Research Output

Helping Eastern students to master Western critical thinking.

  It is possible that some of the problems that
confront Eastern learners when they are asked to engage in
critical thinking come from the misleading association of
the title with criticising negatively and even with dis-
agreeing. In some other educational situations, careful
choice of first language titles for concepts so that they do
not introduce difficulties for learners has proved fruitful in
easing acquaintance with a new concept. Since the defini-
tions of critical thinking emphasise the central role of
reasoning in this process and make no explicit mention of
disagreement of fault finding, there seems potential in a
pedagogical approach to the development of the ability for
critical thinking which focuses on identifying, considering
and presenting reasons—and perhaps renaming the pro-
cess, even if only temporarily, accordingly. Such an
approach has been devised, in response to the difficulties
that Taiwanese students have met when engaging with
critical thinking. It has been piloted on one class in an
online discussion forum in English as a Foreign Language.
The outcomes of this pilot are encouraging and are pre-
sented at this stage for that reason.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2010

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    LB2300 Higher Education

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    378 Higher education


Chiu, Y. J. & Cowan, J. (2010). Helping Eastern students to master Western critical thinking. Asia Pacific education review. 6, 103-111. doi:10.1007/s12564-011-9189-2. ISSN 1876-407X



Eastern - Western critical thinking; Online discussions;

Monthly Views:

Available Documents