UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Md. Shahrin s/o K S Moorthy
Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Toh, Kok Aun
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

The call to teach higher-order thinking skills has prompted science educators to seek new strategies in their instructional programme. One suggested strategy is open-ended science investigations. This study explores the relationship between one of the higher-order thinking skills, creativity, and the performance of open-ended science investigations. Specifically, the study seeks to determine the correlation between creative thinking ability and performance of open-ended investigation, as well as each of its six components (preliminary trials, planning, performing, communicating, interpreting and feedback). The study was conducted with only secondary two female students as the researcher intended to use the findings in his current assignment in an all-girls Independent school. The study used two open-ended investigations. The design of both investigations was based on the Assessment of Performance Unit (U.K.) problem solving cycle. The performances in these investigations were determined using the Self-Report Sheet devised by Toh (1990). The data collected from the open-ended investigations were correlated with creative thinking ability scores obtained from the How Do You Think Inventory Devised (1975). The latter consisted of 96-test items that looked for personality, characteristics and attitudes which indicated creative thinking ability. A total of 130 students took part in this study, 16 were involved in the pilot and 114 in the main study. The results and feedback obtained from the pilot study brought very minor changes to the main study. These changes concerned mainly with the physical conditions of the instruments and the quality of materials supplied for the investigations. The analysis of the results obtained in the study found no significant correlation between creative thinking ability and performance of open-ended investigations. Of the six components, positive correlation was found between creative thinking ability and planning, as well as the communicating component. The analysis also revealed negative correlation between creative thinking ability and two components, performing and interpreting. As for the remaining two components, preliminary trials and feedback, no significant correlation was found. The results also showed that creative thinking ability is not a major factor in determining either the performance of open-ended investigations or any of its six components. The results have shown the degree of relationship between creative thinking ability and the six components. The findings of the study revealed places in the problem-solving cycle that could involve creativity. This might help science educators in their teaching, assessment and design of open-ended investigations if they were to use them to meet the objective of infusing creative thinking in their laboratory lessons.

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