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Critical Review - Ideas and Research

"Critical thinking is a cognitive activity, associated with using the mind. Learning to think in critically analytical and evaluative ways means using mental processes such as attention, categorisation, selection and judgement" - Cotrell, 2017

The following page outlines some of the research and ideas I have had around critical review and how I can use it to analyse my working practices. 

Barriers to Critical Thinking
Cotrell, 2017

Methods of Research


My academic research usually involves approaching books that focus on the aims of the module, and then I move into the specific topic I am presenting. For example, during my Developing Research project Shall We Dance? I began by looking at methods of research itself, then literature around film exhibition, then literature that pertained to dance in film history. 


I have realised I learn best through hands-on learning, researching by practice. I like to gather advice from those more experienced than me, and then use their advice to trial and error myself. I also find shadowing someone a useful way to research. For example, whilst coordinating LIFF Presents shows, I have asked to shadow the programmer of the screenings to gain knowledge in an area I want to improve in. 



Ennis (1987) states there are two key aspects to critical thinking, one being able to think in a reasoned way and the other being able to reflect sceptically. Critical reflection is something I have learnt to adapt in to my everyday life due to this degree. After researching a range of reflective models, I have been able to analyse which ones I find most useful. The following four are models I have used in different assignments this year. 

Gibbs (1998)


kolb (1984)


Schön (1991)


Rolfe et al (2001)


Examples of reflection using Kolb's (1984) cycle


Concrete experience

- witnessing audience members complaining about the accessibility of a screening at LIFF, dealing with complaints

Reflective observation

- in hindsight, the film should have been programmed in a more accessible screen, particularly due to the subject matter of the film

Abstract conceptualisation

- we have learnt during ECICI lectures the importance of accessibility in attracting and keeping an audience

Active experimentation

- feedback to team about the unsuitability of the screen, take this experience with me into future events

Concrete experience

- being rejected from the position of Impact Producer with Birds Eye View

Reflective observation

- I felt dejected as I felt very passionate about the role, but appreciative of feedback

Abstract conceptualisation

- feedback suggested I didn't know enough about Sheffield, as the role would be covering both Leeds and Sheffield, need to read the requirements of job roles more closely

Active experimentation

- through work with Sheffield DocFest I will widen my network in the city, I will read future job specifications more closely and prepare responses for areas I might lack in interviews

Concrete experience

- Leeds Young Film Festival didn't perform to expectations, fewer tickets sold than expected

Reflective observation

- analysed external factors that affected attendance such as COVID and Easter Holiday timing, marketing not effective

Abstract conceptualisation

- we have learnt during lectures that appropriate marketing is crucial, needs to clearly show the event and be enticing 

Active experimentation

- for next year, we will plan a more thorough marketing strategy, create clearer posters and ways to encapsulate the theme of the festival

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