Critical thinking is commonly considered a vital goal of education. Although extensive research has been conducted on critical thinking, research investigating students’ views about developing critical thinking is lacking, especially in a Confucian heritage context. In this study, Hong Kong secondary students’ views about the value of developing critical thinking were investigated using semi-structured interviews. The arguments made by these students fell into two broad categories. The first set of arguments was related to personal benefits, which include (i) helping with the effective consumption of information from the media, (ii) contributing to wise decision making in daily life, (iii) preparing people for future careers, (iv) supporting subject learning, and (v) improving interpersonal relationships. The second set of arguments was more socially embedded, consisting of the views that the development of critical thinking in school students can contribute to (i) strengthening political participation, (ii) enhancing social harmony, and (iii) fostering economic development. Whereas some of these arguments were similar to those mentioned in the Western literature on the topic, some were distinctively different. The socio-cultural factors that may have contributed to such differences are discussed. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationWan, Z. H., Wan, S. L., & Zhan, Y. (2022). For harmony and democracy: Secondary students’ views on the value of developing critical thinking in a Confucian heritage context. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 44. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2022.101031
- Critical thinking
- Value beliefs
- Confucian heritage context
- Social harmony