Papers & Workshops



Thinking Skills Among Graduate Teachers

Assoc. Prof. Habibah Elias and Assoc. Prof. Zaidatol Akmaliah Lope Pihie

Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

The current education system in Malaysia has shifted from the traditional to metacognitive strategy where thinking skills form an important component. In fact many educational psychologists stated that thinking skills are important aspects in education (Sternberg, 1990a, 1990b). Up to date, in Malaysia, there are many teachers who are not fully capable of teaching thinking skills to their students. consequently, it had been recommended that Teacher Education Programmes should prepare prospective teachers capable of teaching thinking skills. To meet the challenge, the Malaysian Ministry of Education (1996), through the Teacher Education Programme, had implemented teaching and learning Thinking Skills subject in the curriculum for schools and teacher training. However the question still remains, i.e, are all the graduate teachers from higher institutions adequately equipped with these skills? The aim of this study is to survey explicitly and implicitly from the students' perspectives, the teaching of thinking skills among the graduate teachers. Consequently the objectives of this study are to find out how far the students are taught in: 1) critical 2) creative and 3) deductive thinking. A research survey had been carried out on 26 secondary school graduate teachers and 387 of their students aged between 15- 16 years. Results of the study from students' perspectives showed that teachers taught critical teaching skills in terms of classification, ranking, comparisons, differences, important characteristics, highlighting important points and cause and effect explanations. Students too reported that teachers do teach creative thinking in terms of developing imaginative and innovative ideas. Deductively, they were taught to search for various answers to problems and to form relationships between ideas. Thus, this study showed a new trend in teaching and learning where students are actively involved in the learning process. Students too are capable to use existing information to analyse and evaluate ideas and to solve problems. The implications of this study on education and teacher training for the new millennium will be discussed in this paper.
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000