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International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, Vol. 1, No.

2, July 2011

The Level of Marzano Higher Order Thinking Skills among Technical Education Students
Yee Mei Heong, Widad Binti Othman, Jailani Bin Md Yunos, Tee Tze Kiong, Razali Bin Hassan, and Mimi Mohaffyza Binti Mohamad
and learnable. All students have the right to learn and apply thinking skills, just like other disciplines of knowledge. Higher order thinking is defined as the expanded use of the mind to meet new challenges [1]. It requires someone to apply new information or prior knowledge and manipulate the information to reach possible answer in new situation [2]-[ 4]. A question to be answered or a problem to be solved cannot be done through routine application of previously acquired knowledge [5]. But it can be solved only when expanded use of mind occurred that a person must interpret, analyze or manipulate information. This is because higher order thinking is characterized as non algorithmic, complex, self regulative, meaningful, effortful and providing multiple solutions, nuanced judgments, multiple criteria and uncertainty [6]. Higher order thinking skills is an important aspect in teaching and learning. Thinking skills are fundamental in educational process. A person thought can affect the ability of learning, speed and effectiveness of learning. Therefore, thinking skills is associated with learning process. Students who are trained to think demonstrate a positive impact on the development of their education. The findings of Resnick’s studies have reported an improvement in reading comprehension and the average grades, therefore an increase in the settlement of problems of Mathematics and Science which have undergone a training program to think [6]. This has shown that thinking skill is important for a student to solve problems in their learning process thus fostering a competitive student’s thought, developing students' intellectual and helping to avoid errors in thinking.

Abstract—Higher order thinking skills is an important aspect in teaching and learning especially at higher education institutions. Thinking skills practices are part of the generic skills that should be infused in all technical subjects. Students with higher order thinking skills are able to learn, improve their performance and reduce their weaknesses. Hence, the purpose of this research was to identify the level of Marzano Higher Order Thinking Skills among technical education students in the Faculty of Technical Education (FPTek), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. A total of 158 students of FPTek were randomly selected as sample. A set of questionnaires adapted from Marzano Rubrics for Specific Task or Situations (1993) was used as research instrument. This is a quantitative research and the gathered data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software. The findings indicated that students perceived they have moderate level for investigation, experimental inquiry, comparing, deducing, constructing support, inducing and invention. However, decision making, problem solving, error analyzing, abstracting, analyzing perspectives and classifying are at low level. The Eta analysis indicated that there is a very low positive relationship between the level of Marzano Higher Order Thinking Skills and gender, academic achivement as well as socio economic status. Besides that, the findings also showed that there is no statistically significant difference in gender, academic achivement and socio economic status on the level of Marzano Higher Order Thinking Skills. However, there is significant difference in socio economic status on the level of decision making. Index Terms—Higher education institutions, Marzano higher order thinking skills, Quantitative research, Technical education.


INTRODUCTION II. MARZANO HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS Marzano’s research on thinking skills is important to students and educators in higher education institution primarily. Marzano identifies 13 higher order thinking skills, namely comparing, classifying, inducing, deducing, error analysis, constructing supporting, analyzing perspectives, abtracting, decision making, investigation, problem solving, experimental inquiry, and invention which work within the Dimensions of Learning (1992) framework. The Dimensions of Learning model assumes that the process of learning involves the interaction of the following five types of thinking: 1) positive attitudes and perceptions about learning 2) thinking involved in acquiring and ntegrating knowledge 3) thinking involved in extending and refining knowledge

Higher order thinking skills (HOTS) is one component of the creative thinking skills and critical thinking. In Malaysia, the skills of critical and creative thinking has been emphasized since the drafting of the Integrated Curriculum for Secondary Schools (ICSS) in 1988 (Sulaiman, 2000). According to Poh (2000), creative thinking can develop individual to be more innovative, have good creativity, ideal and imaginative. When students know how to use both of these skills, it means that students have applied high order thinking skills. All students are capable to think, but most of them need to be encouraged, taught and assisted to the higher order thinking processes. These higher order thinking skills are teachable
Manuscript received June 20, 2011 ; revised July 10, 2011. Yee Mei Heong is with Technical and Vocational Education at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia (email:

According to research [14]. These 13 higher order thinking skills are identified in Dimension 3 and 4 which will help students use knowledge meaningfully. academic achivement. The Dimensions framework will help us to: • maintain a focus on learning. Moreover. Common in most survey research. PROBLEM BACKGROUND Exam-oriented learning is still in practice at higher educational level. Marzano HOTS comparing classifying inductive reasoning deductive reasoning analyzing errors constructing support analyzing perspectives abstracting decision making investigation traditional methods in teaching and learning which limit the critical and creative thinking skills among students [9]-[10]. the objectives of this study are: 1) To identify the level of Marzano HOTS among technical education students. instruction. 2) To identify the relationship between Marzano HOTS and gender.International Journal of Social Science and Humanity. METHODOLOGY problem solving This is a survey research where data can be collected directly from respondents [15]. Population should be identified appropriately based on the research to be conducted [16]. and Meaningful Use of Knowledge among the technical education students arises. Inferring unknown generalization or principles from information or observation. academic achievement and socio-economic status on the levels of Marzano HOTS. As consequence. The conventional teaching and learning process emphasize more on low level cognitive activities like memorizing. teachers in secondary schools are still using . 3) To identify the difference for gender. Using generalization and principles to infer unstated conclusion about specific information or situations. the relationships and differences between the Marzano HOTS with gender. • study the learning process. Thus. and assessment that takes into account the five critical aspects of learning. Identifying and resolving issues about which there are confusions or contradictions. THE DEFINITION OF FIVE MARZANO HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS (HOTS) Definition Identifying and articulating similarities and differences among items. Table II shows the sample of students by year of study an d intake qualification. 2. A total of 158 students were selected as samples. The most effective learning occurs when we use knowledge to perform meaningful task. Building system of support for assertions. A. Developing unique products or processes that fulfill perceived need. Population and Sample Population is a group of people who have similar characteristics. academic and socio-economic status. 1. the target population was the technical education students taking the Technical and Vocational Education course (BBV) at Faculty of Technical Education. Identifying and articulating error in thinking. 122 experimental inquiry invention III. Identifying multiple perspectives on an issue and examining the reasons or logic behind each. Extend and Refine Knowledge. these students perceived themselves as facing difficulty in completing higher order thinking skills-based tasks as well as generating of ideas. the graduates’ ability to apply knowledge at the workplace becomes an issue to be debated [13]. and • plan curriculum. and socio-economic status will also be identified. the need to investigate the level of Marzano HOTS for the Dimensions. Most of the implementation of teaching and learning at the school is teacher-centered teaching practices [11]-[12]. remembering and understanding [8]. but more important is to be able to find new ways and means to solve their daily problems and make appropriate decisions [1]. Specifically. Identifying and articulating the underlying theme or general pattern of information. The stratification was based on year of study and intake qualification. Also. IV. In addition. Dimensions of Learning offer a way of thinking about the extremely complex process of learning so that study can be attended to each aspect and gain insights into how they interact. July 2011 4) thinking involved in using knowledge meaningfully 5) productive habits of mind Marzano’s Dimensions of Learning is a comprehensive model that uses what researchers and theorists know about learning to define the learning process. Students learn to rote memorization as preparation to pass in the examination. Generating and testing explanations of observed phenomena. Consequently. technical education students perceived their mastery and application of higher order thinking skills at the low level. No. the characteristics of the population can be described through the distribution of frequencies and percentages. The samples were randomly selected in a specified layer to reduce sampling error such as the size of a large variance of sample estimates [17]. As a result of this. Overcoming constraints or limiting conditions that are in the way of pursuing goals. Vol. Generating and applying criteria to select from among seemingly equal alternative. students’ ability is measured by performance in examination. TABLE I. In this study. The five types of thinking are premised as five dimensions of learning that are essential to successful learning [7]. The sampling procedure used for this study was stratified random sampling. graduates are increasingly expected not only to employ the knowledge and skills they have acquired during the process of growing up and schooling. Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. This situation causes students to become passive and does not use the mind to think otherwise just hear when the teacher is teaching. Grouping things into definable categories on the basis of their attributes.

077 V. SAMPLE OF STUDENTS BY YEAR AND INTAKE Year of Study Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Total Intake Qualification Matriculation 24 21 16 61 Diploma 42 55 97 A. Data Analysis The collected data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software.96 0.166 deductive reasoning . analyzing perspectives and classifying are rated as low (Table VI).59 0.00 3. abstracting.245 decision making . Academic achivement and Socio Economic Status Using Eta Test. Table IV and Table V showed the categorization levels of HOTS according to mean score and the strength of correlation respectively.052 invention .114 .101 . constructing support.7030.00 Correlation Strength Very Strong Strong Medium Low Very Low No Correlation C. TABLE VI. It can be 123 . comparing. The reliability of this set of instrument is .188 classifying .082 . The statistics selected for data analysis was based on the research questions as illustrated in Table III.067 .192 .76 Medium classifying 1.126 .126 .079 .17 0. These findings are in coherence with the results of researches conducted by experts of psychology. Only seven thinking skills are rated at the moderate level namely investigation. 2.129 .55 0.091 perspectives abstracting .55 Medium analyzing perspectives 1.021 .000 .96 0. The level of Marzano HOTS Among Technical Education Students The findings from the study showed none of the students perceived their thinking skills’ levels to be high. inducing. The findings indicated that gender. TABLE II. CATEGORIZATION LEVEL OF HOTS Mean Score 1.051 .224 analyzing errors . No. On contrary. The findings are presented in the table format.62 Moderate problem solving 1. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used as analytical tools. decision making.051 experimental inquiry .030 .109 constructing support .01 0.069 . THE LEVEL OF MARZANO HOTS Marzano HOTS Mean SD Skill Level comparing 2.036 . THE STRENGTH OF THE CORRELATION COEFFICIENT Correlation Coefficient . it was found that there was a very low positive relationship between the level of Marzano HOTS and gender.104 .38 Low investigation 2.70 . error analyzing. academic achivement and socio economic status on the level of Marzano HOTS? Statistical Techniques Percentages and frequencies RG2 ETA RQ3 ANOVA B.90 . Prior to the actual research.71 sehingga .71 Low decision making 1. experimental inquiry.16 0.01 – 3. ACADEMIC ACHIVEMENT AND SOCIO ECONOMIC STATUS Socio Gend Academic Marzano HOTS Economic er achivement Status comparing .129 .138 . TABLE III.53 Moderate invention 2.15 0.84 0. academic achievement.180 inductive reasoning .00 Level Low Moderate High TABLE V.27 Low experimental inquiry 2. academic achivement and socio economic status on The Level of Marzano HOTS Table VIII shows that there was no significant difference between gender on the level of Marzano HOTS.169 .73 Low abstracting 1. TABLE VII. academic achivement and socio economic status? Are there any significant differences in gender.100 .59 Low inductive reasoning 2. academic achivement and socio economic status (Table VII).91 sehingga 1.01 sehingga .30 .04 0.110 . problem solving.31 sehingga .73 Medium deductive reasoning 2.033 . It comprises 44 items based on the 13 Marzano HOTS with 4 points scale responses.13 0. July 2011 B.64 Medium analyzing errors 1. deducing. and socioeconomic status do not affect students' thinking skills.67 Low constructing support 2.026 problem solving .51 sehingga .08 0. a pilot test was conducted to determine the reliability of the instrument and to achieve the desired objective of this study. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LEVEL OF MARZANO HOTS AND GENDER. Parametric statistical techniques were used with the inferential statistics. Relationship Between The Level of Marzano HOTS and Gender.00 2.161 .00 – 2. Vol. SUMMARY OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES USED IN THE STUDY No RQ1 Research Questions (RQ) What are the level of Marzano HOTS among technical education students? Is there any significant relationship between the level of Marzano HOTS and gender. and invention.127 . TABLE IV. Their findings showed that humans only use general guidelines based on personal experiences when they make decisions [19].76 0. Instrument of Research A set of the questionnaire adapted from the Rubrics for Specific Task or Situation (1992) was developed.213 analyzing .International Journal of Social Science and Humanity.131 .01 – 4. Differences in gender.075 .144 investigation .0 .48 Moderate C. 1.50 .

28 .17 2.27 0.904 *Difference is significant at the .07 1.65 2.47 Male Mean 2.55 0.00 1.17 2.04 1.76 1.81 2.50 0.69 Mean SD 2.94 1.61 0.07 0.76 2.72 0.65 0.60 0.13 1.60 0.557 .18 0. 2. Surprisingly.61 2.69 0.95 2.34 0.67 1.82 1.00 2.70 1.41 0.00 1.87 0.01 1.30 1.99 Mean SD 2. TABLE IX.67 1.66 0.87 2.33 2.07 1.99 1.33 1.69 Mean SD P 2.05 level.99 1. Table IX shows that there was no significant difference among students’ academic achievement on the level of Marzano HOTS.11 2.23 2.209 .00 1.10 2.99 1.30 0.75 0.90 1. THE DIFFERENCE AMONG SOCIO ECONOMIC STATUS ON THE LEVEL OF MARZANO HOTS Marzano HOTS comparing classifying inductive reasoning deductive reasoning analyzing errors constructing support analyzing perspectives abstracting decision making investigation problem solving experimental inquiry invention RM1501-RM250 0 Mean SD RM2501-RM350 0 Mean SD RM3501-RM450 0 Mean SD ≥RM4501 Mean SD P 1.67 1.423 .177 .68 0.301 .63 2.99 1.47 0.76 0. Vol.15 1.74 0.60 2.61 0.40 2.13 2. TABLE VIII.62 0.49 p .15 1.60 0.38 0.50 2.56 2.55 0.68 2.17 2.55 2.00 1.54 2.615 .60 0.67 0.977 .93 2.20 2.51 0.26 0.16 SD 0.61 2.60 0.75 1.48 0.58 0.06 1.77 1.203 .74 0.06 1.54 0.90 2.81 0.60 1.28 2.342 .485 .21 1.890 .98 2.69 1.702 .00 3.36 1.44 0.65 0.27 0.94 1.334 .82 2.29 0.10 1.785 .58 2.74 0.00 1.391 892 . July 2011 safely concluded that all technical education students whether females or males have the same level of thinking skills.63 0.056 * Difference is significant at the .070 .53 0.75 2.54 0.66 0.33 1.61 0.39 1.60 2.97 1.57 0.850 .16 2.139 . students’ academic achievement has no influence on the level of thinking skills.23 1.03 1.80 2.696 .67 0.60 2.48 2.59 0.60 0.03 1.62 0.00 ≤CGPA ≥ 3.650 .13 1.41 0.44 0.13 1.533 .18 2.66 0.05 level.56 0.81 1.66 2.57 0.70 0.33 1.70≤CGPA ≥ 2.18 0.034 .47 0.18 0.25 0.78 2.18 1.69 0.189 .52 1.93 1.35 0.94 1.30 0. TABLE X.35 0. students from low socio economic status are better in decision making as compared to students from higher socio economic status.42 2.05 0.74 2.51 0.00 1. 124 .64 0.464 .38 0.851 .52 1.60 1.849 *Difference is significant at the .00 3.82 0.39 0.54 0.15 1.60 0.47 1.575 .73 0. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENDER ON THE LEVEL OF MARZANO HOTS Marzano HOTS comparing classifying inductive reasoning deductive reasoning analyzing errors constructing support analyzing perspectives abstracting decision making investigation problem solving experimental inquiry invention Female Mean 2.93 1.63 0.54 0.095 .33 1.50 0.65 1.67 0.62 0.62 1.70 0.70 Mean SD 3.33 1. Table X shows that there was no significant difference in socio economic status on the level of Marzano HOTS except for decision making.12 2.International Journal of Social Science and Humanity.60 2.78 0.54 0.45 0.68 0. Students who have good academic achievement do not necessarily have a high level in HOTS as compared to students with low academic achivement [19].88 1.187 .25 2.25 2.987 .60 0.325 .83 0.48 2.15 1.11 2.14 0.64 0.23 0.45 0.47 0.00 0. Evidently.50 - .05 level.25 3.20 SD 0.00 2.46 0.14 0.62 0.78 2. 1.538 .909 .83 0.54 0.97 1.62 0.85 0.40 1.55 0.717 .42 0.86 2.61 0.06 2.00 1.06 2.72 0.37 2.88 2. No.25 0.00CGPA ≥ 2.62 2.08 2. THE DIFFERENCE AMONG ACADEMIC ACHIVEMENT ON THE LEVEL OF MARZANO HOTS Marzano HOTS comparing classifying inductive reasoning deductive reasoning analyzing errors constructing support analyzing perspectives abstracting decision making investigation problem solving experimental inquiry invention CGPA ≥ 3.602 .392 .20 2.65 0.45 0.27 0.

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The research findings support the teaching and learning of thinking skills because it will enable students to be aware of their own thinking skills while performing tasks. O. Through this awareness. Her PhD research focuses on the higher order thinking skills. Pollock. Rajendran. Wilson. These manuals for individualized learning will be able to support the current learning system since students can study at their own pace [21].International Journal of Social Science and Humanity. N. F. 1990. Based on these arguments. thinking styles and thinking skills. G. “Perbandingan Pencapaian Para Pelajar Dalam Pentaksiran Kerja Amali Dengan Peperiksaan Bertulis. Bhd. In 2003 she completed her Master’s degree in Technical and Vocational Education at the same university Teknologi Malaysia. and A. [3] [4] [5] Yee Mei Heong was born in Sarawak. Industrial Practicum Supervisor. 1987. 2008. M. D. Razaviech. There exist no significant differences in thinking levels between male and female students.