Critical Response is a structured process that allows responders to pay close attention to a particular piece of art, text or a performance. Through the guidance of a facilitator, a group responds to these five questions:
1. What do you notice? (Describe without judgment: “I notice…”)
2. What does it remind you of? (What memory, experience, story, music, other work does this trigger? There are no wrong answers or associations.)
3. What emotions do you feel as you respond to this work? (Again, no wrong answers.)
4. What questions does it raise for you? (“I wonder…”)
5. What meaning or understanding is intended or conveyed in this work?
This tool engages and empowers all participants by setting them up for success. THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS when people begin by describing or stating what they see and notice. Each participant has room to grow, connect, question, and draw meaningful insights from the work. Collectively, the community benefits from the whole, with meaning-making occurring through the sharing of all participants’ insights.
Critical Response is at the heart of Artful teaching and learning practice, grounded in Dr. James Comer’sidea that “No significant learning occurs outside of a significant relationship.”