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Title: Beyond rote-memorisation: Confucius’ concept of thinking
Authors: Tan, Charlene H. P. (Charlene Hwee Phio)
Keywords: Rote-memorisation
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Tan, C. (2015). Beyond rote-memorisation: Confucius’ concept of thinking. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 47(5), 428-439.
Abstract: Confucian education is often associated with rote-memorisation that is characterised by sheer repetition of facts with no or little understanding of the content learnt. But does Confucian education necessarily promote rote-memorisation? What does Confucius himself have to say about education? This paper aims to answer the above questions by examining Confucius' concept of si (thinking or mindfulness) based on a textual study of the Analects. It is argued that Confucius' concept of si primarily involves an active inquiry into issues that concern one's everyday life, promotes inferential thinking, and facilitates self-examination. Far from advocating rote-memorisation, Confucius highlights the need for us to take ownership of our own learning, engage in higher order thinking, and reflectively apply the lessons learnt in our lives.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Educational Philosophy and Theory. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 0013-1857 (print)
1469-5812 (online)
Other Identifiers: 10.1080/00131857.2013.879693
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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