Facilitating the development of students’ critical thinking in secondary Liberal Studies classrooms in Hong Kong

May Hung May CHENG, Dongyu Dora LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Objective: Developing student’s critical thinking capacity has long become one of the fundamental aims in Hong Kong secondary school education sector. The aim of the proposed research was to investigate the influence of teachers’ teaching strategies on the learning of students’ critical thinking (CT). Method: A mixed-method research design was employed. Under the guidance and training from the research team, classroom interventions were undertaken in two rounds. Well established student survey was collected. Lesson observation tools were developed and used, measuring the teaching strategies adopted in class, and the changes of outcome variables such as classroom discourses and student higher-order thinking. Nearly 200 students from eight Liberal study (LS) classrooms, four secondary schools in Hong Kong, participated in the research. Paired samples T-test was adopted for the quantitative part of analysis, meanwhile coding schemes were developed for the analysis of lessons observed. Results: Descriptive results showed a consistent improvement on student’s critical thinking across dimensions, regarding both their CT propensity and skills. Significant results were found in sub-dimension levels. Further, findings reflect improved student engagement in classroom both from behavioral and cognitive perspectives. There was also significant increase in student higher order-thinking behaviors. Conclusion: This piece of research confirmed the important role played by the teachers as facilitators in improving students’ critical thinking in the process of learning and teaching in classroom. The paper concludes with recommendations for efficient teaching strategies in enhancing the student’s CT and implications for linking pedagogical theories and classroom practice. Copyright © 2017 The Education University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Citation

Cheng, M. H. M., & Li, D. Y. D. (2017, November). Facilitating the development of students’ critical thinking in secondary Liberal Studies classrooms in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the WERA Focal Meeting & HKERA International Conference 2017 (WERA-HKERA 2017): Innovation, Reform and Education Change in a Contemporary World, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

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