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Humanities and Social Sciences Letters

June 2020, Volume 8, 2, pp 156-168

Tamil Primary School Teachers Understanding on Constructing HOTS Items in Mathematics

Thavamani Alagan


S. Kanageswari Suppiah Shanmugam


Arsaythamby Veloo

Thavamani Alagan 1 ,

S. Kanageswari Suppiah Shanmugam 1 Arsaythamby Veloo 1 
  1. School of Education and Modern Language University Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia. 1

Pages: 156-168

DOI: 10.18488/journal.73.2020.82.156.168

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Article History:

Received: 13 December, 2019
Revised: 03 February, 2020
Accepted: 09 March, 2020
Published: 17 March, 2020


Many studies indicate that it is crucial for teachers to understand the levels of higher order thinking skills (HOTS) questions and how to construct HOTS Mathematics items in order to teach effectively and constructively in classrooms. The objective of this study was to investigate Tamil Primary school teachers' understanding (from cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects) of the construction of HOTS Mathematics items based on their teaching experiences. This quantitative study employed descriptive research design. The sample of this study consists of 254 Mathematics teachers from Tamil Primary schools in three states in Malaysia. Stratified sampling was adopted in selecting the sample. The researchers used an adapted survey questionnaire to measure teachers' understanding on constructing HOTS Mathematics items based on three constructs namely cognitive, affective and behavioral. Findings of this study indicate that teachers with high and average experience in teaching Mathematics have significantly better understanding (in terms of cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects) in constructing HOTS Mathematic items compared with teachers who have low experience. In terms of pedagogical implications, the findings of this study suggests that senior teachers should conduct more workshops and training for teachers with less experience to convey their experiences and skills. In terms of practical implications.
Contribution/ Originality
The paper's primary contribution is finding that teachers' with high and average experience in teaching Mathematics have significantly better understanding (in terms of cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects) in constructing HOTS Mathematic items compared with teachers who have low experience. As such, this paper has crucial pedagogical implications.


Tamil primary school teachers, Understanding, Constructing HOTS items, Mathematics.



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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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