TIME: When?

Critical Thinking - When?Critical Thinking - Why
WHEN: What time of day / day / month / year / era is this?
From their clothes and the quality of the photo, this must be a modern time.

ACTIONS: What happens?

Critical Thinking - What happens?Critical Thinking - Why
ACTIONS: What do they do? What are they doing?
None of the kids is looking at the camera, which suggests that they are bored with it or unaware of it. I would think the former. They are working with heavy and primitive tools to clear the road/path of small rocks.
MANNER (of action): How did they do it?
Curiously, the kids aren’t really working. They look too tired and bored.

FEELINGS: How… feel?

Critical Thinking - How feel?Critical Thinking - Why
PEOPLE’S EMOTIONS: How do they feel?
The kids don’t look happy, but they aren’t crying. In general, they look rather bored.
PEOPLE’S OPINIONS: What do they think?
I doubt these kids know any different. They probably think that this is normal for kids their age. At the same time, you can tell that they don’t find it very interesting or rewarding work, and that they’d rather be doing something else instead.
YOUR OPINIONS: What do you think? Would you like to do this kind of work?
This picture provokes a mixture of feelings. Firstly, I obviously feel bad for the kids. They shouldn’t be working; they should be with their families or at school. My second reaction, though, is one of disbelief! How insane is it that some adults thought it was a good idea to get 5 year olds to use heavy tools that are almost as big as them?! What is more, the work that they’re doing is tedious and pointless. Do they really need these kids to do this work? One adult could do this work in an hour, but it’ll take those kids most of the day to finish.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

 

PEOPLE & CHARACTERS: Who / What?

Critical Thinking - Who / WhatCritical Thinking - Why
NAME / ROLE: Who are they? What do they do?

They are the photographer. Considering my belief that this is in India, I’m fairly sure that this was taken by a man, unless the woman was very low key in her attire.

Also, I predict that the photographer is a westerner, most likely American.

AGE: How old are they?
I would guess that this photographer is in their thirties.
APPEARANCE: What do they look like? What are they wearing?
I imagine that the photographer is dressed rather casually, just because it’s more practical and convenient.
SOCIAL STATUS: What social class are they?
He is probably middle class.
EDUCATION: How would you rate their intelligence?

He probably has a university education. Becoming a photographer is a highly competitive profession, so education is required in order to create some sense of superiority, as well as a notion of the photographer being more ‘worldly’.

Despite this, I would think that the photographer has learned much more from his travelling / life experience than from university (which really isn’t all that eye-opening!).

ACTIONS: What happens?

Critical Thinking - What happens?Critical Thinking - Why
ACTIONS: What do they do? What are they doing?
He is taking a photo of the children.
MANNER (of action): How did they do it?
He is probably trying to be quite inconspicuous in order to catch them in a nature state. Clearly, the photographer doesn’t want this to look like a prearranged photo shoot!

FEELINGS: How… feel?

Critical Thinking - How feel?Critical Thinking - Why
PEOPLE’S EMOTIONS: How do they feel?
I would imagine that this photographer feels bad for these kids. Still, I expect that he feels some sense of excitement that this photo fulfills his company’s goals – most likely a charity organisation, e.g. Save the Children.
PEOPLE’S OPINIONS: What do they think?
I would hope that this man thinks that these children should not be doing this job, and that child labour is wrong. I also imagine that this man believes that a charity organisation is capable of making a change to this country’s child labour laws.
YOUR OPINIONS: What do you think? Would you like to do this kind of work?

Firstly, it goes without saying that child labour is wrong. While I can understand why it exists in developing countries., these kids are absurdly young to be doing this kind of work. It’s illogical.

With regards to the photographer, I do believe that creating public awareness is a very good thing. On the other hand, I don’t really support international charity organisations. I don’t support any organisation that feels that it has the right or power to interfere in another country’s way of life. If this country (presumably India) wants to change its child labour laws, it (meaning its people) should be the ones to initiate this change. Change from within a country is far more effective than one created by an external organisation.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER!

In the final part of this series of blog posts about critical thinking in action, we’ll be amalgamating this information to create a compare & contrast write up.

Additionally, we’ll be looking at effective ways of showing comparing and contrasting.

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