Conception of teaching higher order thinking: Perspectives of Chinese teachers in Hong Kong

Sze Yin Shirley YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Enhancing the higher order thinking (HOT) ability of students is a worldwide educational goal. This has also become a significant objective in the curriculum reforms in Hong Kong, which aims at better preparation of students to meet the challenges of the new era. Cultural aspects are often regarded as salient in determining approaches to teaching. The influence of Chinese traditions on teaching in Hong Kong has been discussed by many researchers, who found the thinking of Confucius still strongly influences the conception of teaching of Chinese teachers. By the in-depth interviews with 12 Chinese teachers, their conceptions of effective HOT teaching were examined. Nine teaching tips were suggested by the teachers. The list of HOT teaching tips reflects that intermingled values of Western and traditional Chinese education are embraced. The findings also show how Chinese values influence teachers' conceptions of effective HOT teaching and the results are discussed with reference to the influence of Confucian thought. The comparatively narrow conceptions regarding HOT teaching imply that certain cultural barriers are still hampering Hong Kong teachers in the post-handover period. One major recommendation is that an awareness of the cultural values of the context is important for any application of foreign methods of teaching. Copyright © 2015 British Educational Research Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-578
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Issue number4
Early online dateJun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015



Yeung, S.-y. S. (2015). Conception of teaching higher order thinking: Perspectives of Chinese teachers in Hong Kong. The Curriculum Journal, 26(4), 553-578.


  • Higher order thinking
  • Conception of teaching
  • Chinese teachers
  • Confucian thought
  • Cultural influence