Chinese Postgraduate Students’ Perspectives on Developing Critical Thinking on an UK Education Masters

Labake Fakunle, Pete Allison, Ken Fordyce


Statistics on enrolment of international students in higher education, and studies on limitations of their adaptation to other (usually Western) cultural and learning norms dominate literature. There is much less emphasis on a specific aspect of the student experience. This study examined Chinese postgraduate students’ perspectives on how they develop critical thinking during a one year postgraduate programme in Education. Semi-structured interviews conducted with six Chinese students illuminate key occurrences over the study period which impacted their learning. Findings suggest that participants needed to adjust to the concept of critical thinking and the expected level of critical thinking on their programme. A key factor identified in the study suggests that a trigger event: coursework feedback, affected how the participants develop critical thinking. The study concludes with suggestions for timely pedagogical support to enhance the learning experiences of Chinese students who encounter unfamiliar academic requirements during their study abroad.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Labake Fakunle, Pete Allison, Ken Fordyce

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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