Repository logo

Incorporating critical thinking: teaching strategies in Malaysian technical and vocational education (TVE) programs




Sulaiman, Nor Lisa, author
Timpson, William M., advisor
Makela, Carole J., committee member
Wallner, Barbara, committee member
Nobe, Mary, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Teachers should be critical thinking agents who guide students to become better critical thinkers through teaching strategies (Halpern, 1999). The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which polytechnic lecturers in Malaysia incorporate critical thinking into their teaching strategies. The web-based survey, Qualtrics, was used to disseminate the teaching strategies questionnaire to 4,529 lecturers at 27 Malaysian polytechnics. A non-experimental design was employed to explore: the most frequently used and effective strategies; and the relationships and differences among frequency of use, perception of effectiveness, and knowledge of critical thinking teaching strategies relative to the highest level of education, years of teaching experience, attendance at critical thinking workshops, and teaching major. The data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA, and thematic content analysis. The response rate for this study was 7.9 percent, which included 358 lecturers. The findings from rank-ordering indicated that among the 58 critical thinking strategies, open-ended questioning was rated as the most frequently used strategy and small group discussions were perceived as most effective by lecturers. From 58 strategies, EFA determined four factors within, reduced to 25 strategies. The findings from open-ended questions revealed cognitive and affective domains were used for student learning outcomes and rubrics, examinations, presentations, and lab experiments were incorporated to assess students' critical thinking. The findings of this study provide useful information to promote intellectual growth in enhancing critical thinking strategies among lecturers in Malaysia. Critical thinking training for lecturers at Malaysian polytechnics is recommended to improve the usage, perceptions, and knowledge of critical thinking teaching strategies.


Rights Access


critical thinking
technical and vocational education (TVE)
teaching strategies
Malaysian polytechnics


Associated Publications