When students say “I just couldn’t think”: Challenges in Teaching Skilful Thinking

Volume 04 - Issue 02
Bavani Nageswana Row Selvaranee Subramaniam Renuka V. Sathasivam
Pages: 59-69 Download Count : 1613 View Count: 882 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley


This paper discusses challenges encountered by selected Year Four science teachers regarding their knowledge and implementation of skilful thinking (ST) in their classrooms. ST is a complex concept comprising three elements; specific thinking strategies, habits of mind and metacognitive thinking. Due of the complexity of ST, the implementation of teaching of thinking skills in primary science is often overlooked. Subsequently, this has led to students’ low achievements in tasks related to higher order thinking skills (HOTS). The sample of this study consisted of nine novice teachers. Semi‐structured teacher interviews and classroom observations were the primary sources of data for this study. The findings revealed that the selected teachers lacked knowledge on ST and therefore were unable to implement and infuse ST elements into their daily classroom practices. In addition, other challenges ‐‐ such as classroom management, mixed ability students and lack of resources ‐‐ hindered teachers from implementing ST successfully in their classrooms. Implications for science teacher education and in‐service professional development are discussed.


  • primary science; skilful thinking; teachers’ knowledge
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