Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Building Constructivist Learning Environment at Senior High School in Indonesia

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Building Constructivist Learning Environment at Senior High School in Indonesia

Article excerpt

Introduction

Constructivist learning environment has been considered helpful to enhance students' participation in learning activities and to assist the students to construct the knowledge. Gunduz and Hursen (2015) define that constructivism belongs to the teaching and learning approach in which it is based on the cognition in learning as the result of mental construction. They add that constructivism means how knowledge is gotten and how the participants may actively be involved in classroom activities. Thus, teachers' role in transmitting the knowledge and guiding the students to construct the knowledge becomes the crucial discussion in education.

An important restriction of education is that teachers cannot simply transmit knowledge to students, but students need to actively construct knowledge in their own minds. That is, they discover and transform information, check new information against old, and revise rules when they do not longer apply. This constructivist view of learning considers the learner as an active agent in the process of knowledge acquisition.

In accordance with the importance of education, Aziz (2011) argued that the human development and the future is decided by the quality of education. Thus, through education, the nation is hoped to able to improve the quality of people life in all aspects including in economic and industrial development that for the welfare of citizens. Education is implemented through the curriculum as a tool in teaching for teachers and in the future, in preparing workforce production (Udosen, 2014, pp. 40-50). It can be inferred that education success depends on two aspects: (1) effective and relevant curriculum, and (2) teachers' instructional method or performance in implementing the curriculum to achieve the goal of learning. In other words, it is the teachers who possess the prior role in applying the curriculum. Thus, teachers should be well-prepared in comprehending the curriculum to be implemented in an instructional model in the classroom.

Strategies of the instructional method have to be considered by teachers to apply the curriculum successfully. In the field of a constructivist learning research, this study has contributed significantly in offering in-depth comprehending of teachers' and students' perception about the constructivist learning environment and how their perception brings into line with teaching practices and also the circumstances proposed by the school's English curriculum.

Students' needs and personalities are varied for each since they have unique characteristics that need a creative, stimulating, and supportive environment to learn. Thus, the support from teachers is really needed by students in order to achieve successful learning result for their emotional, intellectual, social, and physical development. The support might be in implementing constructivist classroom environment in which students are given opportunities to be actively involved individually and socially (group work) in both learning process and learning planning. Furthermore, as teachers, it is indeed compulsory to stimulate, motivate and inspire students' learning motivation and confidence. Thus, teachers should aware in teaching students in term of implementing the particular method and utilizing learning atmosphere to acquire the aim of learning.

Classroom atmosphere and layout are influential to achieve successful learning toward students' intellectual, emotional and social development (Porter, 2007, p. 206). Hence, teachers are demanded to make every student who owns different characteristics, abilities, and intelligence successful in learning. This equal teaching can be achieved by providing a relevant learning environment. It is supported by a statement of Kelyy, Lyons, Butterfield, and Gordon (2007) that the relevant learning environment may enhance the effective environment of learning in order to develop students' learning involvement and positive attitude. …

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