The Impact of Teaching Extended Thinking: A Study on High School Students’ Comprehension Skills in a Private School in Dubai

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The study aimed to investigate the impact of teaching Exteneded Thinking Skills on enhancing 9th graders' reading comprehension. The skills addressed were text complexity, synthesis, and critique. The researcher adopted the quasi-experimental design to answer the questions of the study. The samples in the study consisted of (38) female students divided into two groups. One represented the experimental group of (22) students; and the other represented the control group of (16) students. Both groups were randomly selected from a private school in Dubai. The experimental group was taught the Extended Thinking while the control group was taught using the traditional method. For collecting the data, the researcher constructed two tools. The first tool was by selecting a grade-approperiate reading comprehension passage and designing a task based on the passage to be used as a pre and post tests. Concerning the second tool, the researcher used an interview as an additional method to measure the experimental group development in learning Extended Thinking skills. The data of the study were analyzed using a comparative approach, which was used to determine if there is any differences between the groups. Thematic analysis method was used for the interview to measure the effect of teaching Extended Thinking Skills on the experimental group. According to the results of the study, there seemed to be statistically significant differences between both groups for the experimental one. The analysis of the pre and post tests indicated a large effect of teaching Extended Thinking on improving synthesis and critique skills while it had a slight effect on improving text complexity skill for only few students in the experimental group. The results of the interview showed a large effect on the students’ perceptions of using Extended Thinking. The study recommended to use other Extended Thinking Skills in teaching reading to improve students' reading comprehension. It also proposed that a further research to examine the impact of other factors on developing the students' reading comprehension and language competence should be carried out.
Reading comprehension (Secondary)., high school students’, private school, United Arab Emirates (UAE)