From the beginning of the implementation of mathematics teaching in schools (since 1973) many efforts have been done by the Indonesia government to improve the quality of mathematics instruction such as the development of curriculum materials, pre and in-service education for teachers, and provision of media of instruction. However, those endeavors have not yet resulted in satisfactory impacts at student level. Students' achievement in national leaving examinations remains low, and in the international comparative study like TIMSS Indonesian students have poor performance (Mullis et al., 2000). Even when comparing with their South East Asian neighbors (such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand) Indonesian students perform relatively low in mathematics and in mastering science and technology. It appears that the implementation of mathematics teaching in Indonesia is far from being successful in achieving its aims. Being aware of the situation of mathematics education in the country, Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) seems to be a promising approach for improving the teaching and learning of mathematics in Indonesia. In the concept of RME students should be given opportunity to develop their reasoning and logic through exposure of real life or contextual problems. This idea is in line with the current view in Indonesia. If we carefully listen to the messages coming from mathematics teachers in Indonesia, one of their concerns is how to make mathematics teaching relevant for students in dealing with the daily life problems. However, since RME is so new for many people in Indonesia (teachers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, and students) research is needed to investigate whether and how in can be translated and realized for the Indonesian context. This research is needed to reveal necessary components for a successful innovation on both curriculum and teachers' level. Given the willingness of those who are involved in mathematics education, we have reasons to expect a fruitful innovative curriculum for 258 English summary mathematics if we know how to adapt RME to Indonesian context and know what a proper implementation strategy is on the school level. In this matter, teachers are viewed as the key actors in education innovation. They need to be well trained in order to understand the philosophy of RME as reflected by the new curriculum materials and need to have appropriate competencies to put this into practice.
|Award date||18 Dec 2002|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Dec 2002|