Chinese expert teachers’ critical thinking strategies for professional growth

Wei Liao, Miao Liu, Zhaoxuan Wang, Kongji Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative case study examines how Chinese expert teachers use critical thinking strategies to seek opportunities for professional growth. Taking a practice-oriented perspective, we conceptualise teachers’ critical thinking as a series of strategies for improving instructional practice, school engagement, and social service in situated contexts. Through thematic analysis of interviews with six Chinese expert teachers, we identified three critical thinking strategies that played an important role in the teachers’ professional growth: (a) justifying pedagogical decisions to enact high-quality instructional practice; (b) extending school norms to develop democratic relationships with colleagues; and (c) addressing critical reform issues to make contributions to the society. This study adds to the literature an integrative, practical, and context-specific conceptualisation of teachers’ critical thinking. It also suggests implications for teachers, school administrators, and teacher educators to leverage critical thinking as a guiding force to advance teachers’ professional growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProfessional Development in Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Critical thinking
  • expert teacher
  • teacher education
  • teacher professional growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Chinese expert teachers’ critical thinking strategies for professional growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this