Cartoon found in one of Warhol's Time Capsules
Class Discussion: What is a Critic?
1. Define and discuss the role of a critic.
Critic n. One who forms and expresses judgments of the merits,
faults, value, or truth of a matter.
A critic gives opinions on things like movies, books, food, places to go on vacation, and art. Critics’ opinions are in newspapers and magazines and on television shows. When a critic gives his or her opinion, he or she does not only state his or her likes and dislikes, but also explains why, by including facts and descriptions that support his or her opinion. Ask students if they have seen a critic’s opinion in a newspaper or on a TV show. Show examples.
2. Ask students, “When are we critics?” Discuss how they make critical judgments everyday about things, such as music, fashion, and movies.
3. Discuss the difference between an informed and uninformed opinion.
Opinion n. 1. A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof: “The world is not run by thought, nor by imagination, but by opinion.” (Elizabeth Drew) 2. A judgment based on special knowledge and given by an expert: a medical opinion.
Informed Opinion: Possessing, displaying, or based on reliable information: informed sources; an informed opinion.
Uninformed Opinion: Not having, showing, or making use of information; not informed: uninformed voters; an uninformed decision.
Barb Schurman of South Vo-tech High School copied movie, restaurant, and cultural reviews from local newspapers for her students to read in this initial step. She asked her students to circle opinions and judgments.
Coming Soon: Tresa Varner, Assistant Curator of Education and visual arts teacher at CAPA created an introduction to Critical Response using an essay by Terry Barrett from Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary, McGraw Hill: New York, 2000.