Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Primary School: Teachers’ Perceptions of Islamic Education

Abstract views: 1532 / PDF downloads: 856


  • Aceng Kosasih Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
  • Tedi Supriyadi Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
  • Mokh Iman Firmansyah Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
  • Nan Rahminawati Universitas Islam Bandung




curriculum, higher-order thinking skills, Islamic education, Indonesia.


One curriculum policy in countries, including Indonesia, is to provide students with higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and success in doing so is closely related to the competence of teachers in integrating HOTS in the learning process. This study investigated HOTS implementation in Islamic Education (PAI) in primary schools in Indonesia. This study employed a case study design involving 58 PAI teachers in primary schools from several West Java, Indonesia regencies. The data were collected by distributing questionnaires with short answers followed by semi-structured interviews of 10 participants. Inductive and thematic data analysis was carried out to identify, evaluate, and create themes expressed by participants with the assistance of NVivo 12. Triangulation and expert review methods were used for instrument and data validation. This study explored five findings: teacher understanding, teaching resource support, instructional strategies, and student knowledge levels. This research contributes to improving the quality of PAI learning in HOTS-oriented primary schools, and policymakers can use its findings in determining the direction of the HOTS-based PAI curriculum. Policymakers should stress the importance of increasing teacher competence in mastering the HOTS concept comprehensively in planning, implementation, and evaluation. Support from various parties in optimizing HOTS-oriented PAI learning is a necessity for teachers.


Download data is not yet available.


Al-Syatibi, A. I. (1975). Al-Muwafaqat fi Ushul al-Syari’ah [Approval of the vehicle’s assets]. Dar al-Fikr.

Alavi, H. R. (2008). Nearness to God: A perspective on Islamic education. Religious Education, 103(1), 5–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/00344080701807361 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00344080701807361

Ali, A., & Singh, C. K. S. (2020). ESBOR: Analysis students HOTS for developing digital technology in environmental learning. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, 29(4), 3896–3904. http://sersc.org/journals/index.php/IJAST/article/view/24556

Aliyyah, R. R., Rachmadtullah, R., Samsudin, A., Syaodih, E., Nurtanto, M., & Tambunan, A. R. S. (2020). The perceptions of primary school teachers of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic period: A case study in Indonesia. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(2), 90–109. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/388 DOI: https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/388

Anderson, L. M., & Stillman, J. A. (2013). Student teaching’s contribution to preservice teacher development: A review of research focused on the preparation of teachers for urban and high-needs contexts. Review of Educational Research, 83(1), 3–69. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654312468619 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654312468619

Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. Longman.

Anney, V. N. (2014). Ensuring the quality of the findings of qualitative research: Looking at trustworthiness criteria. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies (JETERAPS), 5(2), 272–281.

Apino, E., & Retnawati, H. (2018). Creative problem solving for improving students’ higher order thinking skills (HOTS) and characters. In E. Retnowati, A. Ghufron, Marzuki, Kasiyan, A. C. Pierawan, & Ashadi (Eds.), Character education for 21st century global citizens (pp. 249–256). Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315104188-32

Ardiansyah, M. Z. (2019). Higher-order thinking skills: Strategi kontra radikalisme santri pesantren [Islamic boarding school students counter radicalism strategy]. Ibriez: Jurnal Kependidikan Dasar Islam Berbasis Sains, 3(2), 121–132. https://doi.org/10.21154/ibriez.v3i2.51 DOI: https://doi.org/10.21154/ibriez.v3i2.51

Arif, M. (2017). Deradikalisasi Islam melalui pendidikan multikultural berbasis kearifan lokal pada msyarakat cigugur [Deradicalization of Islam through multicultural education based on local wisdom in the Cigugur community]. AKADEMIKA: Jurnal Pemikiran Islam, 22(1), 51–76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32332/akademika.v22i1.716

Ashton, P. (1988). Teaching higher-order thinking and content: An essential ingredient in teacher preparation. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2. https://files.eric.ed.gov/ fulltext/ED297003.pdf

Asyur, I., & Al-Thahir, M. (2001). Maqashid al-Syari’ah al-Islamiyah. Amman: Dâr Al-Nafâ’is.

Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 10–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.08.007 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.08.007

Ayçiçek, B. (2021). Integration of critical thinking into curriculum: Perspectives of prospective teachers. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 41, 100895. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2021.100895 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2021.100895

Barak, M., & Shakhman, L. (2008). Fostering higher-order thinking in science class: Teachers’ reflections. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 14(3), 191–208. https://doi.org/10.1080/13540600802006079 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13540600802006079

Blitar, N. S. (2011). Pengaruh persepsi dan sikap guru terhadap kesiapan guru mata pelajaran akuntansi dalam implementasi KTSP di SMA negeri Se-Kabupaten Blitar [The influence of teachers’ perceptions and attitudes on the readiness of teachers in accounting subjects in the implementation of KTSP in state senior high schools in Blitar Regency]. Dinamika Pendidikan Unnes, 6(1), 26–34. https://doi.org/10.15294/dp.v6i1.5347

Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: Cognitive domain. McKay.

Bogdan, R., & Taylor, S. (1993). Qualitative: Basics of research. Usaha Nasional Surabaya.

Brickhouse, N. W. (1990). Teachers’ beliefs about the nature of science and their relationship to classroom practice. Journal of Teacher Education, 41(3), 53–62. https://doi.org/10.1177/002248719004100307 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/002248719004100307

Bryman, A. (2016). Social research methods. Oxford University Press.

Budimansyah, D., Suharto, N., & Nurulpaik, I. (2019). Proyek belajar karakter untuk mengembangkan literasi baru abad 21 [Character learning project to develop new 21st century literacy]. Bandung: Gapura Press.

Cáceres, M., Nussbaum, M., & Ortiz, J. (2020). Integrating critical thinking into the classroom: A teacher’s perspective. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 37, 100674. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2020.100674 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2020.100674

Castle, K. (2006). Autonomy through pedagogical research. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(8), 1094–1103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2006.07.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2006.07.001

Chambers, J. G. (1988). Teaching thinking throughout the curriculum--Where else?. Educational Leadership, 45(7), 4–6. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED297003.pdf

Clarke, D., & Hollingsworth, H. (2002). Elaborating a model of teacher professional growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(8), 947–967. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(02)00053-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(02)00053-7

Conklin, W. (2011). Higher-order thinking skills to develop 21st century learners. Shell Education.

Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. SAGE Publishing.

Davidson, M., Lickona, T., & Khmelkov, V. (2008). Smart & good schools: A new paradigm for high school character education. Handbook of Moral and Character Education.

Dijkstra, S., Schott, F., Seel, N., Tennyson, R. D., & Seel, N. M. (2013). Instructional design: International perspectives II: Volume I: Theory, research, and models: Volume II: Solving instructional design problems. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315044743 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315044743

Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2001). Educational psychology: Windows on classrooms (8th ed.). Pearson.

Elmir, G. (2009). Religious education vs. religious radicalism in Islam. The Caucasus & Globalization, 3(2–3).

Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(1), 107–115. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x

Ennis, R. H. (2015). Critical thinking: A streamlined conception. In M. Davies & R. Barnett (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of critical thinking in higher education (pp. 31–47). Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137378057_2

Erlingsson, C., & Brysiewicz, P. (2017). A hands-on guide to doing content analysis. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 7(3), 93–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2017.08.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2017.08.001

Hett, G., & Hett, J. (2013). Ethics in intercultural research: Reflections on the challenges of conducting field research in a Syrian context. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 43(4), 496–515. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2013.797753 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2013.797753

Hidayat, I. (2020). Kompetensi guru dalam pembelajaran PAI berbasis Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) di sekolah menengah pertama [Teacher competencies in Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) based PAI learning in junior high schools]. Khazanah Pendidikan Islam, 2(2), 52–67. https://doi.org/10.15575/kp.v2i2.9030 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15575/kp.v2i2.9030

Hujar, J., & Matthews, M. S. (2021). Teacher perceptions of the primary education thinking skills program. Roeper Review, 43(3), 187–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/02783193.2021.1923594 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02783193.2021.1923594

Ichsan, I. Z., Sigit, D. V., Miarsyah, M., Ali, A., Arif, W. P., & Prayitno, T. A. (2019). HOTS-AEP: Higher order thinking skills from elementary to master students in environmental learning. European Journal of Educational Research, 8(4), 935–942. https://doi.org/10.12973/eu-jer.8.4.935 DOI: https://doi.org/10.12973/eu-jer.8.4.935

Ismail, N. H. B., Makhsin, M. B., Rofie, M. K. B. H., & Omar, S. (2021). Higher order thinking skills (HOTS): An analysis based on Surah Al-Hajj verse 46. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 17(1), 471–480. https://doi.org/10.52462/jlls.30 DOI: https://doi.org/10.52462/jlls.30

Istiyono, E., Dwandaru, W. S. B., Setiawan, R., & Megawati, I. (2020). Developing of computerized adaptive testing to measure physics higher order thinking skills of senior high school students and its feasibility of use. European Journal of Educational Research, 9(1), 91–101. https://doi.org/0.12973/eu-jer.9.1.91 DOI: https://doi.org/10.12973/eu-jer.9.1.91

James, M., & McCormick, R. (2009). Teachers learning how to learn. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(7), 973–982. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2009.02.023 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2009.02.023

Jungwirth, E. (1990). Science teachers’ spontaneous, latent or non‐attendance to the validity of conclusions in reported situations. Research in Science & Technological Education, 8(2), 103–115. https://doi.org/10.1080/0263514900080203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0263514900080203

Kapade, D. (2017). Data collectionmethod in research through web-based questionnaire: Using Google Form. ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 7(11), 237–241.

Kasim, T. S. A. T., & Abdurajak, F. S. (2018). Issue and challenges in teaching and learning: An analysis of Islamic education novice teachers’ practice. International Journal of Education, Psychology and Counselling, 3(12), 99–109.

Kavenuke, P. S. (2021). Teacher educators’ perceptions and challenges of using critical pedagogy : A case study of higher teacher education in Tanzania. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 18(4). http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11810/5787 DOI: https://doi.org/10.53761/

King, F. J., Goodson, L., & Rohani, F. (2013). Higher order thinking skills: Definition, teaching strategies, assessment. Center for Advancement of Learning and Assessment.

Kondracki, N. L., Wellman, N. S., & Amundson, D. R. (2002). Content analysis: Review of methods and their applications in nutrition education. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 34(4), 224–230. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1499-4046(06)60097-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1499-4046(06)60097-3

Kopcha, T. J. (2012). Teachers’ perceptions of the barriers to technology integration and practices with technology under situated professional development. Computers & Education, 59(4), 1109–1121. EJ986115 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.05.014

Korthagen, F. A. J. (2004). In search of the essence of a good teacher: towards a more holistic approach in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(1), 77–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2003.10.002 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2003.10.002

Korthagen, F. A. J. (2010). Situated learning theory and the pedagogy of teacher education: Towards an integrative view of teacher behavior and teacher learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(1), 98–106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2009.05.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2009.05.001

Krathwohl, D. R., Bloom, B. S., & Masia, B. B. (1984). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Handbook II: Affective domain. McKay.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. SAGE Publishing.

Lincoln, Y. S., Guba, E. G., & Pilotta, J. J. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. SAGE Publishing. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(85)90062-8

Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2015). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. John Wiley & Sons.

Miri, B., David, B.-C., & Uri, Z. (2007). Purposely teaching for the promotion of higher-order thinking skills: A case of critical thinking. Research in Science Education, 37(4), 353–369. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-006-9029-2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-006-9029-2

Moning, N., & Yeng, G. C. S. (2015). HOTs in the Malaysian classroom: A teachers’ perspective. In Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Language, Education and Innovation (pp. 52–65).

Muthanna, A. (2019). Critical qualitative inquiry and methodological awareness: The effectiveness of face-to-face interviews in changing/enhancing participants’ beliefs and practices. International Journal of Research, 8(2), 59–66. https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2019.3027 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2019.3027

Nasution, M. K. M. (2005). Konsep penelitian dalam teknologi informasi [Research concepts in information technology]. Al-Khawarizmi: Journal of Computer Science, 1(1), 33–40.

Nisbet, J., & Shucksmith, J. (1986). Learning strategies (1st ed.). Routledge & Kegan Paul plc. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315188652 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315188652

Novak, J. D., & Gowin, D. B. (1984). Learning how to learn (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173469

Olson, M. R., & Craig, C. J. (2001). Opportunities and challenges in the development of teachers’ knowledge: The development of narrative authority through knowledge communities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(6), 667–684. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0742-051x(01)00023-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(01)00023-3

Patton, M. Q. (2014). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. SAGE Publishing.

Penlington, C. (2008). Dialogue as a catalyst for teacher change: A conceptual analysis. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(5), 1304–1316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2007.06.004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2007.06.004

Peterson, J. S. (2019). Presenting a qualitative study: A reviewer’s perspective. Gifted Child Quarterly, 63(3), 147–158. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986219844789 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986219844789

Pogrow, S. (1996). HOTS: Helping low achievers in grades 4-7. Principal, 76(2), 34–35.

Qasrawi, R., & Beniabdelrahman, A. (2020). The higher and lower-order thinking skills (Hots and Lots) in unlock English textbooks (1st and 2nd editions) based on Bloom’s taxonomy: An analysis study. International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET), 7(3), 744–758.

Rashed, H. (2015). Towards a common ground: Arab versus Western views about challenges of Islamic religious education curriculum of the twenty-first century. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 45(6), 953–977. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2014.932247 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2014.932247

Razak, A., Razak, A., & Mohamad, M. (2020). Level understanding of HOTS implementation among Islamic education teachers in the industrial. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Student and Disable Student Development 2019 (pp. 45–50). Atlantis Press. https://doi.org/10.2991/ assehr.k.200921.009

Resnick, L. B. (1987). Education and learning to think. National Academy Press.

Richter, E., Brunner, M., & Richter, D. (2021). Teacher educators’ task perception and its relationship to professional identity and teaching practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 101, 103303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103303 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103303

Rohman, S., & Nurhasanah, S. (2019). Paham radikalisme berdasarkan perspektif agama [Radicalism based on religious perspective]. Journal of Terrorism Studies, 1(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.7454/jts.v1i1.1001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7454/jts.v1i1.1001

Rozi, A., Khoiri, A., Farida, R. D. M., Sunarsi, D., & Iswadi, U. (2021). The fullness of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTs) in applied science textbooks of vocational schools. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1764(1), 12143. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1764/1/012143 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1764/1/012143

Sadieda, L. U., Indayati, T., & Faizien, M. I. (2018). Developing an assessment instrument of higher order thinking skills in mathematics with in Islamic context. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1097(1), 12151. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1097/1/012151 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1097/1/012151

Samardzija, N., & Peterson, J. S. (2015). Learning and classroom preferences of gifted eighth graders: A qualitative study. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 38(3), 233–256. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162353215592498 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0162353215592498

Shamim, F., & Qureshi, R. (2013). Informed consent in educational research in the South: Tensions and accommodations. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 43(4), 464–482. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2013.797729 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2013.797729

Sirry, M. (2020). Muslim student radicalism and self-deradicalization in Indonesia. Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 31(2), 241–260. https://doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2020.1770665 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2020.1770665

Starks, H., & Brown Trinidad, S. (2007). Choose your method: A comparison of phenomenology, discourse analysis, and grounded theory. Qualitative Health Research, 17(10), 1372–1380. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732307307031 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732307307031

Sumarwati, S., Fitriyani, H., Setiaji, F. M. A., Amiruddin, M. H., & Jalil, S. A. (2020). Developing mathematics learning media based on e-learning using Moodle on geometry subject to improve students’ higher order thinking skills. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technology, 14(4), 182–191. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v14i04.12731

Supriyadi, T., & Julia, J. (2019). The problem of students in reading the Quran: A reflective-critical treatment through action research. International Journal of Instruction, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2019.12121a DOI: https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2019.12121a

Supriyadi, T., Julia, J., Aeni, A. N., & Sumarna, E. (2020). Action research in hadith literacy: A reflection of hadith learning in the digital age. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 19(5), 99–124. https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.19.5.6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.19.5.6

Supriyadi, T., Julia, J., & Firdaus, E. (2019). The problems of gender equality: A reconstruction of Islamic doctrine. Journal of Social Studies Education Research, 10(2), 91–110. https://jsser.org/index.php/jsser/article/view/698

Swartz, R. J., & Perkins, D. N. (2016). Teaching thinking: Issues and approaches. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315626468

Vidergor, H. E. (2018). Effectiveness of the multidimensional curriculum model in developing higher-order thinking skills in elementary and secondary students. The Curriculum Journal, 29(1), 95–115. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2017.1318771 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2017.1318771

Ward, M. O., Grinstein, G., & Keim, D. (2010). Interactive data visualization: foundations, techniques, and applications. CRC press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/b10683

Wijaya, E. Y., Sudjimat, D. A., Nyoto, A., & Malang, U. N. (2016). Transformasi pendidikan abad 21 sebagai tuntutan pengembangan sumber daya manusia di era global [The transformation of 21st century education as a demand for human resource development in the global era]. Prosiding Seminar Nasional Pendidikan Matematika, 1(26), 263–278.

Witte, D., & Beers, K. (2003). Testing of chemical literacy (Chemistry in Context in the Dutch National Examinations). Chemical Education International, 4(1), 1–15.

Yeung, S. S. (2015). Conception of teaching higher order thinking: perspectives of Chinese teachers in Hong Kong. The Curriculum Journal, 26(4), 553–578. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2015.1053818 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2015.1053818

Zohar, A., & Schwartzer, N. (2005). Assessing teachers’ pedagogical knowledge in the context of teaching higher-order thinking. International Journal of Science Education, 27(13), 1595–1620. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690500186592 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690500186592




How to Cite

Kosasih, A., Supriyadi, T., Firmansyah, M. I., & Rahminawati, N. (2022). Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Primary School: Teachers’ Perceptions of Islamic Education. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 9(1), 56–76. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/994



Original Manuscript
Received 2021-10-21
Accepted 2021-12-24
Published 2022-02-02