Teachers' beliefs, confidence and practice and students' achievement in cultivating critical thinking in primary music education in Hong Kong

Yu Kiu Raymond LEE

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Critical thinking is regarded as a higher-order thinking skill, which is important in developing a comprehensive competency in modern times. Nurturing children’s critical thinking at an early stage thus becomes an essential target that should be pursued by all school teachers. Facing such a trend, the Education Bureau of Hong Kong started to reform the school curriculum in 2000 in order to develop students’ generic skills through eight Key Learning Areas (KLA), one of which is Arts Education that includes Music. Nine generic skills, including critical thinking, have been identified that should be nurtured through all KLAs. Published in 2003, the Music Curriculum Guide (Curriculum and Development Council, 2003) proposed four learning targets for music. Among all, cultivating critical responses in music is the target achieved by the integrated learning activities of creating, performing and listening. Nevertheless, there are very limited studies investigating the extent to which current primary music teachers can nurture students’ critical thinking in Hong Kong. Furthermore, Hong Kong music teachers may not be capable of developing students’ critical thinking through these integrated activities. This study aims to examine the current situation of cultivating critical thinking in music in Hong Kong’s primary schools and explore how critical thinking skills can be effectively developed. A questionnaire, interviews and class observation were used to collect data for current situation of nurturing critical thinking skills in primary music lessons. The results of the study demonstrate a positive indication of the acceptance of and beliefs in the implementation of critical thinking skills in Hong Kong primary teachers. Difficulties are found that impeded the effectiveness of the implementation, namely, teachers’ professional commitments by using critical thinking skills, teachers’ understanding of and abilities for the implementation, students’ involvement and differentiation, the schools’ and government’s support, related resources and school administration policies. Following an analysis of result and discussion, recommendations for writing instruction are presented in the study. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • LEUNG, Bo Wah 梁寶華, Supervisor
  • LO, Sing Kai 盧成皆, Supervisor
Award date16 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Critical thinking -- Study and teaching -- Hong Kong
  • Music -- Instruction and study -- Hong Kong
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2016


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