Nurturing adolescents’ critical thinking disposition through youth media practice: A randomized controlled trial.

Project: Research project

Project Details


Background: Critical thinking (CT) refers to the propensity and skill to engage in activities with reflective skepticism. Nurturing students’ CT is a core objective of the current education system in Hong Kong, it is a key factor contributing to various developmental strengths, and it is particularly important in youth civic engagement. This proposal suggests using Youth Media Practice (YMP) as a supplementary intervention to nurture adolescents’ CT disposition. YMP refers to program activities where young people are enabled to express views through media productions. Its overall aim is neither to promote nor impede particular views, but to promote CT in the context of expressing views. It is about enabling a person to externalize his/her thinking, and therefore he/she may have space and opportunities to affirm, reject or modify the thinking. Although YMP has a long history in various institutional settings, it has just recently appeared in social work, and it requires further theorization and examination. Objective: Based on a YMP framework, this study will design and implement a social media based photo-story project in Hong Kong, and evaluate whether it can enhance participants’ CT disposition, particularly in the context of which they express views on ethnic identities. The intervention: In a two-month period, participants will share photos online, based on the theme “My Ethnic Identities”. They will share their photos on social media minimally twice a week, receive feedback from the PI and the research assistant, and further develop their work. The PI and the research assistant will use a definitive set of reflective questioning skills to communicate with participants. Finally, participants will wrap-up their insights using not more than 10 captioned photos in sequence. Method: The intervention will be researched using a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Participants will include N=60 Chinese, aged 18-24, born in HK, and completed their Liberal Studies examination. They will be recruited by teachers and/or social workers. Participants will be randomly assigned to the intervention group or the control group, each will have 30 participants. There will be three waves of assessment namely: pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2 months after completion of intervention. Measures include CT dispositions, attitudes toward ethnic identities, and quality of thinking reflected by media texts. Significance: This project will introduce an innovative form of practice that is replicable and researchable, and it will open the discussion of using developmental programs to support youth civic engagement.
Effective start/end date1/01/1813/12/19


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