Papers & Workshops



Correlates of Thinking Skills Among Malaysian Secondary Schools Students


Dr Rohani Ahmad Tarmizi and Dr Kamariah Abu Bakar

Faculty of Educational Studies Universiti Putra Malaysia

The education literature overwhelmingly conveys the value for the development of critical thinking abilities in all levels of students. As such, educationists at all levels shared a common goal: to develop in students mental operations that will allow them to be successful in the classroom as well as in the changing and complex environment of the new millennium as they start their career. A review of education literature reveals several factors that have been found to influence performance of students at different levels. Among the emergent factors that contributed to the development of mental operations or thinking skill abilities are: 1) teacher-related variables; 2) student-related variables; 3) personal characteristics; 4) learning styles and 5) others such as class size, institutional size, environmental elements. This study sought to investigate the factors related to thinking skills abilities among secondary school students in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. The Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) was used to assess the thinking style of students as either field dependent or field-independent. It was found that 64.5 percent of the students were inclined towards field-independent thinking style whilst the remainder were inclined towards field-dependent thinking style. A correlational analysis indicated that thinking style was correlated with variables such as reasoning skill, types of institution, age and gender. Recommendations will be offered based on the results and for future research.
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000

Equipment: Overhead Projector