Problematising criticality in the social sciences

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Often to be ‘critical’ is seen as pejorative - as synonymous to finding fault, and in the academic context this is also often seen as a sign of disrespect, even arrogance - hence best avoided. Yet studies and research at the graduate level and beyond are quintessentially founded upon our understanding and practice of criticality and critical thinking. This presentation unpacks the philosophical foundations upon which criticality in the social sciences is based, and offers insights into some questions - how can we be critical without being judgemental? How can a critical outlook enhance our understanding of theories? How can we best reflect our critical stance in our writing?
In addressing such complexities, the presentation will also discuss how, as much as our personal biases can have a detrimental effect on our research, when used judiciously, they can also be a fruitful and unique resource in understanding social phenomena. We look at ways in which we can develop a critical disposition as learner and educators, one that makes our engagement with learning and research not only more meaningful, but one that opens up unique avenues that lead to higher order thinking and innovation. Given the continuing preference for and predominance of quantitative research in developing countries, this presentation will also highlight how qualitative research can yield outcomes that resonate more with the major preoccupations of contemporary educational research such as empowerment, equity and the need for social justice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 International Graduate Research Symposium Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication"Linguistics - foreign Language Education - Interdisciplinary Fields"
Place of PublicationHanoi, Vietnam
PublisherVietnam National University
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Graduate Research Symposium (IGRS) 2018 - Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Duration: 26 Oct 201826 Oct 2018
Conference number: 2nd


ConferenceInternational Graduate Research Symposium (IGRS) 2018
Abbreviated titleIGRS 2018
Internet address

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