Debating the Capabilities of “Chinese Students” for Thinking Critically in Anglophone Universities

Education Sciences. 2017;7(1):22 DOI 10.3390/educsci7010022

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Education Sciences

ISSN: 2227-7102 (Print)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: Education

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Siyi Lu (Centre for Educational Research, School of Education, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia)
Michael Singh (Centre for Educational Research, School of Education, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

There are media and research reports of international students from the People’s Republic of China as being deficient in the capabilities for thinking critically. This paper argues for a shift in the frame for researching their critical thinking, moving the focus from the ethno-national label of “Chinese students” to “multilingual students” and their full linguistic repertoire. This opens up possibilities for exploring definitions of modes of critical thinking in Zhongwen (the official language of China) and English, and the importance of critical thinking in higher education in Australia, China and elsewhere. Attention then turns to constructions of “Chinese students” as uncritical, with explanations for their learning deficit including poor English language proficiency, lack of relevant knowledge, inappropriate assessment and deficiencies in China’s educational system. This paper concludes by suggesting research into post-monolingual education may find a theoretic-pedagogical framework that sees multilingual students use their full linguistic repertoire to develop modes of critical thinking while dealing with the tensions posed by English-only monolingual education.