Implementation of student active learning in primary mathematics in Indonesia

by Pardjono.

Institution: Deakin University
Department: School of Scientific and Developmental Studies in Education
Year: 1999
Keywords: Mathematics - Study and teaching (Primary) - Indonesia; Mathematics - Study and teaching (Primary) - Victoria; Learning, Psychology of
Record ID: 1032187
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30023521


Twenty years after the first pilot projects began to develop Student Active Learning (SAL) in Indonesia, and four years since it was adopted for use in the last provinces, this research investigates the implementation of Student Active Learning in Indonesian primary mathematics classrooms. A study of the relevant literature indicates that teaching based on constructivist principles is unlikely to be implemented well in mathematics classrooms unless there are high quality teachers, readily available manipulative materials, and a supportive learning environment. As Indonesian schools often lack one or more of these aspects, it seemed likely that Student Active Learning principles might not be ‘fully’ implemented in Indonesian primary mathematics classrooms. Thus a smaller scale, parallel study was carried out in Australian schools where there is no policy of Student Active Learning, but where its underlying principles are compatible with the stated views about learning and teaching mathematics. The study employed a qualitative interpretive methodology. Sixteen primary teachers from four urban and four rural Indonesian schools and four teachers from two Victorian schools were observed for four mathematics lessons each. The twenty teachers, as well as fourteen Indonesian headteachers and other education professionals, were interviewed in order to establish links between the background and beliefs of participants, and their implementation of Student Active Learning. Information on perceived constraints on the implementation of SAL was also sought. The results of this study suggest that Student Active learning has been implemented at four levels in Indonesian primary mathematics classrooms, ranging from essentially no implementation to a relatively high level of implementation, with an even higher level of implementation in three of the four Australian classrooms observed. Indonesian teachers, headteachers and supervisors hold a range of views of SAL and also of mathematics learning and teaching. These views largely depended on their in-service training in SAL and, more particularly, on their participation in the PEQIP project Typically, participants’ expressed views of SAL were at the same or higher level as their views of mathematics learning and teaching, with a similar pattern being observed in the relationship between these latter views and their implementation of SAL principles. Three factors were identified as influencing teacher change in terms of implementation of SAL: policy, curricular and organisational, and attitudes. Recommendations arising from this study include the adoption of reflection as an underlying principle in the theory of SAL, the continuation and extension of PEQIP type projects, changes in government policy on curriculum coverage and pre-service teacher training, and more support for teachers at the school and local authority levels.