Reviewing English Teachers’ Problems in the Application of Curriculum 2013
Indonesian Curriculum 2013 has demanded the learners to control their learner autonomy in order to increase their learning success. Learner autonomy refers to the state that allows the students to choose how they should learn to determine learning objectives, define the contents and their progress, select the methods and techniques, and monitor the procedures of acquisition, until then evaluate what they have obtained (Nenden Sri Lengkanawati: 2017). The fast development of technology makes this issue practical enough to apply, moreover if we see that operating a gadget, especially internet, as the tool to help learning activities for example in obtaining materials or information, is the skill owned by every student.
In spite of the recent paradigm of people that the students are the main actors of learning activities in the application of Curriculum 2013, Suswati Hendriani (2014) in her paper stated that teachers are still the main key to reach the goal of education. The role of teachers is still important inevitably. The differences are only about how the teachers take their roles in the learning activities. Still in Suswati Hendriani (2014), the change of teachers’ roles in the implementation of Curriculum 2013 is emphasized in how they have to be able to assess the aspect of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Good educators are defined as those who are able to encourage students to increase those aspects as the results of their studies.
Going back to how Curriculum 2013 demands the students to be able to use their learner autonomy, teachers here should be able to make the students aware of this demand and make them more active in learning activities, especially in utilizing their gadget, to help them learn for example to search for the materials and information. Besides, for the use of technology is recently a need, character building is as well important, seeing that inappropriate materials can be found everywhere through internet besides the good materials and information to help the students learn. Cheating and plagiarism are also the problems among the students.
Even though some training for the teachers has been conducted to make them able to apply their best strategy to reach the goal of Curriculum 2013, there are still some problems for them to really teach based on the demands of Curriculum 2013. It seems the effective use of technology and the way to make the students aware with their learner autonomy are the most problems experienced by the teachers. Instead of trying more to apply the system as demand in Curriculum 2013, a lot of teachers still use conventional method or as we know as speech to convey the material, which is easier to implement to teach the students in the classroom, which means they actually forsake the value of Curriculum 2013.
Firstly, we unfortunately need to admit that some of the teachers in Indonesia have less skill to use the advance of technology to support their teaching activities. Having skill to operate technology in teaching activities is an absolute demands contained in Curriculum 2013. There are a lot of applications or websites that provide services to help the teachers teach and manage the class, such as Schoology. Not only convey the materials, but the site also helps the teachers in managing the task with the settings of deadline. The teachers can also check the attendance list in this site. Paperless concept, which has been around the world, is one of the benefits of using the supporting site in teaching projects. We can minimize the case related to when the students’ submitted tasks are lost and slipped away.
Whether the teachers are reluctant to learn about new things of the technology to improve their teaching quality or they do not have time to do so, is what we are going to discuss in this first problem. Reluctance of the teachers to learn about technology might be because they think that conventional way still works well. They think that the most important thing about teaching is conveying the material as well as possible to make the student understand the chapters of the subject. Besides, they might not use to follow the development of technology, that makes them suddenly have to face the advanced of technology of teaching while they do not know at all the previous development, or even they never know it. Thought that they are way too late to learn about technology might be one of the factors of their reluctance, though when this reason is compared to the reality of the teachers who need to state that learning is something to do as long as we live, it seems contradictory.
The second possibility is that the teachers do not have time to learn the development of the technology. This is the complaints of the teacher we often hear related to the policy of full day school. It seems exaggerating if we see the condition that nowadays, most of the teachers have only five working days, Monday to Friday, even though we know that the work hour each day is added, that means school activities run until about half past three or four in the afternoon. Though it sounds logic that the teachers complain about this policy and make the implementation of full day school as a reason that they have no time to learn the technology, let us compare this work hours with most of the work hours of employee in Indonesia. The working hour is still in the normal average, it is about eight hours. And there are Saturday and Sunday for them to learn. Not only teachers are demanded to learn about the advanced of technology, but all people from every field of job or occupation, for we know that technology is keep developing not only in the sector of education. When then other people or employee can learn the development of technology among their hectic hours, teachers can do so.
Related to the previous statement that the teacher is still comfortable with the conventional teaching way, let us say, speech method, we know that then the next problem of the teachers is that they could not really implement scientific approach which has been the characteristic of Curriculum 2013. Scientific approach means in the way we teach we adopt the steps of scientific project. This is purposed to give the students more learning experience and to make them more creative and critical to obtain something, or in this case, to learn and to know about new things. Seeing this case deeper, we know that to be a teacher, we have to pass the specific education where we were taught about kinds of approach and how to implement all of those. Articles and journals are everywhere for the teachers, if might be they are not really familiar with this kind of approach. Again, if we come back to the main problem, reluctance, we could not find the way out except encouraging teachers’ self willingness to do more.
This problem will then lead to the way the teachers take the score. We have to remember that cognitive, affective, and psychomotor are three main aspects for teacher to see. Scientific approach helps teacher to easily take attention to these three points, while for the students, scientific approach can make them increase their quality of these three aspects. Teachers must not forget the purposes of curriculum conducted by the government for the sake of increasing the quality of the generations, by only thinking that the most important thing as a teacher to do is making the students understand about the material and make them able to do tests. All the teachers have to be able to make the students more active in learning activities, and make them willingly to do more to increase their quality. These kinds of awareness about increasing self quality, that not everything they need to build their future is all what they get in the class, is something which is really important to build a human for better society.
Seeing all the problems of the teachers, we could not forget that the teachers must be able to inspire and motivate people, or in this case, the students. Ability to teach, to explain well, is something all of us know as the main view when we decide to be a teacher. An educator is more than that. All teachers should not forget that their mission is actually contained in the opening of our basic law, as we are all familiar with the phrase, “mencerdaskan kehidupan bangsa” and it is formally announced every Monday morning. Teachers are there to, on the moment of flag ceremony, and surely it means that they hear this phrase every week. This should be really something to knock their heart to wonder whether what they do is really in the line of what they are purposed to do for this beloved country.
Specifying the problems to the subject of English, we know that English is language. There are mainly four aspects of the language skill, they are speaking, listening, writing, and reading. What the teachers do recently is still about how to make the students able to do their test, by identifying some clue of the question to find the right answer, especially if the quiz is optional question. Though it works to make the students proudly have good numbers of score on their paper, but this is not really the function of why language is learned about and taught about. All those four skills are what the English teachers have to see. We know that it might be hard for teachers to make the students regularly train their English skills, for in Indonesia, English is categorized as foreign language which is not used outside the classroom, so the students do not really have good environment to train their skills.
Nevertheless, coming back to the first mentioned problem about technology, we know that the problem of not supporting environment can be overcome through technology. Video calls and English learning applications and sites are provided, even many of those are free. If the teachers know this and see this as a chance for the students to improve their skills, actually the teachers can introduce the tools to them, and make some project or task related to what the technology provides. Training skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing can be supported with the benefits of the technology, for we know that time in the classroom is never enough to really train the students to increase these four skills.
So, actually, when we discuss one by one the problems faced by the teachers, actually the main problem is the teachers’ reluctance to develop themselves, while they still stand in the position which is purposed to develop the generation. This conclusion is not made to stain the reputation of our teachers, which in our country, are seen as part of hero to develop our country. This is rather some mirror of our national education to help us understand what kind of main problem we need to solve first before struggling for other educational problems in our country. The solutions lie within the main actors of the education, and in this case, we see that the solutions must be in the hand of the educators.
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