The Implementation of the Scientific Approach (SA) in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Classes and Its Influence on Students’ Critical Thinking Development Processes
: An In-Depth Case Study of An Indonesian State Senior High School

  • Diah Restu Susanti

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This research was conducted to investigate the implementation of the Scientific Approach (SA) in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes and its influence on students’ critical thinking development processes. Previous research has examined the implementation of the SA in the areas of EFL teaching (Ratnaningsih, 2017; Suharyadi, 2013), but has not discussed students’ critical thinking skills; as such, this study is intended to contribute new understanding. Founded on the philosophy of constructivism, this in-depth qualitative case study offers insights into the implementation of the SA at one particular school that served as the pilot and reference school for the implementation of the 2013 curriculum in Indonesia. The standard competencies and core competencies of the 2013 curriculum, along with the knowledge competences based on Bloom’s revised Taxonomy (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001), provided a rich foundation for understanding the process of critical thinking development through classroom activities based on the SA. Data were elicited from a number of EFL classroom observations (n=8), semi-structured interviews with key administrators and participants (n=6), Focus Group Discussions and Interviews (n=4) and analysis of various documents (n=7). Qualitative conventional content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) was used to analyse the interview data from participants, while Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used to analyse the data from the classroom observations. Lastly, document analysis (Bowen, 2009) was used to examine relevant documents. Even though the results showed a positive trend towards the development of the higher levels of cognitive thinking, data indicated that critical thinking skills still focused on the lower levels of remembering, understanding and applying—the higher levels remained largely underdeveloped. This phenomenon was attributed to several issues including limitations within course documentation, challenges in implementing the SA in EFL lessons, and several factors relevant to the students. Recommendations to enhance implementation are offered for teachers, school managers, and the Indonesian government regarding teacher training, additional monitoring and evaluation procedures, and key updates to documentation respectively.
Date of Award21 Jan 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SponsorsIndonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) -Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia
SupervisorSimon Brownhill (Supervisor) & William J Browne (Supervisor)


  • Scientific Approach
  • Critical Thinking
  • EFL

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