DINA NOVITA WIJAYANTI
FIRST REGULER ROMBEL SEMARANG
CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
In reality, there are many teachers who still use conventional technique. They have the dominant role than students. The students just listen to the explanation and do the assignments from their teachers. As the result, the students are unenjoyably in joining the learning process. As the impact, in some occasions the students are interested in their own ways by applying game or they have chit chat with the other friends. According to Ketter & Arnold(2003: 34) if the teachers do not have the students’ attention, they will not be able to teach them. Because of the reasons above, the teachers should use the technique or approach that can create the students’ interest and they enjoy in teaching learning process. In other words, the teachers should use the approach that can explore the interest of the students and can take apart or be active in class. One of the approaches is contextual teaching and learning that helps teachers relate subject matter content to real world situation and motivates students to make connection.
HISTORY OF CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
(From Behaviorism to constructivism and CTL)
In the beginning, contextual teaching and learning approach was derived from the theory of behaviorism and then continued with the theory of constructivism. According to Berns & Ericson (2001:2) behaviorism is teaching and learning theory that was proposed by E.L Thorndike who suggested that learning resulted from links formed between stimuli and response through the application of rewards. It means that learners study behaviorism theory that emphasized in the observable behavior produced by a learner in order to response to the stimuli. The theory was applied in the form of conventional way that emphasized in drill or memorization. Then, a new theory was born that is constructivism in order to response to the behaviorism theory. According to Berns & Ericson (2001:2) in constructivism , students could construct their own knowledge by testing ideas based on the prior knowledge and experience, applying these ideas to a new situation and integrating the new knowledge gained with the pre-existing intellectual construct. In this case, constructivism as learning theory emphasized in the role of students rather than the teacher. In order they can find the solution from their problem that produce students’ critical thinking. This theory consists of authentic learning activity that is conducted in group.
Both the theory of behaviorism and constructivism include the direct instruction in teaching and learning process. In this case, the positions of behaviorism and constructivism theories related to the development of contextual teaching and learning were behaviorism as a means for measure the students’ observable behaviors when they took apart in teaching and learning process while constructivism as a way to help them connect the content could be used. That is the reason why CTL has the abbreviation of contextual teaching and learning because it is a learning activity based on life context. Contextual teaching and learning is a learning philosophy that emphasizes the students’ interest and experiences. It provides the means for reaching learning goals that requires higher order thinking skills (Satriani, Emilia, & Gunawan, 2012:11).
DEFINITION OF CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
Contextual teaching and learning is an approach of learning that can’t be separated with behaviorism and constructivism theories. It is a conception of teaching and learning that helps teachers relate subject matter content to real world situation and its application to their lives as family, citizen, and workers and engage in the hard work that learning requires (Hudson& Whistler, 2007:1). This theory emphasizes students’ interest and experience (Satriani, Emilia, & Gunawan, 2012:11). Overall, contextual teaching and learning is an approach that focuses on the students’ center. The purpose of the approach is to motivate the learners to take charge of their own learning and to relate between knowledge and its application to the various contexts of their lives (Satriani, Emilia, & Gunawan, 2012:11).
PRINCIPLES OF CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
Contextual teaching and learning as one of approaches for teaching and learning has scientific principles. According to Johnson (2002:26) there are 3 principles of it. They are principles of interdependence, the principles of differentiation, and the principles of self-regulation.
Principles of Interdependence
Human being could not establish intimacy with one another (Johnson, 2002:28). It means that although the approach consists of authentic learning activity that is conducted group, there is no one can intimidate the other’s to follow the certain students. It is a sharing and discussing section when it is conducting in group, so the principle stresses that all of the learners have the interdependence.
Principle of Differentiation
When the students are different in their creativity, they could be free to explore their individual talents, cultivate their own learning styles, and progress at their own pace(Johnson, 2002:31).It means that contextual teaching and learning approach can be conducted to the students with different characters, talents, and ability. The importance of the principle is how the contextual teaching learning helps the students to explore their own talent and can have a big motivation to study based on their life context.
Principle of Self-Regulation
Self-regulation means everything is set up, maintained, and recognized by yourself. The principle motivates the students to show all of their potentials. Moreover, it also explores them to get the new talents. The teacher should give them belief by giving responsibility for taking the decision, behavior, choice, plan, solution etc.
COMPONENTS OF CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
Contextual teaching and learning also consists of some components that must be conducted as the part of its application. There are seven components of contextual teaching and learning that are useful to gain success in applying it (Wijarwadi, 2008:27).
From the history of contextual teaching and learning, constructivism is a theory that emphasizes the way how the students construct their own knowledge. It has five steps of learning. They are activating knowledge, acquiring knowledge, understanding knowledge, applying knowledge, and reflecting knowledge.
The principle shows how learning is conducted by including the process of discovery that needs critical thinking. In this case, knowledge as the part of learning does not get by considering a number of facts but also from stimulating learning that allows the students to find their own material in the real context.
Questioning is one of the parts in teaching learning process. The students’ ask something because they want to know something that they do not know. They are curious to get the answer of their problem. That’s why they ask to the teacher or others.
Contextual teaching and learning is conducted in group because its purpose is wants the students to have sharing and discussing section without the intimacy of others. The other purpose is the students can help the others who need their help in positive way.
Modeling is derived from the word “model”. Model means example. The component of modeling means the teacher gives example to the students if they find difficulties in real way. For example the English teacher gives the example to pronounce certain words.
Reflection is the ways of thinking about what the students have learned and thinking about what they have done in the past. In this case, the teacher can do about the information that acquired in the action.
It is important to have assessment for the teacher in order to check whether the students have learned the material or not. The assessment is done in authentic form in order to reduce the students do copy paste to the other friends’ work. According to Ketter & Arnold (2003:36) authentic assessment as a means of documenting content mastery. Assessment is authentic when we direct examine student performance on worthy intellectual task.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
There are some characteristics of contextual teaching and learning that differentiate with the other approaches. Johnson characterizes it into eight important elements. They are as the followings.
Making Meaningful Connection
The students can learn the materials that make sense to them because the materials itself are gained based on their real life context.
Doing Significant Work
The students could relate what the materials have gained in the school and also in the various contexts that still exist in real world.
The purpose of self-regulated learning is to create the students to have learning regularly in order they can get the knowledge as much as possible. It is done because the role of the students in contextual teaching and learning is to find their own material when they are learning.
Collaborating is derived from the word “collaborate”. It means that the characteristic of contextual teaching and learning is to do the group discussion, to have sharing session what they have known with the other friends.
Critical and Creative Thinking
It stresses on how the students can think critically if they find problem in order to gain the best solution. Besides, they can be creative when there is task that needs creativity.
Nurturing the Individual
It stresses that the students still need the help of the other such as from adult people who mostly have more experience than the young. So, the students should respect the adult people.
Reaching High Standard
By relating high standard as the characteristics of contextual teaching and learning, it can motivate the students to have more frequency of studying.
Using Authentic Assessment
The using of authentic assessment is useful in order to get the meaningful purposes. The importance of it for contextualizing the meaningfulness of learning and promoting students’ motivation (Paris & Winograd, 2006:2).
STRATEGY OF CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
Related to the application of contextual teaching and learning is the strategy itself. There are five strategies that proposed by Crawford. They are relating, experiencing, applying, cooperating, and transferring. It has the famous abbreviation that is REACT (Satriani, Emilia, & Gunawan, 2012:12-13).Relating means that the strategy intends the students to have the ability to relate the prior and new knowledge to get new understanding. Experiencing means the previous strategy involves the role of students to relate the prior and new knowledge. While the position of teacher is to help them to find the solution from the problem by constructing new knowledge with hand on experience. Applying means that the strategy intends the students to use the approach they are engaged in hands on problem solving activities. Cooperating means work together. The students discuss or share with other friends in group. The task which is done in group has significant progress than individually. When the students work individually, they can become frustrated. But, when students cooperate in small group, they can often handle complex problems with little help (Crawford, 2002:2). Transferring is derived from constructivism that intends the students to construct the meaning of something by their own understanding. Related to the word “understanding”, the students who learn with understanding can also learn to transfer knowledge.
APPROACHES FOR IMPLEMENTING CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
There are some approaches that give contribution when implementing contextual teaching and learning. All of the approaches are the part of the application of CTL to help to achieve the goal of it. According to Berns & Erickson (2001:3) there are five approaches for implementing CTL. The first is problem based learning. It means that the approach wants the students can solve the problem when they are learning that integrate skills and concepts from many contents areas. It can begin with either a real or stimulated problem (Putnam & Leach, 2004:3). The second is cooperative learning. It is done in the form of group discussion where the students can work together with the other friends. It provides opportunity for students to interact with each other and also enables them to gain valuable social skill (Deen & Smith, 2006:16).The third is project based learning. It stresses on the principle of discipline in conducting the investigation to get the solution from the problem, and gives opportunity to students to work autonomously. The fourth is service learning. It provides the real practice to develop knowledge through projects and activities. The fifth is work based learning that the activity occurs in the workplace to get the benefit for the students.
CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING IN PRACTICE
Contextual Teaching and learning as an approach can be applied in some language skills such as speaking and writing. In this case, a qualitative case study research design was conducted by Satriani, Emilia, & Gunawan (2012) to investigate the strategy whether it can improve the students’ writing ability or not. As the result, the teaching writing by using contextual teaching and learning was successful to improve students’ recount writing skill. Specifically, they showed some improvement on schematic structure, grammar roles and graphic features. Moreover, they are some benefits of contextual teaching and learning when it was applied for increasing students writing skill. They are engaging students in the writing activity, increasing students’ motivation to participate actively in the writing class, helping students to construct their writing, helping students to solve their problems, providing ways for students to discuss or interact with their friends, and helping students to summarize and reflect the lesson. The other research is conducted by Wijarwadi (2008) in the form of experimental study at examining the influence of optimizing of contextual teaching and learning. The result showed that there is significant influence of contextual teaching and learning in teaching speaking.
COMPARISON OF CONTEXTUAL AND TRADITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS
According to Blanchard (2010:1) there are some differences between contextual teaching and learning and traditional instruction. Traditional instruction is an instruction that emphasized in conventional way, it still applies the importance of memorization not construction the materials from the real context based on experience. It still stresses in teacher’s role than students. While contextual instruction is in the opposite. There are some comparisons of contextual and traditional instructions.
- Relies on rote memory
- Typically focused on single subject
- Value of information is determined by teacher
- Fills students with deposits of information until needed
- Assessment of learning is only for formal academic occasions such as exams.
- Relies on spatial memory
- Typically integrates multiple subjects
- Value of information is based on individual need
- Relates information with prior knowledge
- Authentic assessment through practical application or solving of realistic problem
BENEFITS OF CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
Contextual teaching and learning as a concept that helps the teachers and students relate the meaning through prior and new knowledge to get new understanding. So, it is an expectation that the approach can give benefits for teacher and students in teaching learning process. According to Satriani, Emilia, & Gunawan (2012:11) contextual teaching and learning motivates the learner to take a charge of their own learning and to relate between knowledge and its application to the various contexts of their lives. The other benefits are it can produce the process of learning more meaningful because the students can enjoy their own learning by doing the practical activity. The last benefit is it can strengthen students’ memory and understanding of the concept because the students are learning through the material that has taken from their experience and new knowledge. In other words, they relate their prior and new knowledge to get new understanding. So, they will easily remember, recall, and comprehending the material.
Contextual teaching learning is an approach that is done derived from combination of behaviorism and constructivism theories. It includes behaviorism because it also learns the observable behavior produced by the learner to response to the stimuli. While, it includes constructivism since it engages the students to construct the meaning from their prior knowledge then relates it with the new knowledge to get the new understanding. The contextual teaching and learning emphasizes on the role of students than teacher. The materials are gained through the students. In this case, the teacher allows the students to find their own materials in their real contexts .So, they are easily to memorize and understand the materials. Contextual teaching and motivates the students to explore their learning, and talent.
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