1. The Basic Understanding of Contextual Teaching Learning.
Nur Hadi et all(2004) The philosophy of CTL was rooted from progressivisms of John Dewey. John Dewey, an expert of classical education proposed the theory of curriculum and teaching methodology related to the students’ experience and interest. Principally, the students will learn effectively if they can make a connection between what they are learning with the experience they had, and also they actively involved in learning process in the classroom. John Dewey, as quoted by Donald freeman, said that,. what an individual has learned in the way of knowledge and skills in one situation becomes an instrument of understanding and dealing effectively with the situation which follows.
|Contextual Teaching and learning (CTL)|
The process goes on as long as life and learning continue. The theory of Cognitivisme also influenced the philosophy of CTL. The students will learn so well if they actively involve in the classroom activities and have a chance to inquiry it by their selves. Students will show their learning achievement through the real things that they can do. Learning is regarded as an effort or intellectual activity for developing their idea through introspection activity.
Based on two theories above, the CTL philosophy was developed. CTL is a proven concept that incorporates much of the most recent research in cognitive science. It is also a reaction to the essentially behaviorist theory that have dominated American education for many decades. CTL is promoted as the alternative for the new learning strategy. CTL emphasize the learning process through .constructing. not memorizing and teaching is interpreted as an activity of inquiring process not only transferring knowledge to the students. In CTL, student are expected to develop their own understanding from their past experience or knowledge (assimilation). It is important because our brain or human mind functioned as the instrument for interpreting knowledge so that it will have a unique sense. Meanwhile, several attempts have been made to define the meaning of CTL method. In the process of searching the meaning of CTL, writer has found several definitions about it from different resources.
Johnson defines CTL as follows: CTL is an educational process that aims to help student see meaning in the academic subject with the context of their daily lives, that is, with the context of their personal, social, and cultural circumstances. To achieve this aim, the system encompasses the following eight components: making meaningful connections, doing significant work, self-regulated learning, collaborating, critical and creative thinking, nurturing the individual, reaching high standards, and using authentic assessments.
In addition, Berns and Errickson stated that, Contextual teaching and learning is a conception of teaching and learning that helps teachers relate subject matter content to real world situations and motivates students to make connections between knowledge and its applications to their lives as family members, citizens, and workers and engage in the hard work that learning requires. Meanwhile, The Washington State Consortium for Contextual Teaching and Learning, as cited in Nurhadi, formulate the definition of CTL as follows, Contextual teaching is teaching that enables students to reinforce, expand, and apply their academic knowledge and skills in a variety of in-school and out-of school settings in order to solve the stimulated or real-world problems. Based on the previous four definitions, the writer concludes that CTL is the way or the concept of teaching that help teacher and students to relate subject matter to the real life situation and motivate student to connect and apply all aspect of learning into their role in real life. When we talked about context, most people say that it related to their social life. In the classroom teaching, CTL means teacher should present the student real world inside the classroom. Johnson, as quoted by Nurhadi, characterizes CTL into eight important elements as follows:
1. Making Meaningful Connections
Students can organize themselves as learners, who learn actively in improving their interest individually, person who can work individually or collectively in a group, and a person who can do learning by doing
2. Doing Significant Work
Student can make relationship among schools and the various existing contexts in the real world as business maker and as a citizen
3. Self-Regulated Learning
Students do the significant work; it has purpose, it has connection with others, it has connection with decision making and it has the concrete results or products
Students are able to work together. The teacher helps students in order to work effectively in a group and teacher helps them to understand the way how to persuade and communicate each others.
5. Critical and Creative Thinking
Students are able to apply higher level thinking critically and effectively. They are able to analyze, to synthesize, to tackle the problem, to make a decision and to think logically.
6. Nurturing the Individual
Students carry on their selves, understand, give attention, posses high wishes, motivate and empower themselves. Students can’t get the success without the support from adult people. Students should respect their companion and adult person.
7. Reaching High Standards
Students know and reach the high standard. It identifies their purposes and motivates them to reach it. Teacher shows to students how to reach what called .excellent.
8. Using Authentic Assessments
Students use academic knowledge in the real world context to the meaningful purposes. For example, students may describe the academic information that have learnt in subject of science, health, education, math, and English subject by designing a car, planning the school, or making the serving of human emotion or telling their experience.
These eight characteristics make CTL different from other methods. These Characteristics became the main components in applying CTL method. It is also clearly seen that these eight characteristics asks the students for actively involving in classroom activity. Collaborating, nurturing the individual and creative and critical Thinking ask the students to responsible for their own learning. The role of teacher in CTL is to facilitate student to find the fact or the meaning, concept, or principles for their selves. Once these eight characteristics applied in classroom, it will help both students and teachers in creating a good atmosphere where the learners have a great responsibility in achieving their success in leaning.
2. The Principle of CTL
Constructivism is the foundation of CTL. The basic premise is that an individual learner must actively .build. knowledge and skills. However, all advocates of constructivism agree that it is the individual.s processing of stimuli from the environment and the resulting cognitive structure that produce adaptive behavior rather than the stimuli themselves. In the classroom teaching learning process, the application of constructivism are applied in five step of learning that are activating knowledge, acquiring knowledge, understanding knowledge, applying knowledge and reflecting on knowledge. The constructivism paradigm has led us to understand how learning can be facilitated through certain types of engaging, constructive activities. This model of learning emphasizes meaning making through active participation in situated context socially, culturally, historically, and politically.
Basically, inquiry is a complex idea that means many things to many people in any contexts. Inquiry is asking, asking something valuable that related to the topic discussed. Inquiry is defined as .a seeking for truth, information or knowledge seeking information by questioning. in applying inquiry activity in the classroom teaching, there are several steps that should be followed that are formulating problem, collecting data through observation, analyzing and presenting data (through written form, picture, report and table) and finally, communicating and presenting the result of data to the readers, classmates, and the other audients
Questioning is the mother of contextual teaching and learning, the beginning of knowledge, the heart of knowledge and the important aspect of learning. Sadker and Sadker, as quoted by Nurhadi, mentioned the important of questioning technique in classroom teaching. They said,
To question well is to teach well. In the skillful use of the question more than anything else lies fine art of teaching; for in it we have the guide to\ clear and vivid ideas, and the quick spur of imagination, the stimulus to thought, the incentive to action. What is in a question, you ask? Everything. It is the way of evoking stimulating response or stultifying inquiry. It is in essence, the very core of teaching. The art of questioning is the art of guide learning35 Sometimes, the teacher asks to the students before, during and after the lesson. At other times, they are posed effectively by the students to focus their own lesson, keep them engaged and help them monitor their understanding of what was learned. In a productive teaching learning, questioning activity are useful for checking students comprehension, solving problem faced by students, stimulating responses to the students, measuring students’ curiosity, focusing student attention, and refreshing students prior knowledge.
4. Learning Community
In learning community, the result of learning can be gotten from gathering others and also can be taken from sharing with friends, other groups, and between make out person and not. Actually, learning community has the meaning as follows: 1).Group of learning which communicate to share the idea and experience, 2).Working together to solve the problem. 3) The responsibility of each member of learning group. It is sometimes forgotten that language classes operate as communities, each within its own collection of shared understandings that have been build up over time. The overall character or each language class is created, developed, and maintained by everyone in room. Each class member has a specific role to play, even those with ostensibly low profile such as .onlooker. or .observer. (noticing what is going on), .knower. (being privy to shared class understanding) and follower (reacting in the same way as everyone else to certain teacher or student initiatives).
Basically, modeling is verbalization of ideas, teacher demonstrates to students to study and acting what the teacher need to be implemented by students. Modeling activity can be summarized into demonstrates the teacher’s opinion and demonstrates how does the teacher want the student to learn.
Reflection is the ways of thinking about what the students have learned and thinking about what the students have done in the past. Reflection is figuration of activity and knowledge that just have received. Teacher need to do the reflections in the end of teaching learning process. In the end of teaching learning process, teacher spends a little time and ask student to do the reflection. The realization of reflection can be done by giving direct statement about the information that acquired in the lesson, some notes or journal on student book, some impression and suggestion from students about the learning process and discussion.
7. Authentic Assessment
Authentic assessment is a procedure of achievement in the CTL. Assessments of students. performance can come from the teacher and the students. Authentic assessment is the process of collecting the data that can give the description of student learning development. In the process of learning, not only the teacher that can be placed to provide accurate assessments of students. performance, but also students can be extremely effective at monitoring and judging their own language production. They frequently have a very clear idea of how well they are doing or have done, and if we help them to develop this awareness, we can greatly enhance learning. Meanwhile, authentic assessment has some characteristics that are :(a) Involves real world experience, (b) Allows access to information, (c) Encourages the use of computer, dictionary and human resources, (d) Engages the students by relevance, (e) Uses open-ended format, (f) Includes self-assessment and reflection, (g) Warrant effort and practice, (h) Identifies strength to enable students to show what they can do and (i) Make assessment criteria clearer to students. Essentially, the question that needs to answer by authentic assessment is. Does the students learn something?. not .What have they already known?. So, the students are assessed through many ways, not only assessed their examination test.
1 Anonymous, Kurikulum Muatan Lokal untuk Sekolah Dasar, (Jakarta: Depdikbud,
1994), p. 30
2 Jack C. Richards, Developing Classroom Speaking Activities: From Theory to Practice,
Accessed on November 1, 2007
3 Marianne Celce-Murcia, Teaching English As A Second or Foreign Language (Boston:
Heinly and Heinle, a Division of Thomson Learning,inc.2001) p.104
4 Depatemen Pendidikan Nasional, Kurrikulum 2004, Standar Kompetensi Bahasa
Inggris, Sekolah Menengah Atas dan Madrasah Aliyah, (Jakarta:2003), p.142