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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNING STYLE AND CRITICAL

THINKING AMONG THE UNDERGRADUATE CHEMISTRY STUDENT


IN UTM

Nurfarahin Harun & Corrienna Abdul Talib

Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia


nurfarahin192@gmail.com

Abstract

Learning styles and critical thinking skills play an important roles in higher
education. The purpose of this study was to determine the dominant learning styles among
the undergraduate chemistry student in UTM, to identify the level of critical thinking among
the undergraduate chemistry student in UTM, to investigate differences of learning style and
critical thinking among the 2nd year and 4th year undergraduate chemistry student and to
investigate the relationship between learning style and critical thinking. The sample was 108
undergraduate chemistry students who studies in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). This
study was conducted through quantitative approach. Instrument used for this study were
adapted Kolb Learning Style and Watson Glaser Thinking Appraisal A (WGTA-A). The
findings of this study show that the dominant learning style among the undergraduate
chemistry students was assimilator with (50%). Chi-square analysis demonstrated that the
distribution of learning style practices among the second year and fourth year student was
similar with ( 2 = 2.395; p>0.05). The findings also show that the level of critical thinking
among the undergraduate chemistry students was at moderate level with (53.80%). Besides,
from the t-test analysis, there is no significant differences of critical thinking between the
years of study with (p>0.05). From the Pearson product-moment analysis reveals that there
is no significant relationship between learning style and critical thinking subscale and the
Pearson analysis shows no significant relationship between learning style and critical
thinking score.

Keywords: Learning style, critical thinking, undergraduate chemistry students

1.0 Introduction

Learning is a process of knowledge acquisition or skill. It involves a new way to carry


out an attempt working with to overcome the existing obstacles. Hence learning is the change
in behaviour progressive because it involve the processing of individual ways of receiving
information and new knowledge (Saad,2004). According to Deborah, Baskaran and Kannan
(2014), learning style is defined as different kinds of way and certain characteristic used in
learning process. Some of them like to learn by hearing,seeing or audio, give respond, giving
a logical reason, remember and learn by use impression. In essence, according to Kolb
(1984), learning style is preferred method by individual during the acknowledgment and
handling data Thus, learning style involve both cognitive and emotional dimension.
Teaching and learning (T&L) in the chemistry classroom is a complex and rarely
people questioned how the subject matter is transferred from knowledge of teachers to fill
teaching knowledge. At university, students forming their own learning style and interact with
lecturer which have their own teaching style. Educators always assuming they are only
responsible for teaching a subject without understanding the students cognitive processes
(Subahan, 1996). Therefore, the role of teachers undeniable importance in the process of
teaching and learning. Teaching will be more effective if teachers implement methods
appropriate teaching through efforts to match teaching methods with students learning styles
(Dunn & Dunn, 1978).
Institute of Higher Education play an important role in produce students who are
highly competitive and have an ideal students. The students are also equipped with quality
with critical features such as innovation, critical thinking and other high value in order to help
Malaysia become one of a developed country completely by 2020. Soft skill such as critical
thinking is one of the elements contained in the 21st Century Skills (Educational Technology
Division, 2012) in which countries around the age of globalization. The world is concerned
with the important role of education in shaping the human capital that has the complete
package with have high character and quality. Therefore, Malaysia should accept this
challenge by applying the 21st century skills in education system.

1.1 Problem Background

The difference or variation of an individual with the norm group, whether in nature
cognitive, emotional, physical, moral, behavioral, social or aptitude exits within a group
(Santhi Suppiah, 1998; Dunn & Dunn, 1978). The difference in individuals can be detected
relate to aspects of physical, mental, emotional and social. As the consequences, each
individual student has a diversity of styles and tendencies to use different learning styles,
different learning strategies and different learning rates. Some of these individuals have a
dominant learning style, and some are using different learning styles to adapt to the
environment. Therefore, this diversity needs identified by educators when carrying out
process teaching and learning so that educator can create a good preparation with taking into
account the different backgrounds and their prior knowledge before the teaching session.
According to Fadzillah (2006), if the student move from high school to the university
level, they will started from zero level regardless of achievements that they have achieved
before. This is because the new world of learning they will go through very different from
previously they had and requires a good preparation and very depending on the individual to
adapt a new environment. Therefore, Abidin, Rezaee, Abdullah & Singh (2011) suggested
that university student need to have multiple learning style so that they will perform better
academically other than those student with just one dominant style.
In other hand, usually chemistry subject in higher education still in chalk and talk
method or lecture method even though they are implement the online learning but the usage
is still low. Mostly the chemistry educator has been using lecture method most of the time
with little or no activities, this makes the student difficult to understand the chemistry
concept. Therefore, chemistry concept cannot be taught in abstract, so the educators need to
be diverse in their teaching methods. Riechmann-Hruska (1989) suggested that a successful
teacher has to consider at least two type of learning styles.
The advanced development of technology and the challenges of the world intensifies
requires human capital that have the high critical thinking abilities, problem-solving skill and
integrity. In the working environment, quality and quantity of work is required by any
employer. Besides that, issues related to unemployment among graduates often spoken among
the society and can be regarded as a failure of the system of higher education in this country
to produce graduates who meet the needs of the industry. Although many improvements have
been implemented to strengthen the graduate level at universities, there is still many
complaints submitted by employers about the quality of the graduates. According to
Muhammad Hazrul (2012), among the complaints that are often raised by employers is the
weakness of the graduates and their soft skills such as critical thinking skill, proficiency in
English and others.
A study conducted by Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Negara (MTEN,2005), there are five
factors that makes graduates difficult to get a job such as the lack of soft skills and work
experience, the mismatch between the needs of industry and field of study graduates, lack the
ability to communicate well, especially in English, The negative attitude of some graduates to
jobs and the lack of awareness of the existence various job opportunities. Therefore, students
need to improve their soft skills and human capital. This shortcoming needs to be addressed
immediately to ensure that graduates are issued with the new idea, not shackled and upwards
in search of knowledge and can help community in the generation of the country in the
future.

2.0 Objectives of study

This research concentrates on the learning styles and critical thinking skill among the
undergraduate chemistry student in UTM. The objectives of the study are to determine the
dominant learning style practiced among the undergraduate chemistry student, to determine
the level of critical thinking and to investigate the differences of learning style, and critical
thinking among second and fourth year student. Lastly, to find out the relationship between
learning style and critical thinking. Therefore, the research question in this study are as
follows :

(1) What is the dominant learning style among the undergraduate chemistry
student in 2nd year and 4th year at UTM?
(2) Is there any difference in term of learning style practices among the 2 nd year
and 4th year undergraduate chemistry student in UTM ?
(3) What is the level of critical thinking skill among the undergraduate chemistry
student in 2nd year and 4th year UTM?
(4) Is there any difference in term of the level of critical thinking practices among
the 2nd year and 4th year undergraduate chemistry student in UTM ?
(5) Is there any the relationship among the learning style and critical thinking
subscale among the undergraduate chemistry student?
(6) Is there any the relationship among the learning style and critical thinking
score among the undergraduate chemistry student?

2.1 Hypothesis of study


In line with the objectives of this research, therefore, this study was to test the
null hypothesis is the following:

H01 There is no significant difference of learning style among the undergraduate


chemistry student in 2nd year and 4th year at UTM.
H02 There is no significant difference level of critical thinking skill among the
undergraduate chemistry student in 2nd year and 4th year at UTM.
H03 There is no significant relationship between the learning style and critical
thinking skill subscale among the undergraduate chemistry student.
H04 There is no significant relationship between the learning style and critical
thinking skill score among the undergraduate chemistry student.

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Participants

This study used a quantitative approach which utilized surveys methods in


collecting data. The descriptive and correlation study was constructed to gain an
understanding of chemistry students learning styles and their critical thinking skill and also
its relation between the two variables.The respondent selected in this study was 108 from
second and fourth year undergraduate chemistry student in UTM. The sample in this study
consisted of students from Faculty of Science who take a course in Bachelor of Science in
Chemistry (SSCA) and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (Industry) (SSCC).

3.2 Instruments
A survey questionnaire as the main instrument to collect the research data from the
respondents was used in this study. As for the questionnaire, consist of three part which are
Part A is about demography background of respondent, Part B was the Kolb learning style
inventory (adapted by Othman,1997; Nurfarahin,2016) and part C contain the Watson
Glaser Critical Thinking Apprasial Form A (adapted by Sabaria,2003; Nurfarahin,2016)
To achieve the objective in this study, the following two instruments were utilized:

1) Kolb Learning Style Inventory ( KLSI)


In order to determine the learning style of the respondents, Kolbs Learning Style
inventory version 3.1 was adapted by researcher. This KLSI was designed to measure
four type of learning style which are converger, diverger, assimilator and
accommodator.This instrument consists of 12 item where the respondent were
required to rank-order four sentence endings which indicated their learning mode
preferences. The rank used was 4 most like you, 3 second most like you, 2 third
most like you, and lastly 1 least like you.

2) Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal A ( WGTA-A)


To investigate the critical thinking among the respondents, Watson-Glaser Critical
Thinking Appraisal Form A was adapted by researcher into chemistry context. In
this instrument consists of 80 items from five subscale such as inference, distinction
of assumption, implication, interpretation and argument of assessment.

3.3 Pilot study


A pilot study is the starting point of research in order to obtain a good research
design. According to Porta (2008), defined pilot study as a miniscale test of research
methodology and procedure to be implemented on a large scale of research. Furthermore, a
pilot study was conducted in order to obtain the reliability of the instrument that will be used
or the real collection data. Besides that, a pilot study was designed to resolve some
uncertainties and overall suitability of the use of instrument. In this research, 35
undergraduate chemistry students as the respondents for the pilot study was selected. The
selected sample for pilot study was not involved in the actual study. From the pilot study,
one hour and 15 minute was found needed to complete answering the questionnaire. The
reliability testing for this pilot study was analysed by using Statistical Package for Science
Social (SPSS) version 22. According to Table 1.0 shown the result of pilot study, the
reliability value of 12 item of adapted Kolb Learning Style was reported as 0.89, meanwhile
for the adapted Watson- Glaser Critical Thinking was 0.86.

Table 1.0 Cronbachs Alphas Reliability of adapted Kolb Learning Style and adapted
Watson Glaser Critical Thinking.

Instrument Cronbachs Alpha Total number of


Reliability items
Kolb Learning Style Inventory 0.887 12 item
(adapted by Othman,1997;
Nurfarahin,2016)
Watson Glaser Critical Thinking 0.855 80 item
(adapted by Sabaria,2003;
Nurfarahin,2016)

3.4 Data analyses


All data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS, Version
22.0). As for the first research question to investigate the dominant of learning style among
undergraduate chemistry students researcher used frequency and percentage. Meanwhile for
second research question, to investigate the differences of learning style among the 2 nd and 4th
year researcher used chi-square analysis. As for the third research question to investigate the
level of critical thinking researcher used frequency, percentage and mean analysis.
Researcher used grading system in UTM (2007) in order to find out the level of critical
thinking (refer Table 2.0). Lastly, as to investigate the relationship between learning style
researcher used Pearson product moment and Pearson correlation.

Table 2.0 Level of mastery in critical thinking (Grading system in UTM, 2007)
Marks Grade Level of mastery
80-100 A Excellent
60-79 B Good
40-59 C Moderate
30-39 D Weak
0-29 E Very weak

4.0 Result
Data analysis results were discussed according to the research question proposed
earlier.

Research Question 1:
What is the dominant learning style among the undergraduate chemistry student in UTM?.

Table 3.0 Overall frequency of learning styles

Learning styles Frequency Percentage


Accomodator 11 10.2
Diverger 19 17.6
Converger 24 22.2
Assimilator 54 50.0
Total 108 100

As illustrated by Table 3.0 above, show that out of 108 respondents participating in this
study, 11 (10.2 %) were classified as accommodators, 19 (17.6 %) as divergers, 24 (22.2%) as
convergers, and 54(50%) as assimilators. This findings reveals that the distribution of
learning style among the undergraduate chemistry student were not uniformly. From this,
researcher identified the most dominant learning style practiced among the students was
assimilators with 50%. This is followed by the convergers with 22.2 %, diverger with 17.6%,
and lastly accommodator with 10.2 %.

Research Question 2 :
Is there any difference in term of learning style practices among the 2 nd year and 4th year
undergraduate chemistry student in UTM ?.

H01: There is no significant difference of learning style among the undergraduate chemistry
student in 2nd year and 4th year.

Table 4.0 Frequency of learning style among 2nd year and 4th year

Year Learning style


Accomodator Diverger Converger Assimilator Total
nd
2 N 6 13 15 27 61
% 9.8 21.31 24.6 44.3 100
4th N 5 6 9 27 47
% 10.6 12.8 19.1 57.4 100

Based on the table 4.0, it was found that the frequency analysis on different type of
learning style for the second year students was (9.8%) for accommodator, (21.31%) for
diverger, (24.6%) for converger and lastly (44.3%) for assimilator. Therefore, it can be seen
that the most preferred learning style practiced among the second year student was
assimilator followed by converger, diverger and the lowest was accommodator. Meanwhile,
as for the fourth year student, had (10.6%) for accommodator, (12.8%) for diverger, (19.1%)
for converger and (57.4 %) for assimilator. Therefore, the most highest learning style among
the fourth year student was assimilator, followed by converger, diverger and accommodator.
Overall, the pattern of learning style practices among the second and fourth year student was
similar.

Table 5.0 Results of Chi square test for independence

Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-


sided)
Pearson Chi- 2.395 3 .495
square
Likelihood Ratio 2.428 3 .488
Linear-bylinear .997 1 .318
Association
N of valid cases 108

From the table 5.0, the results for Pearson chi-square showed that ( 2 = 2.395;
p>0.05). This mean that, significant alpha reported was 0.495 which is more than >0.05, thus
we fail to reject the null hypothesis. Based on this finding, in the general population, the
distribution of reported learning style is the same for undergraduate chemistry student in 2 nd
year and 4th year at UTM. Therefore, this learning style does not change across the year of
study.

Research Question 3 :
What is the level of critical thinking skill among the undergraduate chemistry student in
UTM?.

Table 6 Level of critical thinking among the undergraduate chemistry students

Subscale Mean Std. deviation Percentage Level of


(%) critical
thinking
Inference 4.90 2.10 30.56 Weak
Distinction of 10.41 2.73 65.05 Good
assumption
Deduction 8.13 2.10 50.81 Moderate
Interpretation 8.62 1.92 53.88 Moderate
Argument of 11.0 2.56 68.69 Good
assessment
Overall 43.06 6.84 53.80 Moderate

Based on the table 6.0, reveals that the mean marks for inference was 4.90, distinction
of assumption with 10.41, deduction with 8.13, interpretation with 8.62 and lastly argument
of assessment with 11.0. It was found among the five critical thinking skills measured in this
study, most of the students have weak skill level of inference
with the (30.56%) that is in the range of (20-39) percent (refer table 2.0). This shows that
the ability of students draw conclusions based on the facts that have been observed were
weak and educators needs to pay more attention to this subscale. Meanwhile, the skill of
distinction of assumption and argument of assessment were at a good level which was
(65.05%) and (68.69%) that is in the range of (60-79) percent. This
demonstrate the ability of students to examine the assumptions and expectations are good
also the students' ability to distinguish between a weak and strong argument is good. Besides,
in term of subscale deduction and interpretation, the level was moderate with (50.81 %) and
(53.88%) respectively and within the range of (40-59) percent. Overall, the level of critical
thinking among the undergraduate chemistry students was at moderate level with (53.80%).

Research Question 4 :
Is there any difference in term of the level of critical thinking practices among the 2 nd year
and 4th year undergraduate chemistry student in UTM ?.

H02: There is no significant difference level of critical thinking skill among the undergraduate
chemistry student in 2nd year and 4th year at UTM.

Table 7 t-test analysis of critical thinking among the 2nd year and 4th year
Year of N Mean Std. df t Sig.
study Deviation
2nd year 61 42.16 6.96 106 -1.521 .131
4 th year 47 44.17 6.58

In this study, as shown in the table 7 above, the findings showed that significant alpha
was 0.131 which is more than >0.05, thus we fail to reject the null hypothesis. Therefore,
based on this findings, there is no significant difference level of critical thinking among the in
2nd year and 4th year at UTM. It means that students in second and fourth year had the same
level of critical thinking.

Research Question 5:
Is there any relationship among the learning style and critical thinking subscale among the
2nd year and 4th year undergraduate chemistry student in UTM ?.

H03: There is no significant relationship between the learning style and critical thinking
subscale among the undergraduate chemistry student.

Table 8 Pearson product-moment correlation of mode of learning style and subscale in


critical thinking
Mode of learning Inference Distinction Deduction Interpretation Argument
style of of
assumption assessment
AC r -.068 -.012 .041 -.084 .135
Sig. .484 .905 .672 .388 .164
(2-
tailed)
N 108 108 108 108 108
CE r .038 -.008 -.107 .185 -.077
Sig. .693 .931 .272 .055 .429
(2-
tailed)
N 108 108 108 108 108
AE r .001 .112 .082 -.040 -.009
Sig. .989 .249 .401 .677 .922
(2-
tailed)
N 108 108 108 108 108
RO r .030 -.110 -.035 -.062 -.070
Sig. .758 .256 .716 .523 .472
(2-
tailed)
N 108 108 108 108 108

Based on the result in Table 8, show that, there is no correlation between all learning
style modes and subscale in critical thinking with abstract conceptualization with
inference (r = -0.068), distinction with assumption with (r = 0.041), deduction with (r =
0.041), interpretation with (r = -0.084) and argument with (r = 0.135). Meanwhile,
concrete experience with inference (r = 0.038), distinction of assumption with (r =
-0.008), interpretation with (r = -0.084) and argument with (r = 0.135). As for the active
experimentation with inference (r =0.001), distinction of assumption with (r = 0.112),
deduction with (r =0.082), interpretation with (r = -0.40) and argument with (r = -0.009).
Lastly, reflective observation with inference (r =0.030), distinction of assumption with (r
= -0.110), deduction with (r = -0.035), interpretation with (r = -0.062) and argument with
(r = - 0.070).

Research Question 6:
Is there any relationship among the learning style and critical thinking score among the 2nd
year and 4th year undergraduate chemistry student in UTM ?.

H04: There is no significant relationship between the learning style and critical thinking score
among the undergraduate chemistry student.

Table 9 Pearson correlation coefficients among the learning style dimensions and critical
thinking score
Learning style dimensions Critical thinking score
Abstract conceptualization Pearson correlation .014
Sig. (2-tailed) .887
(AC)
N 108
Concrete experience (CE) Pearson correlation .000
Sig. (2-tailed) .998
N 108
Active experimentation ( AE) Pearson correlation .055
Sig. (2-tailed) .574
N 108
Reflective observation ( RO) Pearson correlation -.089
Sig. (2-tailed) .359
N 108

As demonstrated by Table 9, the correlation between the all learning style dimensions
and critical thinking score turned out to be negatively correlated with AC ( r = 0.014), CE (r
=0.000), AE ( r =0.055) and lastly RO (r = -0.089). Therefore, there is no significant
relationship between the learning style and critical thinking skill among the undergraduate
chemistry student.

6.0 Discussion

The results in this study show that the dominant learning style practiced among the
undergraduate chemistry students was assimilation. This findings has similar with the
previous studies such as Anthony Biglan (1973) where the sample used also undergraduate
chemistry students. The second highest percentage of learning style practices among the
chemistry students was convergers with 22.2%. Therefore, both have similarities in term of
abstract conceptualization where they can generate theories and also ideas from the
observation they made. Furthermore, most of the chemistry subject was in the form of
abstract and the students learn most from the experiment they conducted. Therefore,
assimilator and convergers type pf learning is best suited for the chemistry students.
Similar trends was reported by Lee and Arshad (2011), where among the 347 chemistry
students participated, the patters of learning style was assimilator with 138 (39.8%), followed
by converger with 118 (34%), diverger with 51 (14.7%) and lastly accommodator with 40
(11.5%). Thus, the dominant learning style practiced among the chemistry students was
assimilator. The only differences was the respondents were secondary students in Malaysia.
In addition, this results also in line to what reported by John et al.,(2016). The authors
declared that the preferred learning style among the 742 pharmacy students was assimilator
with 189 (40.3%), followed by converger 115 (24.5%), diverger 66 (14.1%) and
accommodator with 15 (3.2%). Both of these studies mention that assimilator as the most
dominant learning.
According to Kolb (1984), assimilator learner excellent in using theoretical models and
curious to find out the reason from something happen around them. Moreover, chemistry
subject involved many abstract theory that need a good explanation (Taber, 2002). Besides
that, in nature, chemistry concept is highly conceptual and need to rote learning. (Sirhan
2007). Thus ,chemistry students need to read a lot of theories and related model. This is best
explained why most of chemistry students dominate this learning type.
In the aspect of differences of learning style across the years of study reveals that
learning style does not change over the years of study. Overall, this findings similar with the
study by Garner-ONeale and Harrison (2013), where from the t-test analysis stated that there
is no significant differences of learning styles and their level of years among the first and
third year undergraduate chemistry students. Besides, this results in this study also supported
by Yenice (2012) who find out that learning styles among the pre-service sciences teachers
were independent of their grade level with ( 2 = 7.745; p>0.05). However, this findings
contradicted from study of Guven and Kurum (2007), where they is a significant difference
of learning style across the grade level among the 215 pre-service students in Educational
Faculty. Furthermore, as the individuals travel through different stage, they may change their
preferred learning style (Coffield et la.,2004; Kolb,1984).This results different to the present
study may due to the fact that different sampling groups used for both studies.
Based on the findings ,reveals that the percentage of students who master critical
thinking skill including five main subscale such as in inferences distinction of assumption,
deduction, interpretation and argument of assessment were in moderate level with (53.80%).
Level of critical thinking skills acquired by researchers was similar with the findings
obtained by Marlina (2005) which the level of critical thinking of students was on the
moderate level (50.85%) for university students. The instrument used also same that is
WGCTA also used by Marlina (2005) in order to measure the critical thinking skills.
Specifically, in term of subscale marks reported in Marlina (2005) also almost similar with
the researcher with weak level of inference with 33.06%, a good level of distinction of
assumption and argument of assessment with 64.31% and 60.06%, and lastly the moderate
level of deduction and interpretation with 45.56% and 51.31% respectively. This findings
revealed that, maybe due to the same environmental factors as well as the education system
practiced by researcher and Marlina (2005) make it possible to the same results, even though
in this study the researcher studying among the chemistry students, while in the Marlina
study only focused on fourth year physics students in UTM.
Overall, based on the results of the present study, it was determined that the level of
critical thinking skills of undergraduate chemistry students still less satisfactory. Such things
may happen because of the way that lecturers teaching do not focus on active learning, but
more on lecture methods. According to Marlina (2005), teaching methods and techniques that
are less effective and teaching approach that does not involve questions of higher cognitive
level also contributed to the low level of critical thinking among students. This issues not
only in Malaysian context, but also happen in overseas, where the level of critical thinking
for international level was lower due to the lecture approach that is more towards teacher-
centered in higher university (Siriopoulos & Pomonis 2006).
The results of presents study reveals that the inference subscale score the lowest
among the undergraduate chemistry students with (30.56%). Similar results were obtained by
the study conducted by Marlina (2007). This is unexpected results coming from the
chemistry students because since their primary school they get used this skill in the science
class and when moving on to the secondary level until university they familiar with making
inference when doing the experiments reports. This inference skill according to Watson and
Glaser (2008), its the ability to recognize the degree of the likehood of a conclusion being
valid or false. The weakness of chemistry students in this subscale because students have no
idea how to relate the experience with a given statement. In daily life we often make
inferences, we examine the data or information and then we give possible reasons why the
incident occurred (Sarimah,2007). Where any conclusions made as a result of our inference it
reason and evidence, should have a strong and solid support. In addition, among other caused
why the level of inference is low is due to the students themselves are still not mastery in
making inference. Students still cannot distinguish whether a statement is true, not enough
information, may be false or fake.
T-test analysis conducted by researcher show that there is no significant differences of
critical thinking among the undergraduate chemistry students in second year and fourth year.
This findings are consistent with studies by Pithers & Soden (1999) to 256 students at the
University of Scotland and Australian University research using a Smith-Wetton Critical
Reasoning Test (CRT) in which the study found WGCTA marks obtained by the students in
2nd year and 3rd year are not significant compared to students in 1st year .Results of studies
show the critical thinking skills among students of 1, 2and 3 are the same. In fact, the study
also found no significant difference in the scores obtained by students who have a degree,
compared with no degree (Pitchers & Soden, 1999). This shows that students who have
degree and who does not have degree had the same level of critical thinking skills.
Normally,it is expected that level of critical thinking increases across the years of
study. There is past research studies the stated the hypothesis that college can improve the
critical thinking such as study by Oritzs (2007) where the meta-analysis studies findings
estimates that there is increase of 0.12 standard deviations per semester for nonphilosophy
students. Nevertheless, it still remains unclear whether critical thinking level increases over
the years of studies. According to Arum and Roksa (2011) mention that there is probability
that critical thinking increases at the beginning of study, however others studies against this
statement such studies by Pascarella and Terenzini (1991).

Analysis from the Pearson product moment correlation, demonstated that there is no
correlation between the learning style and critical thinking subscale. Even though it was
expected that learning style and critical thinking was interrelated, but the relationship
between these two elements was not examined excessively in chemistry education.
Nevertheless, in other science education domain there are a few number of studies that
investigate this relationship. Failure to find the significant differences between the learning
style and critical thinking was not surprising because it conforms with the reviewed literature
such as
This findings was somewhat similar to the study conducted by Sabtu et al. (2011),
where they also reported no significant relationship between learning style and style of
thinking. This means that their learning style was not affect their way of thinking among the
undergraduate Technical and Vocational students.
The findings from Pearson correlation reported that there is no significant relationship
between learning style and critical thinking score. This results are in line to what reported by
Wassel and Williams (2004). In their studies, they revealed that different learning style in
Kolb does not give significant relationship to the critical thinking score. In other words, the
LSI score did not predict the changes for critical thinking. This is agree with study by Rudd
et al.(2000), where the relationship between learning style and critical thinking score was not
significant.
There are many studies that were agreement with our present findings. In the study of
Prestholdt (1996) on 138 nursing students, it was found out that there were no correlation
between the learning style and critical thinking score. Similar findings also found in study by
Prestholdt (1996) and Nathan (1997).In addition, the present results also similar with the
study reported by Sarimah (2005) where there is no significant correlation between learning
style and cognitive ability among the technical secondary school students.
On the other hand, there were also study where the results contradicted with our
results in all the subscale. For example study of Ghazivakili et al. (2014), Fahim and Bolghari
(2014), and An and Yoo (2008) where their findings show a positive correlation between
learning style and critical thinking scores. However, their strength of relationship were at
moderate and weak level. For example, results of study by An and Yoo (2008) reveals that
critical thinking was positive correlated but in a weak level with (r=0.219). Therefore, this
results show conflicts with the findings of the current study maybe due to the score of critical
thinking among the undergraduate chemistry students were low.

7.0 Conclusion

The present study was attempt to investigate the learning style and critical thinking skill
and their relationship among these variable. Based on the research results show that the
dominant learning style among undergraduate chemistry students was assimilator. Besides,
From the chi-square analysis reported that there is no significant differences of learning style
across the year of study with (2 = 2.395; p>0.05). In term of level of critical thinking
among the chemistry students were at moderate level with (53.80%). Form the t-test analysis,
demonstrated that there is no significant difference of critical thinking across the years of
study with (p>0.05). Pearson product moment correlation show that no significant
relationship between learning style and critical thinking subscale (p>0.05). Lastly, from the
Pearson analysis, reveals that there is no relationship between learning style and critical
thinking with (p>0.05). Thus, from all these findings, indicates that each student has a
different learning styles. Educators and student itself needs to understand learning styles
itself. With this, the educators can provide appropriate teaching methods that can increase the
student interest of the subjects taught. Besides, the level of critical thinking skills of
chemistry students still at an unsatisfactory level and still need to be improved. Therefore,
from the information obtained it is expected to give an idea, especially researchers, educators
and the other parties concerned to overcome the weaknesses that have been identified by
researcher.

References

Must follow APA Sixth Edition format

Journal

Jin, G., & Bierma, T. J (2011). Guided-Inquiry Learning in Environmental Health.


Journal of Environmental Health, 73 (6), 80-91.

Book

Stanfield, P., Cross, N., & Hui, Y. H. (2012). Introduction to the health professions (6th ed.).
Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Conference Paper

Rissman, J., Greely, H. T., & Wagner, A. D. (2010). Detecting individual memories through
the neural decoding of memory states and past experience. Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences, USA, 107, 9849-9854. doi:10.1073/pnas.1001028107

Theses / Dissertation

Watts, E. (1999). The freshman year experience, 1962-1990: An experiment in humanistic


higher education (Doctoral thesis, Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada).