In the UK’s ‘Times Education Supplement’ of 28 January, there is an article on education in Hong Kong. This country’s remarkably high performance in the international education league table (the PISA ranking) is explained by Kenneth Chen, the Under-Secretary for Education, in large part because of the emphasis on skills-teaching. He acknowledges that ‘content and subject knowledge’ are necessary but commends what is referred to as ‘liberal studies’. This is one of the four core subjects in Hong Kong’s senior secondary curriculum and is ‘designed to teach pupils how to learn and think critically and creatively.’
A good critical thinking programme will contain a strong creative element. The Hong Kong (and increasingly the Singaporean) approach to education reminds us of how important such a programme is for success.