Learning to Think Critically: ‘A-ha’ Moments and Influences for Australian and Chinese Students (78810)

Session Information: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Session Chair: Kyoko Hombo

Thursday, 28 March 2024 09:15
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Critical thinking is an essential skill in Western postgraduate education; however, the concept is often ‘fuzzy’ and its integration into academic writing, even at this advanced level, proves to be challenging. Both domestic and international students are assumed to have a conceptualisation of critical thinking that aligns with institutional and disciplinary expectations, and to be able to demonstrate critical thinking insights in their academic writing. The educational stage at which students should have acquired critical thinking and writing skills remains unclear, with limited research investigating how students develop critical thinking skills. This study sought insights into how and when Australian- and Chinese-educated postgraduate students began to think critically. Chinese students recognised philosophical and educational influences on their thinking and recounted grappling with the concept of critical thinking when they began their studies in Australia. Their learning came predominantly through instruction by lecturers, feedback on assessment, and from self-study. In contrast, many of the Australian students had ‘a-ha’ moments where they became aware of different ways of viewing and interrogating an issue. The findings emphasise that understanding critical thinking is an ongoing process for students. Explicitly addressing the concept of critical thinking is crucial, along with guidance on demonstrating critical thinking in academic writing. This research sheds light on the nuanced pathways of critical thinking development in postgraduate education.

Melissa Tomlins, The University of Queensland, Australia

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Melissa Tomlins is a University Doctoral Student at The University of Queensland in Australia

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00