Contextual Teaching and Learning
Contextual Teaching and Learning 
Definition of Contextual Teaching and Learning: Contextual teaching and learning an instructional system, is based on the premise that meaning emerges from relationship between content and its context. Context gives meaning to content. The broader the context within which student are able to make connection, the more meaning content will hold for them.
            Contextual teaching and learning system is an educational process that aims to help student see meaning in the academic material. They are studying by connecting academic subjects with the context of their daily lives, that is with the context of their personal, social and cultural circumstances. To  achieve  this  aim,  the  system  encompasses  the  following  eight  components:  making  meaningful  connections,  doing  significant work,  self-regulated  learning,  collaborating,  critical  and  creative  thinking, nurturing the individual, reaching high standards, using authentic assessment. 14
From the definitions above, it can be concluded that Contextual Teaching and Learning (CTL) is a method of teaching and learning that helps teachers relate subject  matter  content  to  real  world  situations  and  motivates  students  to  make connections  between  knowledge  and  its  applications  to  their  lives  as  family members, citizens, and workers.

      14 Johnson, E.B. Contextual Teaching and Learning : What it is and Why it Is Here to Stay (United States of America: Corwin Press, Inc. 2002), p.165
2.      Characteristics of  Contextual Teaching and Learning
Johnson, as quoted by Nurhadi, characterizes CTL into eight important elements as follows:
1)      Making Meaningful Connections. Students can organize themselves as learners, who learn actively in improving their interest individually, person who can work individually or collectively in a group, and a person who can do learning by doing.
2)      Doing Significant Work. Student can make relationship among schools and the various existing contexts in the real world as business maker and as a citizen.
3)      Self-Regulated Learning. Students do the significant work; it has purpose, it has connection with others, it has connection with decision making and it has the concrete results or products.
4)      Collaborating. Students are able to work together. The teacher helps students in order to work effectively in a group and teacher helps them to understand the way how to persuade and communicate each others.
5)      Critical and Creative Thinking. Students are able to apply higher level thinking critically and effectively. They are able to analyze, to synthesize, to tackle the problem, to make a decision and to think logically.
6)      Nurturing the Individual. Students carry on their selves, understand, give attention, posses high wishes, motivate and empower themselves. Students cannot get the success without the support from adult people. Students should respect their companion and adult person
7)      Reaching High Standards. Students know and reach the high standard. It identifies their purposes and motivates them to reach it. Teacher shows to students how to reach what called ‘excellent’.
8)      Using Authentic Assessments. Students use academic knowledge in the real world context to the meaningful purposes. For example, students may describe the academic information that have learnt in subject of science, health, education, math, and English subject by designing a car, planning the school menu, or making the serving of human emotion or telling their experience.
3.      Contextual Teaching and Learning Components
Johnson stated CTL  as  a  method  has  seven components  as  the  basic  implementation.  The  seventh  components  are Constructivism,  Questioning,  Inquiry,  Learning  Community,  Modeling, Reflection and Authentic Assessment. Each of the components will be explained as follows: 15

       15 Johnson, E.B. Contextual Teaching and Learning : What it is and Why it Is Here to Stay
(United States of America: Corwin Press, Inc. 2002), p.165

(1)  Constructivism
Constructivism is a process of building and arranging new knowledge based on experience. Knowledge is built by humans step by step in which the result is widening through restricted context.  Knowledge is not  a  set  of  facts, concepts, or regulation which is ready to be taken and remembered. Human must construct knowledge and give the meaning through real experience.
(2)  Questioning
Basically, learning is a process of questioning and answering. Question can be seen as reflection of students‟ curiosity, while answering question reflects someone’s ability to think.  Through  CTL,  teacher  does  not  only  convey information  of  learning  materials  but  motivate  the  students  to  find  by themselves and finally conclude learning materials together by teacher’s coordination and guidance. In a productive learning, questioning activity can be useful for:
a.  Getting  information  of  students‟  ability  in  comprehending  learning materials.
b.  Giving motivation for the students to learn.
c.  Stimulating students‟ curiosity of something.
d.  Focusing the students‟ attention in something they want.
e.  Guiding the students to find and conclude something.
(3)  Inquiry
"Inquiry"  is  defined  as  "a  seeking  for  truth,  information,  or  knowledge, seeking  information  by  questioning."  Through  the  process  of  inquiry, individuals construct much of their understanding of the natural and human-designed worlds. Inquiry implies a "need or want to know" premise. Inquiry is  not  so  much  seeking  the  right  answer  because  often  there  is  none  but rather  seeking  appropriate  resolutions  to  questions  and  issues.  Inquiry  is important  in  the  generation  and  transmission  of  knowledge.  It  is  also  an essential  for  education,  because  the  fund  of  knowledge  is  constantly increasing.
(4)  Learning Community
Learning  Community  is  an  activity  where  the  students  are  asked  to  work together  to  solve  a  problem.  Forming  Learning  Community  (LC)  is  not merely grouping students to work together. There has to be a problem for the teams to solve, and the team members should be willing and ready to share ideas/opinions,  answers,  and  be  willing  to  accept  other  members‟ opinions and  (possibly)  criticism.  As  we  shall  see  later,  those  characteristics  are  the things that make Learning Community good. Working in a group, sharing, accepting or rejecting other people‟s ideas will lead  to  deeper  understanding  and  the  students  really  enjoy  doing  it  more than working alone. The other benefit is the development of leadership skills students  who  are  used  to  working  with  other  people  have  better  skills  in communicating  with,  and  understanding,  other.  Higher  self-esteem  and positive  attitudes  will  also  grow  from  working  with  others  cooperatively. Students  are  more  open  in  a  learning  community,  and  they  grow  a  positive attitude  towards  learning  and  school  in  general.  Working  with  others  also fosters  higher  self-esteem  because  they  feel  that  their  ideas  are  shared, appreciated, and discussed.

(5)  Modeling
Modeling is learning process by showing something as a sample which can be imitated by each student. Modeling process is not restricted only from the teacher  but  the  teacher  can  also  ask  the  students  who  have  competence. Modeling is important aspect in the implementation of Contextual Teaching and  Learning,  because  through  modeling  the  students  will  be  avoided  from ambiguous learning. 
(6)  Reflection
Reflection  is  a  process  in  which  an  experience  is  recalled,  considered,  and evaluated,  usually  in  relation  to  a  broader  purpose.  By  collecting information that the students have reflected, and by analyzing and evaluating this information, the students‟ and the teacher identify and explore their own practices and underlying beliefs. Every time the learning process is over, the teacher  gives  a  chance for the students to  remember what has been learned by their learning experience and then they take a conclusion together.
(7)  Authentic Assessment

Assessment  has  various  purposes:  formative,  for  assessing  progress  and summative  for  assessing  whether  instructional  goals  have  been  achieved.  It has  been  noted  in  the  literature  that  young  learners  may  not  perform  to  the best of their ability on formal standardized tests due to the time and pressure constraints  and  general  lack  of  experience  with  this  mode  of  assessment.
Source : My thesis 

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