International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

MAPPING THE LEVEL OF SCIENTIFIC REASONING SKILLS TO INSTRUCTIONAL METHODOLOGIES AMONG SCEINCES, MATHEMATICS AND ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATES
Nor’ain Mohd. Tajudin, Nor’ain Mohd. Tajudin, Noorshah Saad, Nurulhuda Abd Rahman, Asmayati Yahaya, Hasimah Alimon, Mohd Uzi Dollah, Mohd Mustamam Abd Karim

Abstract
Scientific reasoning (SR) is an important area in education practice and research. The ability to think in a scientific manner to approach problems in a logical and coherent way is a desirable outcome of schooling. This thinking skill is important for the cognitive development of young persons and, in addition, it also provides them with skills that may be able to be transferred to other learning and social contexts specifically for future labour market. The aim of this research are: (1) to establish the level of SR among SME undergraduates; (b) to identify the types of instructional methods in teaching SME at universities; and (c) to map instructional methods employed to the level of SR skills among the undergraduates. This study used the quantitative survey data-gathering method. A total of 975 students were participated in this study. There were two instruments used in this study namely, the Lawson Scientific Reasoning Skills and the Lecturers’ Teaching Style Survey. The descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation, and the inferential statistics such as the t-test and Pearson correlation were used to analyze the data. The findings of the study showed that 63.2% of the students achieved Level 1 (concrete operational) of SR skill, 30.7% achieved Level 2 (transitional operational) and only 6.2% of them achieved Level 3 (formal operational). The overall mean level of the SR skills was 3.23 indicating that the Malaysian IHL students had concrete operational level of SR skills. Furthermore, in general, the Expert and Delegator were dominant lecturers’ teaching styles according to students’ perception where 819(84.0%) and 853(87.5%) of the students, respectively, were in the highest score level. However, the Personal Model teaching style was the lowest with 282 (28.8%) students’ perception were in the highest score level. In addition, there was no correlation between students’ perception towards lecturers’ teaching style and the level of SR skills. Comparison between universities also revealed that there was no correlation between the SR skills and the lecturers’ teaching style among the universities that were investigated. Only Universiti Sains Malaysia(USM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia(UPM) showed that there were negatively week relationship between the two variables where the dominant lecturers’ teaching style for USM was Facilitator with r = -.320 and the dominant lecturers’ teaching style for UPM were Formal Authority and Delegator with r=-.387 and r=-.321, respectively. These findings indicated that the Malaysian IHL students’ level of SR skills was still in the concrete operational level, thus further action should be attempted if improvements are to be forthcoming. The findings further suggested that there were no specific lectures’ teaching styles that have relationship with the SR skills level. Thus, this study opens an endless source of other researchers to investigate more to better inform our knowledge in this area of SR skills.

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