Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills through Political Cartoons: A Pedagogical Implementation

  • Maria Teresa Esteban Nuñez Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia
  • Adriana Marquez Medina Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia
  • Jhon Everth Ortiz Cubides Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia
Keywords: Political Cartoons, Critical Thinking Skills, Task-Based Approach


This article reports a pedagogical implementation carried out with pre-intermediate English students, in an English teacher preparation program at a public university in Colombia. This pedagogical implementation aimed to provide this population with a space to enhance their critical thinking skills through the implementation of a variety of task-based workshops where they were asked to observe, analyze, reflect and discuss about some political cartoons. The data to answer the research question was collected using class video-recordings, students’ artifacts and a focus group. As a result of the pedagogical implementation, it was possible to identify how these students became aware of some social and political issues affecting them and their close context, and the importance of stating a position in front of them. Furthermore, students suggested that the workshops developed had shown them a possible pedagogical path they could follow in their future as language teachers.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Maria Teresa Esteban Nuñez, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia

holds a BA in Modern Languages and an MA in Language Teaching from Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia. She is a full time teacher-researcher in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the same University. She is a member of the research group Knowledge in Action (KIA).

Adriana Marquez Medina, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia

holds a BA in Foreign Languages from Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia. She is a member of the research group Knowledge in Action   (KIA)  in the same University. She has worked also as project developer in rural and urban contexts.  Currently, she is an English teacher in a private institution.

Jhon Everth Ortiz Cubides, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia

holds a BA in Foreign Languages from Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia. He is a member of the research group Knowledge in Action (KIA)  in the same University. He currently works as a teacher assisstant at Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School in Minneapolis, MN in the USA.


Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. (Abridged edition, first edition) New York, N.Y.: Pearson.

Arango, J., Gomez, L., & Gomez, M. (2009). El cómic es cosa seria. El cómic como mediación para la enseñanza en la educación superior. Anagramas, 7 (14), 13–32.

Arias, D. (2014). Critical thinking development by using implicit content of songs: an alternative to incorporate music in the classroom (Unpublished master’s thesis). Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia. Tunja.

Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project: A guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social sciences. New York, NY: Open University.

Bloom, B. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.

Carvajal, N., Poveda, F., & Rojas, A. (2012). Didactic Unit Designed Using Critical thinking: A way to improve your skills. Enletawa Journal, 5, 7-20.

Dougherty, B. (2002). Comic relief: Using political cartoons in the classroom. International
Studies Perspectives, 3, 258-270.

Edwards, A; Westgate, D. (1987). Investigating Classroom Talk. Lewes: Falmer Press.

Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2010). The thinker’s guide to analytic thinking. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking Press.

El Refaie, E & Horschelmann, K. (2010). Young people’s readings of a political cartoon and the concept of multimodal literacy. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 32 (2), 195,207. DOI: 10.1080/01596301003679719

Facione, A. (1990). Executive summary of critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction, Berkeley: The California Academic Press.

Freire, P. (2008). Education for critical consciousness. London: Continuum.

Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine Publishers.

Ibarra, L., & Ballester, J. (2015). Comics Interculturales, Educación Literaria y Productos Políticamente Correctos. Retrieved from https://digitum.um.es/xmlui/bitstream/10201/42932/1/Comics%20interculturales.pdf.

Koshy, V. (2005). 1 What is action research?. In Action Research for Improving Practice: A Practical Guide (pp18–40). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Krathwohl, D. (1993). Methods of Educational and Social Science Research: An Integrated Approach. New York: Longman.

Krathwohl, D. (2002). A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview. Theory into Practice, 41, 212-218. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15430421tip4104_2

Merriam, S. (1991). Case Study Research in Education: A qualitative Approach. San Francisco. Oxford: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Monzon, C. (2005). La prensa y la caricatura como fuente de información en el proceso educativo. Revista de Teoría y Didáctica de las Ciencias Sociales, 10, 175-183. Retrieved from: http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/652/65201009.pdf

Onakpa, M. (2014). Cartoons, cartoonists and effective communication in the Nigeria Print Media. African Research Review, 8 (1), 32-41.

Scriven, M., & Paul, R. (2007). Defining critical thinking. The Critical Thinking Community: Foundation for Critical Thinking. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/ aboutCT/define_critical_thinking.cfm

Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, Calif: Sage Publications.

Valcarcel, D. (2009). Action research essentials. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Walker, R. (2003). Political cartoons: now you see them. Canadian Parliamentary Review, 26 (1), 16-21.

Willis, D., & Willis, J. (2007). Doing Task-Based Teaching. Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers. Oxford: OUP (Oxford University Press).Willis, J. (1998). A framework for task-based learning. England: Longman.

Wintz, T., Karaca, C., & Lang, K. (2003). Understanding the world of Political Cartoons. The Seattle Times Company Newspapers in Education. Retrieved from https://www.world-affairs.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2003-Understanding-Political-Cartoons.pdf
How to Cite
Esteban Nuñez, M. T., Marquez Medina, A., & Ortiz Cubides, J. E. (2018). Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills through Political Cartoons: A Pedagogical Implementation. GiST Education and Learning Research Journal, (16), 141-163. https://doi.org/10.26817/16925777.429