Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education

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Bavlı B.

The Sixth Balkan Scientific Conference, Varna, Bulgaria, 28 - 30 September 2023, pp.62-71

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Varna
  • Country: Bulgaria
  • Page Numbers: pp.62-71
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The act of thinking is a fundamental characteristic of human beings. However, the quality and level of thinking can vary greatly. Some forms of thinking fall into the realm of high-order thinking, while others are considered lower-order. Higher-order thinking skills encompass critical and creative thinking, problem solving, analytical thinking, reflective thinking and creative thinking skill. In the face of challenges such as uncertainty, globalized economies and societies, intense global competition, and a rapidly evolving world, the importance of higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) becomes increasingly evident, particularly in the context of higher education. Current article aims to explore the significance of HOTS, challenges and opportunities for Higher Education. Qualitative design, with the main source of literature, was operated in the study. In line with this, literature review method, covering researching, reading, analyzing, evaluating, and summarizing scholarly literature related to the topic, was executed. The findings of the study unequivocally demonstrate the vital importance of HOTS for Higher Education. Nevertheless, it is appeared that higher education institutions face both obstacles that hinder the development of HOTS and opportunities that support their cultivation.