Critical thinking institute uwi

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Critical Thinking

Embeds 0 No embeds. Some students enter this programme attracted by the term 'entertainment,' but quickly learn that this refers to a group of global industries which are diverse, and, like any complex subject, can be broken down into component parts and formalised into a programme of study. The ECEM degree is not a vocational programme based on practical, hands-on courses, but rather focuses on a specific range of creative industries and, through academic engagement, provides understanding of the complex ways in which they operate and function.

Some courses require theory to be translated into practice, and the focus of the course content is consistently academic and theoretical, which requires a significant amount of reading, writing, and study. The degree covers a range of subjects including event planning, artist management, sports management, accounting for small businesses, and the film, publishing, and music industries.

These fields are interrogated through theoretical concepts that are intended to position the student with a foundational understanding of these fields at the international level. In addition, comprehension of these themes is anchored within a cultural and societal frame, explaining how human experience in the context of regional history has shaped the world in which we live.

Critical thinking and career choices in the creative industries

The wider academic umbrella of cultural studies therefore represents the foundation on which the ECEM degree is based, and for many students, the resulting discussions not only explain the power structures that direct and shape society, its institutions, and industries, but also examine how the individual fits into this complex array of value systems and structures. The creative arts often represent the vehicles through which many of these value systems and structures are expressed, reinforced, or challenged, and so music, dance, and the visual arts are analysed as aesthetic, but also commercial systems that can represent diverse ideas related to concepts of identity, power, freedom, sexuality, religion, and politics.

Most of my working life has been spent in the entertainment industry as a music practitioner, but I am also an academic with a PhD in ethnomusicology, so I have a healthy respect for the spaces where practice and theory meet. Many students who desire a career in the field of entertainment are often anxious to engage with the practices associated with the industry, not initially understanding that it is the theory and critical thinking skills that represent the true value and potential that this degree, and every other degree in the humanities, offers.

The content of the courses is certainly important, but it is the development of critical thinking skills that elevates the potential of the student and which will ultimately allow them to decipher, assess, analyse, and comprehend a complex array of information and a wide variety of topics, as well as traverse and negotiate diverse career paths. Understanding the importance of developing these skills is important, especially for students who have excelled during their school life using a system of rote learning, but find that this is not an adequate method for studying at tertiary level.

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