Alumni Sharing of the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (English Language)
- Alumni/Student Sharing
- Faculty of Humanities
Heskey Tsang Chi Lai, Graduate of BEd(EL) (2016)
Thinking critically is all about transcending the boundaries between facts and truths.
Travelling back in time to my first year at The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), I would describe my past self as a freshman who was wildly excited by the sea of knowledge I was exposed to. I, however, took everything for granted and gave almost no thought to why such a body of knowledge was taught and, more importantly, how I could make good sense of it.
It was not until my second year when I realised this was a problem. Thanks to the courses which stimulated me to go beyond basic understanding of key concepts and notions – what I call stated facts – I was taught right here that what matters the most is how I analyse, question, and internalise the new knowledge. Since then, I have attempted to not only understand the matter but also uncover its rationale, inner workings, strengths, flaws, applications, impact, and so on. What I have learnt is that critical thinking, which I think is essentially the process of constructing my very own truths (ie my beliefs) upon the stated facts (ie the knowledge taught) rationally and justifiably, is really the key to learning and researching.
With this most precious gift I received from EdUHK, I then moved on to my postgraduate studies at University College London (UCL), UK where I continued to practise the skill. Though I still hesitate to see myself as a critical thinker, I am proud to say that my attempts have not been unsuccessful so far. For example, my dissertation, which criticises the graded approach in HKDSE-English, was awarded the Caroline Clapham IELTS Masters Award 2019 and was commended for the British Council ELT Masters Dissertation Award 2017-2018. In retrospect, EdUHK is really what has made all these possible because, after all, it is where I have first learnt to think critically.