PAKEM Subject Based Workshops
In Suara MBE 6, we looked at the competency based curriculum as a framework upon which teachers build their teaching programs.
Whilst completing the curriculum scan, participants identified a number of themes that would form the basis of the yearly teaching program. These themes contain competencies from different subject areas and help to organize the many competencies which must be taught at any year level. Of course not every competency always fits into a theme and some competencies must be taught separately, but a theme containing a number of competencies provides a context for the teaching and learning.
The participants organized the themes into a yearly timetable and de-cided when and for how long each theme would be taught. Instead of teaching many unrelated les-sons, the thematic plan allows teachers to focus the teaching on a particular topic for an extended period of time. It was suggested that three to four weeks was a suitable length of time to teach one theme.
Each theme now contains quite a few competencies from all subject areas, so teachers can cover multiple competencies from different subjects during this time. It is more time efficient and most importantly, the competencies are not taught in isolation but related through different activities in the theme. Learning is known to be more effective when new ideas are introduced in specific contexts and supported or 'scaffolded'. This helps students to make new links between ideas they already know.
Developing thematic plans
To develop the four week theme plan, participants used a table, which included columns for competencies (transferred from the curriculum scan), suggested teaching activities, resources required and assessment opportunities.
This table provides the 'big picture' of the theme. Participants were encouraged to brainstorm teaching activities related to the theme and identify types of assessment tasks which would be given during the teaching of the theme. After this was complete, the activities were broken down into a weekly program of teaching activities.
Teachers at the Bahasa Indonesia and English workshop planning the curriculum.
When building a house, first a strong framework is required. After that, the walls, floors, roof etc can be attached to the frame. The curriculum scan provides the frame-work, and yearly and thematic plans provide the detail in order to complete the house successfully.
Real Contextual Learning
Earthquake and Tsunami at Aceh
The MBE review and planning meeting was held in Batu from the 4 - 7 January 2005, a few days after the earthquake and tsunami disaster that killed many victims in Aceh and number of other countries in the South East and South Asia. It appears that many schools discussed the tsunami, and the students wrote about the event.
This can be seen from the students' work that was displayed at the meeting and in the schools that the participants visited in Batu and Blitar. They were also active in collecting funds to help the victims of the disaster. A number of examples of the students' work are shown below.
Teachers who did this were very wise. Using the students' experiences in learning - as all the children must have watched the earthquake and tsunami disaster on television - makes the learning more relevant to the students. This really is meaningful and contextual learning.
Through discussing this tragedy the students can learn amongst other things:
Moral education - students develop a sense of compassion for the victims and look at ways to help them;
Science - students can find out how earthquakes and tsunamis happen;
Indonesian language - students write about the disaster.
With the Competence Based Curriculum (KBK) it is hoped that teachers will make more use of the students' experiences in learning including events which happen from time to time like natural disasters, political events (e.g. the presidential election), sports events like the Tiger Cup, Olympics or World Cup. Using this approach learning will be more meaningful and effective.