PAKEM in SMP schools - Blitar leads the way.
SD schools in all districts have been quick to adopt PAKEM practices, such as displaying student work on the classroom walls and working in groups. Active learning is promoted and students are enjoying more challenging individual and group work.
SMP schools have been slower to adopt PAKEM practices. The subject based nature of their classes and the fact that students move around the school to different teachers and different rooms makes it a little harder for SMP teachers to show active signs of PAKEM teaching and learning.
In Blitar, however, a number of SMPs are successfully implementing PAKEM and provide a good example of how PAKEM can be integrated into the secondary school. SMP Wlingi 1 is adopting many PAKEM practices.
In many class-rooms, the furniture is organized to allow group work and discussion between students. This classroom arrangement is still not common in SMP classrooms. A number of classrooms contain displays of student work and evidence of interesting work other than textbook activities.The teachers at SMP Wlingi are eager to encourage active learning and provide activities which involve students in discussing, problem solving and presenting their work in individual ways.
We spoke to students in the classroom and asked them what they thought of this type of teaching. The students responded very positively. They said school was more interesting and fun and they enjoyed working in groups and learning from each other.
SMP Wlingi 1 is the favourite school in the area and it is easy to see why students enjoy going to this school. From this successful model, it is hoped that SMP schools in all districts can see it is possible to incorporate PAKEM practices successfully in junior secondary education.
Teaching Practice was Nerve-Racking but Enjoyable
The PAKEM training in Blitar is finished, and if we look at the feedback from the participants the teaching practice was the most interesting part of it. To ensure that it was successful many of the participants didn't sleep the night before because they were busy preparing. These are some of the experiences the teacher spoke about.
"The teaching practice was an experience that was interesting, nerve-racking, but enjoyable". The participants felt they had learnt a lot during the training program. "During the teaching practice we really experienced how enjoyable PAKEM can be and better understood how children learn," said one of the participants.
Add to these some other partcipants' remarks after they had done their teaching practice. "I feel more like a teacher after the teaching practice" These are just a few of the remarks from participants during the PAKEM training in Blitar.
Discussion to Solve Mathematics Problems
The learning of Mathematics needs to be based more upon problem solving rather than memorizing processes, so that children become good at using mathematics in their daily lives. When we visited SMPN 3 Batu Ibu Fuji, the mathematics teacher, had asked her students to solve a number of problems and report the way they had solved the problems to their classmates.
This process is shown in the photos below.
Progress at the School in the Mountains
SD Tulungrejo 4 Batu is the MBE target school which is the farthest from the town - up the mountain past Selecta. However PAKEM approaches are being applied in all classes. SD Tulungrejo 4 Batu is the MBE target school which is the farthest from the town - up the mountain past Selecta. However PAKEM approaches are being applied in all classes. In grade 1 the student's work and learning aids are displayed (No. 1).
In grade 2 the children have written about their own experiences. . Raisya Abellia (No. 2) has written about her experience when she visited Jatim Park in Batu.
Parents groups have been formed and are functioning. For example the grade 6 groups have been giving extra lessons, have made storage boxes, and provided drinks for the children.
Top: The grade 6 parents group at SD Tulungrejo 4, Batu with the principal Bpk Sunedji. Development in all classes is evidence of good management.