Active Learning in Language Study and Science: Transforming Teacher Practice in North Sumatra’s Elementary Schools

Ely Djulia, Tita Juwitaningsih, Abdul Hamid, Roslin Siallagan, Parapat Gultom, Inayah Hanum, Khairul Anwar, Nurul Wardani Lubis



An action research project to investigate the implementation of active learning strategies to improve the quality of teaching and learning was conducted in three government elementary schools (Sekolah Dasar) in North Sumatra that had received training in teaching for active learning under the auspices of the USAID-sponsored project, Decentralized Basic Education 2. Three cycles of data collection utilizing classroom observations, focus group discussions, and participant observation were conducted in each school. Data were analyzed both holistically and categorily to develop a better understanding of teachers’ successes and challenges in teaching for active learning. Finally, an intervention strategy involving modeling of teaching for active learning strategies was designed and implemented by members of the research team in each school. Our results suggest that language and science teachers developed more confidence in utilizing active learning strategies in their classrooms as a result of the intervention. Students also appeared to respond positively to the new active learning teaching strategies employed by their teachers. We conclude that the DBE-2 training provided to these schools can be considered successful; however, more attention needs to be paid to concrete factors that facilitate or impede teaching for active learning in Indonesian elementary schools in order to continue improving the quality of instruction for Indonesian children.


Key Words: Islamic Education, Active Learning, Religious Studies, Indonesia

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