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The Unbearable Vagueness of Critical Thinking in the Context of the Anglo-Saxonisation of Education


Joelle Vandermensbrugghe 
University of Canberra
jrm@comedu.canberra.edu.au

 

 

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Abstract

This paper examines the stereotypical view that Asian students cannot think critically. Although critical thinking is often presented as a generic skill, crucial to success at university, definitions of the concept vary widely. Critical thinking can therefore only be understood by placing it into the context in which it is used. This disadvantages many international students, who often have not acquired the cultural competencies necessary to read in context, and who are unfamiliar with the concept of critical thinking as a learning experience. This paper also advocates more clarity and openness about learning practices, including critical thinking, and recommends more receptiveness towards learning practices adopted in other countries. If Australia wants to continue to attract international students and to be considered as offering a truly international education program, there is a real need for academic staff to develop intercultural competencies. 

critical thinking, international students, internationalisation of education, intercultural competencies, learning practices

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Vandermensbrugghe, J. (2004) The Unbearable Vagueness of Critical Thinking in the Context of the Anglo-Saxonisation of Education. International Education Journal, 5 (3), 417-422.
http://iej.cjb.net

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