Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

Critical thinking is exception, not the rule

Critical thinking is exception, not the rule

Critical thinking is exception, not the rule


Lecturers are not always sufficiently aware of the particular cultural
differences that international students come up against when they come to
Wageningen to study. Newly inaugurated professor of development sociology
Leontine Visser said this in an interview with Wb. The methods used for
university teaching in Europe and the US are not automatically used in
other parts of the world.

Students here in Wageningen are expected to be able to think independently
and are encouraged to pose critical questions of their teachers. For many
international students, however, this is a new way of going about studying,
as was seen when it became clear that Chinese students often learn by heart
the material presented in lectures. Visser believes that international
students should be better prepared for these differences before they start
their study. This can be done by familiarising students with the way in
which science is carried out here, and devoting more attention to
philosophy of science than the current two-point course.

On the issue of language-command, the entrance test for international
students should place more emphasis on listening ability. According to
Visser many new international students have no problems with reading and
writing English, but they cannot understand the lecturer. On the other
hand, lecturers should also be more aware of cultural differences. “Our way
of teaching is the exception in the world, not the rule,

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