Critique and Criticism

CritiqueandcriticismRecently I was doing some reading for a paper I completing and had one of those "AHA!" moments. It had to do with the processes of critiquing and criticising. Two concepts which I have probably fused together too many times. However, at this particular time, I had just spent two long evenings reading school reports before they were sent home. Most of the reports were fantastic but there were a couple which I felt uneasy about and this paper spelt it out for me, they read as criticisms of the student. I know this was not a deliberate act on behalf of the teachers who wrote the reports, but the focus was sadly wrong.

 Criticism should have no place in our classrooms. In Christian Education, we are to be holistically concerned with the development of our students. Whether we are writing reports, evaluating work, giving verbal feedback or completing a pair review with another teacher, our focus must be on building up, moving forward, specific and at all times honest.

The following are some suggestions on the differences between Critique and Criticism from Judy Reeve

The Difference between Critique and Criticism

About Criticism

About Critique

Criticism finds fault

Critique looks at structure

Criticism looks for what's lacking

Critique finds what's working

Criticism condemns what it doesn't understand

Critique asks for clarification

Criticism is spoken with a cruel wit and sarcastic tongue

Critique's voice is kind, honest, and objective

Criticism is negative

Critique is positive (even about what isn't working)

Criticism is vague and general

Critique is concrete and specific

Criticism has no sense of humor

Critique insists on laughter, too

Criticism looks for flaws in the writer as well as the writing

Critique addresses only what is on the page

Taken from Writing Alone, Writing Together; A Guide for Writers and Writing Groups by Judy Reeve

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