Improving polytechnic students’ high-order-thinking-skills through inquiry-based learning in mathematics classroom

Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani


Mathematics is one of the most emphasized subjects and has grown immensely to provide a strong base for programs in science, engineering and technology. Training students in this field will give them the opportunity to improve their high order thinking skills (HOTS). But the students’ HOTS level is at low stage due to the learning approaches employed in classrooms. The aim of this study is therefore to investigate the effect of inquiry-based learning (IBL) in improving polytechnic students’ level of HOTS. In this study, pre-test-post-test quasi-experimental design was used involving two purposefully sampled National Diploma II classes. Seventy-three students participated in this study (36 students for experimental group and 37 students for control group). HOTS questions and worksheets based on IBL are the instruments used for this study. The findings of independent-sample t-test analysis showed that there was a significant difference between the mean scores of post-test for both experimental and control groups at alpha= 0.05 (p= 0.000) level of significant. Moreover, it was found that the students’ overall HOTS level (applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating) can be improved through this approach. In conclusion, IBL can have a positive effect on the HOTS of polytechnic students in mathematics classroom.


HOTS; IBL; polytechnic education; mathematics classroom


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