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Renandya, Willy A.
Secondary Three
Text books
Cognitive Rigor
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Textbooks are an essential component in the classroom, making it extremely crucial to regularly evaluate textbooks used in schools so that their pedagogical contributions towards the teaching and learning processes can be guaranteed.

This study aimed to identify and analyse the cognitive levels of questions available in Secondary Three “All About English” textbooks, which have been used in Singapore since 2013. The objective of carrying out the analysis was to determine the overall cognitive rigor of questions, using a matrix superimposing two taxonomies: Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Domain-of-Knowledge (DOK) model.

The sample of this study consisted of questions from the Express and Normal Technical (NT) English language textbooks from Hodder Education, where 346 questions were analysed in total. The cognitive rigor matrix was used in the classification of the questions.

The results revealed that in the Express level textbook, most questions were within the cell [2,3] (35.9%), consisting of Understand and “Strategic Thinking” questions. In contrary, for the Normal Technical level textbook, most questions were within the cell [5,4] (17.6%), consisting of Evaluate and “Extended Thinking” questions. Overall, there was a good mix of Lower-order thinking skill (LOTS) and Higher-order thinking skill (HOTS) questions. However, not all cognitive levels were clearly varied, with an over-emphasis on Understand and Evaluate questions, neglecting Remember and Apply questions.

In light of the results, it is recommended that coursebook writers incorporate questions of varied cognitive demands. Similar studies should also be conducted regularly to evaluate the effectiveness of school textbooks in their potential in enhancing students’ critical thinking.
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Appears in Collections:Educational Research AY2017/2018

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