Critical Perspectives is studied in Year 10. It is an applied course that looks to teach the principles of critical thinking.
The course has two main strands. It explores a wide range of interesting and important contemporary issues, such as conflict in the Middle East, the characteristics of a 'good' education, sport and nationalism, scientific research, and the power of the media.
Secondly, it teaches students how to apply a critical approach to understanding and evaluating them. The course dissects a wide range of knowledge claims and examines their associated issues. Examples of such claims include:
- 'Political change in Syria could only have occurred with violence'
- 'The State must control the content of films and video games'
- 'The global financial crisis of 2008 was the fault of the banks'.
Students consider the importance of such claims and learn how to understand the importance of assumptions, evidence and reasoning in developing an answer to a question. They also learn how to develop and evaluate arguments and form conclusions.
First there is a time when we believe everything without reasons, then for a little while we believe with discrimination, then we believe nothing whatever, and then we believe everything again – and, moreover, give reasons why we believe everything.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms (1764-99)