Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/227049
Title: REFLECTING WRITING ACROSS THE DISCIPLINES: CHALLENGING WESTERN CRITICAL THINKING MODELS IN THE ASIAN CONTEXT
Authors: Namala Lakshmi Tilakaratna 
Brooke, Mark 
Monbec, Laetitia 
Keywords: Appraisal
Asian context
Asian learners
critical reflection
critical thinking
Legitimation Code Theory,
reflective writing
Systemic Functional Linguistics
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Citation: Namala Lakshmi Tilakaratna, Brooke, Mark, Monbec, Laetitia (2019-11). REFLECTING WRITING ACROSS THE DISCIPLINES: CHALLENGING WESTERN CRITICAL THINKING MODELS IN THE ASIAN CONTEXT. Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 9 (2). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Although critical thinking (CT) skills are widely acknowledged as an important outcome of student learning in higher education, what represents these skills in the Asian context is little known. In this study, we analysed a selected corpus of high-scoring (A to A+) critical reflection (CR) assignments chosen as exemplary models of reflective writing in their respective disciplines by subject lecturers (Engineering, English for Academic Purposes, and Public Writing and Communication) at a leading tertiary institution in Asia. We ask the following question: what discursive practices are deployed in reflective writing by students in an Asian context when demonstrating their capacity to critically reflect on and learn from past experiences? The question was explored using two frameworks: Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), specifically Appraisal, which allows us to account for how evaluative meaning is deployed by students in their assignments; and Legitimation Code Theory (LCT), specifically Specialisation, which accounts for what kinds of knowledge CR texts appear to value. From these analyses, we uncover what counts as evidence of CT. The findings indicate that students writing effective CR assignments construct themselves as legitimate knowers who demonstrate positive transformation of the self within the course which they show through their engagement with the curriculum content. The importance of a communitarian ideology and a more co-operative reflective practice in their texts, as the basis for incorporating external knowledge, is consistently present. This appears to differ from Western ideals of CT skills, which tend to champion individual autonomy and social independence.
Source Title: Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/227049
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