Malaysian Rural ESL Students Critical Thinking Literacy Level: A Case Study

Nurshila Umar Baki, Shameem Rafik-Galea, Vahid Nimehchisalem

Abstract


In recent years, there has been much interest in the development of thinking skills in the education circles in Malaysia. Nevertheless, more effort needs to be placed on providing skills in developing the critical thinking literacy level of English as a second language (ESL) secondary school students, and its implication on the practice of teaching and learning. This is especially so for rural secondary school students.  This paper presents findings of a preliminary case study which analyzes the critical thinking literacy level of twenty students of a rural secondary school in Malaysia as measured by the Cornell Critical Thinking Test (CCTTX). Overall, the findings show that students struggled to answer the critical thinking questions posed in the CCTTX.  The analysis point to the fact that students encountered problems with questions on ‘judging what is assumed in an argument’ section of the standardized critical thinking test. Interview responses from students revealed that they found the 71-item-test challenging to answer. Despite the national education agenda to develop world-class thinkers, our study suggests that there appears to be a lack in exposure to thinking-based activities in Malaysian classrooms

Keywords: Rural ESL secondary school students, critical thinking, Cornell Critical Thinking Test


Full Text:

PDF

References


Barak Miri, Ben-Chaim & Zoller, D. (2007). Purposely teaching for the promotion of Higher-Order-Thinking Skills: A case of critical thinking. Res Sci Education (37), 353-369.

Baxter, P. & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report 13(4). 544-559

Bernasconi, L.E. (2010). Fostering an environment of critical thinking and self-confidence (Unpublished MA thesis). California State University, Monterey Bay.

Beyer, B. K. (2008). What research tells us about teaching thinking skills? The Social Studies, 99(5), 223-232.

Collins, A., Brown, J. S., and Newman, S. E. (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the craft of reading, writing, and mathematics. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, learning and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser, (pp.453–494). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Delin, P.S., Chittleborough, P. & Delin, C.R. (1994). What is an assumption? Informal Logic, XVI(2),115-122.

Dennen, V. & Burner, K. (2007). The cognitive apprenticeship model in educational practice. Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology. Florida State University.

Dori, Y. J., Tal, R. T., & Tsaushu, M. (2003). Teaching biotechnology through case studies--Can we improve Higher Order thinking skills of non-science Majors? Manuscript submitted to Science Education.

Ennis, R. (1983). Problems in testing informal logic, critical thinking and reasoning ability. Informal Logic, 6(1), 3-9.

Ennis, R. H. (1985). A logical basis for measuring critical thinking skills. Educational Leadership, 43(2), 44–48.

Ennis, R.H. (1989). Critical thinking and subject specificity; Clarification and needed research. Education Research, 18, 13-16.

Ennis, R.H, Millman, J. & Tomko, T.N. (2005). Administration manual: Cornell Critical Thinking Tests. The Critical Thinking Co.

Ennis, R. (2011). The Nature of Critical Thinking: An Outline of Critical Thinking Dispositions and Abilities. Revised version of a presentation at the Sixth International Conference on Thinking at MIT, Cambridge, 1994.

Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction. Millbrae, CA: The California Academic Press.

Fisher, R. (1999). Thinking skills to thinking schools: Ways to develop children’s thinking and learning. Early Child Development and Care, 153(1), 51-63.

French, B.F, Hand, B., Nam, J., Hsiao-Ju, Y. & Vazquez, J.A.V. (2014). Detection of differential item functioning in the Cornell Critical Thinking Test across Korean and North American students. Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 56(3), 275-286.

Ganapathy, M. & Kaur, S. (2014). ESL students’ perceptions of the use of Higher Order Thinking skills in English language writing. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 5(5), 80-87.

Halpern, D. F. (2013). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (5th ed.). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Hazita Azman. (2009). English in 1Malaysia: A paradox in rural pluri-literacy practices. Akademika 76, May-August, 27-41.

Ismail, M.R., Abdul Aziz, R. & Husin, Z., (2007). The use of critical thinking skills among university ESL students. In The Second Biennial International Conference on Teaching and Learning of English in Asia: Exploring New Frontiers (TELiA2), 14-16 June 2007.

Kettler, D., (2012). An analysis of critical thinking skills with gifted and general education students: Relationships between cognitive, achievement, and demographic variables (Unpublished PhD dissertation). Baylor University Waco, Texas.

Kezar, L.P. (1991). Effects of computer technology and traditional methods of instruction upon the critical thinking skills of teacher and students (Unpublished PhD dissertation). The University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Koo, Y., Wong, F., & Ismail, K. (2012). Students’ critical consciousness through critical literacy awareness. Gema Online Journal of Language Studies, 12(2), 727-743.

Lumpken, C.R. (1990). Effects of teaching critical skills on the critical thinking ability, achievement, and retention of social studies content by fifth and sixth graders (Unpublished PhD dissertation). Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.

Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025).

Paul, R. (1990). Critical thinking: What, why, and how. Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world , Chapter 4, 45–56.

Paul, R. (1993). Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world. Santa Rosa, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Preliminary Report Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025).

Rajendran, N. (2001). The teaching of HOT skills in Malaysia. Journal of Southeast Asian Education, 2(1).

Sahamid, H. (2016). Developing critical thinking through Socratic Questioning: An Action Research Study. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 4(3), 62-72.

Sidney, A. H. (1989). The effects of the inquiry method of teaching science on critical thinking skills, achievement and attitude toward science (Unpublished EdD dissertation). Mississippi State University.

Smetanov’a, V., Drblalova, A. & Vitӑkovӑ, D. (2014). Implicit theories of critical thinking in teachers and future teachers. Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences 171, 724-732.

Swartz, R.J., Costa, A.L., Beyer, B.K., Reagan, R. & Kallick, B. (2008). Thinking-based learning. Norwood, USA: Christopher Gordon Publisher.

Tan, S.Y. & Halili, S.H. (2015). Effective teaching of higher-order thinking (HOT) in education. The Online Journal of Distance Education and E-Learning, 3(2), 41-47.

Zohar, A. & Dori, Y. J. (2003). Higher order thinking skills and low-achieving students: Are they mutually exclusive? The Journal of Learning Sciences, 12(2), 145-181.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.