Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number1 March 2021 Pp.71 -89
Boosting EFL Learners Critical Thinking through Guided Discovery: a Classroom-
Oriented Research on First-Year Master Students
Department of Foreign Languages
Institute of Letters and Languages
Salhi Ahmed University Center of Naama, Algeria
Received: 12/26/2020 Accepted: 1/22/2021 Published: 3/24/2021
Critical thinking is widely recognized as a necessary skill for growth and intellectual development due to a variety of factors, including globalization, the revolution of information technology, modernity, and connectivity. EFL teachers can lay the groundwork for their students to attain critical thinking through various methods, models, and strategies. The present investigation suggests that the teacher could promote EFL learners’ critical thinking through guided discovery model of instruction. Henceforth, the current paper endeavors to enlighten the adequacy of applying guided discovery for developing learners’ critical thinking skills. It is an experimental research that investigates: how may guided discovery contribute to the development of EFL learners’ critical thinking? It attempts to examine the utility of discovery learning in teaching students how to process and think critically about the education they receive where information has become readily available and accessible. To this aim, 40 EFL Master students who took educational psychology courses were nominated from the university center of Naama, Algeria. The researcher selected Peter Honey Critical Thinking test and focus group discussions to attain data on students’ critical thinking skills. The test results demonstrated that the experimental group outperformed the control group. The students become more autonomous, reflect on their learning experiences, and identify the most useful strategies. Furthermore, the analysis of focus group interviews revealed that the experimental group participants hold positive attitudes toward discovery learning. They perceive it as a precious method that can enhance their awareness about the value of thinking critically.
Keywords: Classroom-oriented research, critical thinking, EFL learners’ at Naama University Center,
discovery learning, guided discovery, reflection
Cite as: YAICHE, W. (2021). Boosting EFL Learners Critical Thinking through Guided Discovery: a Classroom-Oriented Research on First-Year Master Students. Arab World English Journal, 12 (1) 71-89.
Abrami, P. C., et al. (2008). Instructional interventions affecting critical thinking skills and dispositions: A stage 1 meta-analysis. Reviewed of Educational Research, 78(4), 1102–1134. DOI: 10.3102/0034654308326084
Bloom, B., Engelhart, M., Frost, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Handbook 1, Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay.
Bruner, J. S. (1961). The act of discovery. Harvard Educational Review, 31, 21–32.
Butler, H. A., et al. (2012). The Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment and real-world outcomes: Cross-national. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 7(2), 112-121.
Chaffee, J. (1988). Thinking critically. Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin.
Cottrell, S. (2005). Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. New York: PALCRAVE MACMILLAN
Dean, D. Jr., & Kuhn, D. (2007). Direct instruction vs. discovery: The long view. Science Education, 91(3), 384–397. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.20194
Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Ennis, R. H. (1992). The degree to which critical thinking is subject specific: Clarification and needed research. In S. P. Norris (Ed.), The Generalizability of critical thinking: Multiple perspectives on an educational ideal (pp. 21-37). New York: Teachers College Press.
Ennis, R. H., Millman, J., & Tomko, T. N. (1985). Cornell Critical Thinking Tests Level X. & Level Z – Manual (3rd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Midwest Publications.
Facione, P. (1990). Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction. Retrieved from http://www.insightassessment.com/.
Facione, P. (1998). Critical Thinking: What it is and Why It Counts. Retrieved from http://www.insightassessment.com/pdf_files/what&why2006.pdf.
Facione, P. A. (2000). The disposition toward critical thinking: Its character. Measurement, and Relationship to Critical Thinking Skill, Informal Logic, 20(1), 61–84.
Fahmi, Setiadi, I., Elmawati, D., & Sunardi (2019). Discovery Learning Method for Training Critical Thinking Skills of Students. European Journal of Education Studies, 6(3), 342-351. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3345924
Ghaemi, F., & Mirsaeed, S.J.G. (2017). The Impact of Inquiry-based Learning Approach on Critical Thinking Skill of EFL Students. EFL Journal 2(2), 89-102. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.21462/eflj.v2i2.38
Gibson, M. (2012). Integrating higher-order thinking skills into the L2 classroom. Available from: http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/30549941/CLIL.
Halpern, D. F. (1998). Teaching critical thinking for transfer across domains. American Psychologist, 53(2), 449–455.
Halpern, D. F. (2003). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (4th ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Henson, K. T. (1996). Methods and strategies for teaching in secondary and middle schools. White Plains, NY: Longman
Honey, P. (2005). Critical Thinking Questionnaire. Retrieved from http://www.peterhoney.com
Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75–86. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep4102_1
Kusumawardini, A.D., Mulya, D., & Faizah, A. (2019). Empowering students’ creativity and critical thinking through discovery learning-based writing assessment. Linguists: Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching, 5(1), 1-6. http://ejournal.iainbengkulu.ac.id/index.php/linguists
Lin, Y. (2018). Developing Critical Thinking in EFL Classes: An Infusion Approach. Singapore: Springer Nature
Lizarraga, M. L. S. D. A., Baquedano, M. T. S. D. A., & Oliver, M. S. (2010). Stimulation of
thinking skills in high school students. Educational Studies, 36(3), 329–340
Lutz, S., Guthrie, J., & Davis, M. (2006). Scaffolding for engagement in elementary school reading instruction. Journal of Educational Research, 100(1), 3–20. https://doi.org/10.3200/JOER.100.1.3-20
Marin, L. M., & Halpern, D. F. (2011). Pedagogy for developing critical thinking in adolescents: Explicit instruction produces greatest gains. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 6(1), 1–13.
Mason, M. (2008). Critical thinking and learning. In M. Mason, (Ed.), Critical thinking and learning (pp. 1–10). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Mayer, R. (2002). The promise of educational psychology: Volume II. Teaching for meaningful learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrilll/Pearson
Mayer, R. E. (2004). Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? American Psychologist, 59(1), 14–19.
Moreno, R. (2010). Educational Psychology. United States of America: John Wiley and Sons.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2011). P21 Common Core Toolkit: A Guide to Aligning the Common Core State Standards with the Framework for 21st Century Skills. Washington, DC: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
Rahman, M.H., (2017). Using Discovery Learning to Encourage Creative Thinking. International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies, 4(2), 98-103. doi:10.23918/ijsses.v4i2sip98
Safrida, H., Andalia, N., & Zulfajri, M. (2019). Progress in Students’ Critical Thinking Skills
and Motivation based on the Implementation of Discovery Learning modified with Think Pair Share Learning Model. International Research Journal for Quality in Education, 6(1), 14-19.
Salkind, N. (2009). Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology. California: Sage Publications Ink.
Shirkhani, S., & Fahim, M. (2011). Enhancing critical thinking in foreign language learners. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 29, 111–115. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.11.214
Simpson, E., & Courtney, M. (2002). Critical thinking in nursing education: Literature review. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 8(2), 89–98. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-172x.2002.00340.x.
Sternberg, R. J. (1986). Critical thinking: Its nature, measurement, and improvement. Washington, DC: National Institute of Education. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 7(2), 112 121.
Stobaugh, R. (2013). Assessing Critical Thinking in Middle and High Schools: Meeting the common core. New York: Taylor and Francis Group
Sukartiningsih, S., & Jacky, M. (2019). What is Discovery Learning Can Grow Critical Thinking Skills? The Indonesian Journal of Social Studies, 2(2), 87-94. https://journal.unesa.ac.id/index.php/jpips/index
Swartz, R. J. (2003). Infusing critical thinking and creative thinking into instruction in high school classrooms. In D. Fasko (Ed.), Critical thinking and reasoning (pp. 207-251). Cresskill and NJ: Hampton Press.
Tiwari, A., Lai, P., & So, M. (2006). A comparison of the effects of problem-cased learning and lecturing on the development of students’ critical thinking. Medical Education, 40(6), 547 554. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2006.02481.x.
Vardi, I. (2013). Developing students’ critical thinking in the higher education class. Milperra: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.
Wahyudi, R., Rukmini, D, & Bharati, D.A.L., (2019). Developing Discovery Learning-Based Assessment Module to Stimulate Critical Thinking and Creativity of Students’ Speaking Performance. English Education Journal 9(2), 172-180. http://journal.unnes.ac.id/sju/index.php/eej
Wale, B.D., & Bishaw, K.S. (2020). Effects of using inquiry-based learning on EFL students’ critical thinking skills. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education 5(9), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40862-020-00090-2