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CONTEXTUAL LEARNING AS THE ANSWER FOR

GLOBALIZATION ERA

ABSTRACT:
Nowadays, we are in the middle of a big change of a new era. The changes
involve all of the life aspects towards a new era which called globalization
era. The big question : What is our role in the globalization era?

Indonesia as a big nation should has a positive role in the globalization. We


have to prepare ourselves to face it. Preparing the human resources through
the education process is one of our plans. Therefore we have to find out,
what is the teaching method which can increase the human resource quality
to face the globalization era. I believe Contextual learning (CTL) is one of the
best answers. Contextual learning can create an innovative, observer,
critical, creative, and independent students through its seven components
constructivism, questioning, inquiry, reflection, learning community,
modeling and authentic assessment.1 )

Contextual learning

Constructionist learning is inspired by constructivist theories of learning that


propose that learning is an active process wherein learners are actively
constructing mental models and theories of the world around them.
Constructionism holds that learning can happen most effectively when
people are actively making things in the real world. Constructionism is
connected with experiential learning and builds on some of the ideas of Jean
Piaget. 2 )

According to Hull's (1993) definition of contextual learning, learning occurs


only when learners connect information to their own frame of reference:

"According to contextual learning theory, learning occurs only when


students (learners) process new information or knowledge in such a
way that it makes sense to them in their frame of reference (their own
inner world of memory, experience, and response). This approach to
learning and teaching assumes that the mind naturally seeks meaning
in context--that is, in the environment where the person is located--and
that it does so through searching for relationships that make sense and
appear useful." (p. 41) 2 )
It can be said that contextual learning is a learning concept that help
teacher to connect the teaching material to the student’s real world and
encourage the students to make a relation between the knowledge that they
have already had with the application in their life as a member of society.

In a CTL class the teacher’s role is to guide, discuss, create an environment,


question, listen and clarify. A student’s role is to explore, investigate,
validate, discuss, represent and conduct. And both teachers and students
have to learn together. 3 )

There are seven components in CTL that should be applied by a CTL class .

The first component is constructivism

Constructivism may be considered an epistemology (a philosophical


framework or theory of learning) which argues humans construct meaning
from current knowledge structures. These arguments about the nature of
human learning guide constructivist learning theories and teaching
methods of education. Constructivism values developmentally-appropriate
facilitator-supported learning that is initiated and directed by the learner.
This is the path through which educators (facilitators) wish to approach
students in constructing meaning of new concepts. 4 )

It can be concluded that the students should be able to solve the problem,
find something which is useful for them and try to find their own ideas. In
learning process, the students develop their own knowledge by actively
involving in learning process. Students are the center of activity of teaching
and learning process not the teacher. Teacher is a facilitator of the learning
process.

The second component is inquiry

In inquiry-based learning instructors create an environment in which


students are free to ask questions, learn concepts, and explore possible
solutions within a real-world, project-based context. Inquiry-based units are
structured around an open-ended, intriguing essential question that is used
to direct students towards the objectives of the unit and invites students to
be a part of the solution to the unit's dilemma. 5 )

The key word from inquiry is to find. The students find the knowledge and
skills by their selves through the observation, questioning, hypothesis, data
gathering and conclusion.

The third component is questioning


By asking a question, students search some information, confirm theirs idea
and lead their attention to the unknowing aspects. Meanwhile, in this stage
the teachers can encourage, guide, and evaluate the student’s thinking
ability.

The fourth component is learning community

A learning community is a group of people who share common values and


beliefs, are actively engaged in learning together from each other. 6 )

It can be said that collaborative learning can help the students to find the
answer of their problem. They can learn from their friends and share their
ideas in a learning group.

The fifth component is modeling

In modeling stage, a teacher gives an example to the students about how to


do something. For example, in reading aloud, a teacher can demonstrate
how to read the text aloud, clearly, with a correct intonation and
pronunciation.

Not only the teacher but the students can also be a model for their friend.
The model can be a native speaker or a professional, or a guest who is
invited to the class.

The sixth component is reflection

Reflection is thinking about something that we have done in the past . In the
end of the lesson a teacher can ask the students to do the reflection. It can
be a direct question about the lesson, a discussion or ask the students to
make a suggestion about the learning process.

The seventh component is authentic assessment

Authentic assessment is a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-
world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon
Mueller

Mueller said that the tasks are not just assessments. Authentic assessment,
in contrast to more traditional assessment, encourages the integration of
teaching, learning and assessing. In the "traditional assessment" model,
teaching and learning are often separated from assessment, i.e., a test is
administered after knowledge or skills have (hopefully) been acquired. In the
authentic assessment model, the same authentic task used to measure the
students' ability to apply the knowledge or skills is used as a vehicle for
student learning. For example, when presented with a real-world problem to
solve, students are learning in the process of developing a solution, teachers
are facilitating the process, and the students' solution to the problem
becomes an assessment of how well the students can meaningfully apply the
concepts. 7 )

Conclusion :

In general, globalization refers to the trend toward countries joining together


economically, through education, society and politics, and viewing
themselves not only through their national identity but also as part of the
world as a whole. Globalization is said to bring people of all nations closer
together, especially through a common medium like the economy or the
Internet. 8)

It means that we have to be able to compete with the other country to show
that we are a truly a big country and we will not be left behind the other
countries. We have to increase the human resource quality to prepare
ourselves for the globalization era. Teachers should be aware on this issue
because students are our future human resources. Therefore teachers should
move from traditional to contextual learning, teachers need new equipment,
new strategies, new expectations, new skills and new roles. It is time for
teachers to say goodbye to a dull teacher’s centered class to a fun student’s
centered class.

References:
1. Direktorat Pendidikan Lanjutan Pertama.2003. Pendekatan
kontekstual.Jakarta
2. Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/constructionist
3. Http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/stw/swlk3.htm
4. Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/contructivism
5. Http://pathway.ohiorc.org
6. Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/collaborative
7. Http://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/index.htm
8. Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/glabalization