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close this bookThe Education for All Teacher-Training Package - Volume 1 (UNDP - UNESCO, 1995, 162 p.)
close this folderTopic 3 - Focusing on Learning
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Reading 3.1. New Roles for Teachers.

As a means of improving quality in primary schools, the Ministry of Education of Indonesia, in co-operation with the Overseas Development Administration of the United Kingdom, the British Council and the University of London Institute of Education, developed the Cianjur Project, also known as Active Learning and Professional Support (ALPS). This project encompasses curriculum revision and development; strategically located practice courses; new class-room practices; a revised interpretation of supervision involving dedicated co-operation of the teacher, head-teacher and supervisor; an emphasis on active learning and greater communication of ideas among teachers. ALPS, begun in the town of Cianjur in 1980, was widely disseminated throughout Indonesia in the 1980s in both public and private schools. It is expected to expand gradually so that 70 per cent of Indonesian primary-school children will be participating in an improved activity-based education programme by the mid-1990s.

Primary schools participating in ALPS must provide children with appropriate activities to assist their learning. Special attention has been given to selecting activities and tasks which require children to think carefully, to use the available classroom resources and to learn to solve problems. Children are being encouraged to be active participants in the learning process.

Teachers play a central innovative role in the ALPS programme. They assist learning by providing opportunities for problem-solving based on real observation. Teachers are encouraged to be imaginative in providing the children with applicable problem-solving opportunities rather than relying on the once pervasive rote-memorization classroom method.

Teachers are also encouraged to use the environment as a resource for learning. Visual stimulation for the children is promoted through the use of wall decorations and table displays using articles from the local environment -plants, flowers, stones and other natural and man-made objects. Visits to ponds and rivers to study ecology and visits to historical sites to learn about the past, as well as exposure to community activities, are encouraged.

Teachers are taught to work co-operatively with the community in providing relevant activity-based educational experiences for the children. As an extension of the concept of using the environment as an educational resource, teachers are encouraged to invite community leaders, local shopkeepers, craftsmen, etc., to visit the classroom, and share their experiences and expertise with the children.

Training seminars and workshops are being provided for teachers, head-teachers and supervisors to promote new ideas and give direct experience in planning and conducting lessons based on the active learning concept.

To promote the desired sharing of ideas among teachers, five to eight schools are grouped together forming a 'club' which then meets on a regular basis. These clubs create new teaching programmes, discuss classroom problems, present innovative ideas for teaching and exchange teaching experiences.

Help and guidance for teachers are provided through Teachers' Centres, where teachers, head-teachers and supervisors hold meetings and participate in courses. Teachers' ideas and work are displayed and discussed and materials are made available for teachers to use in developing learning aids.

The ALPS programme also provides the infrastructure to give help and guidance to local authorities in planning for Indonesian primary schools through observation, monitoring and analysis of the project. Herein lies the basis for further development and refinement of the Indonesian primary-school system, based upon a strengthened innovative role for teachers within a supportive community context.

Source: ERA Monograph III.