14.0116 CFP: Critical Thinking Across Asia

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 06:59:24 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 116.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 07:50:21 +0100
             From: Soraj Hongladarom <hsoraj@chula.ac.th>
             Subject: CFP: Critical Thinking Across Asia


    Critical Thinking Across Asia

    As Asian countries are finding ways to improve the quality of their
    educational systems in order to survive in the contemporary globalized
    economy, the role of critical thinking has received a lot of attention as a
    means toward producing graduates who are "capable of thinking for
    themselves". This capacity, whatever it actually means, is perceived to be
    a key toward enhancement of competitiveness in many areas. However,
    attempts to teach Asian students to become critical thinkers have been very
    difficult to realize. This is due to the fact that in many Asian
    traditions, there are deep rooted cultural traditions that seem to
    discourage critical thinking. Teachers are normally held in a very high
    esteem, and they typically do not want to see themselves being embarrassed
    by criticisms, not least from their students. Students are taught to be
    obedient; they are expected to believe whatever the teacher says.
    Apparently some other kind of value are taken to be of a higher priority
    than that of critical thinking.

    Hence, some questions that emerge in connection with this phenomenon are:
    What exactly is critical thinking? What is it that we teachers want our
    students to have or to be in order that they be able to think critically?
    Is there any necessary connection between critical thinking and one
    particular cultural tradition? In case of Asian culture, which apparently
    does not have or does not emphasize critical thinking, what can be done?
    What exactly is the value of critical thinking? Why is it so desirable? Or
    is it really desirable in all cases? These questions are only suggestive,
    and naturally there are many more that can and should be asked.

    This special issue of Manusya: Journal of Humanities is calling for
    teachers and researchers in any related field to submit their papers for
    consideration of publication. Theoretical papers dealing with conceptual
    issues, empirical studies dealing with issues related to the topic, as well
    as specific case studies of methods of teaching critical thinking
    cross-culturally are all welcome.

    Topics related to this issue include, but not limited to, the following:

    *Analysis of critical thinking
    *Value of critical thinking
    *Relation of critical thinking to historical or cultural traditions
    *Case studies of critical thinking teaching cross culturally
    *Empirical studies of cultural factors in critical thinking
    *Historical analysis of the perceived lack of critical thinking tradition
    in Asia
    *Possible latent historical sources in Asian cultures that could promote
    critical thinking
    *Ways toward promoting critical thinking in Asian students.

    Papers should not exceed a maximum of 7,500 words, not including notes and
    references. They should be sent as an attachment to the editor's email
    address. The file should be in RTF, MS Word 2.0 for Windows, or MS Word 5.1
    for Mac format. Further inquires could be directed to the special issue

    Soraj Hongladarom
    Special Issue Editor, Manusya
    Department of Philosophy
    Faculty of Arts
    Chulalongkorn University
    Bangkok 10330, Thailand
    email: hsoraj@chula.ac.th
    Tel. +66-2-2184756; Fax. +66-2-2184867

    Deadline of submission: February 28, 2001

    Prospective authors are encouraged to contact the editor for inquiries or
    further information. Papers submitted will undergo the usual review process.

    Manusya: Journal of Humanities is an international journal dealing with all
    aspects of the humanities. It is published by Chulalongkorn University and
    distributed worldwide. The web site of the Journal is:


    Soraj Hongladarom Department of Philosophy
                                      Faculty of Arts
                                      Chulalongkorn University
                                      Bangkok 10330, THAILAND
                                    Tel. +662-2184756 Fax +662-2184867

    Personal Web Page: http://pioneer.chula.ac.th/~hsoraj/web/soraj.html

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