Archive for the ‘Literature Review’ Category

Metacognitive skills on students’ empowerment

Since my journey at SMEC, I comprehend that becoming a teacher is a great work which could making changes in the society throughout empowerment the young generations to be active citizens. Moreover, even though, I also applied the meaningful learning experiences in the several contexts, but I never think to provoke my students to give active participation in the social reconstruction. Moreover, throughout the metacognitive skills, I find the way how chemistry could encourage my students to get involve in the society.

Under the influence of politics, economics, social, culture, and religion which relate to curriculum as content and subject matter, I will use that content as a tool to empower my students as imaginative thinkers. For example, I could use the metacognition approaches which encourage the students to reflect on their thinking process. I bring them to be conscious that they could active participate in the society. According to Fensham (1988), teachers should “act as couriers” which bring science curriculum into their life. I will concern on empower my students as social agencies to participate in the better world without ignore their holistic as individual. I believe that every student is “an active initiator and reactor” for his or her environment (Marsh, 2000, p.215). My students could use their experiences to relate it with the subjects. It is important to empower my students to dialogue with their experiences (Pinar & Reynolds, 1992). However, I also need to explore “my students’ motivations and feelings about learning as important as the content of learning” (Arnold, 2005, p.19).

Furthermore, throughout the metacognitive skills which provide the meaningful learning experiences for the students. I could relate it with the concept of currere which I found powerful in the curricula unit. According to Pinar (1975) as cited in Pinar (2004), curriculum as currere related to “academic knowledge and life history in the interest of self understanding and social reconstruction” (p.35) which has four steps which are regressive, progressive, analytical, synthesis. According to Doll (2002), currere orientation is on the reflection and transformation of personal experience. Moreover related to experience, currere refers to reconceptualise and exploring existential individual life experiences (Schubert 1986; Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004; Print, 1993; Lovat & Smith, 1993). Therefore, in pedagogic practices, students could use their autobiography to evaluate their experiences, think about future, analysis both past and future, and create the people that they want to be.

Students’ demonstration in my country has powerful force. Most of demonstration that they do is to criticize the government policy such as the increase of petrol price, the increase of education fees, and the corruption. The most powerful demonstration is happened in my country when the students force to replace the president Suharto in 1998. They did the demonstration within the couple days in Jakarta. The powerful demonstration which show that the young people have powerful voices which represents the society. Therefore, based on exploring the idea of empowerment’s students within chemistry teaching and the fact that the students could be empowered throughout the education process, I will expand my understanding and my contribution in this concept to participate in my the reconstruction of my society.


Sustainability in Education and Green Chemistry

Green chemistry plays important role in the sustainability environment. However, green chemistry also could integrate to education process to hold up the sustainability in education (Warren, 2001).. Even though, the research studies in green chemistry education are less conducted compared to green chemistry in chemical process, but I believe that education can play an important role to solve environmental problems. Teachers can play important role to support sustainability in education, for example educate the students to solve environmental problems such as reducing the waste in laboratory (Michail, Stamou, G, Stamou, G, 2006). Furthermore, in the laboratory, teachers not only need to be aware of the students’ safety in using chemical substances but also waste management to reduce environmental pollution. Applying green chemistry approach in school laboratory such as teacher can substitute chemical dangerous substances with the less dangerous, use small-scale laboratory equipment, and manage the waste. Those are parts of green chemistry approach, which aim to reduce chemical dangerous substances (Lancaster, 2002). It is also important to increase students’ awareness of environmental problems by involving green chemistry approach in curriculum. Furthermore, the teachers can improve students’ understanding of the importance of environmental sustainability. As a result, the students can participate actively in sustainability through their education.

Furthermore, there are 12 principles of green chemistry which are 1) prevention atom, 2) economy, 3) less hazardous chemical syntheses, 4) designing safer chemicals, 5) safer solvents and auxiliaries, 6) design for energy efficiency, 7) use of renewable feedstocks, 8) reduce derivatives, 9) catalysis, 10) design for degradation, 11) real-time analysis for pollution prevention, 12) inherently safer chemistry for accident prevention.

The philosophy beyond this green chemistry approaches is it is better to prevent the waste than manage the waste. As a result, the process which involves green chemistry approaches should refer to the ideas of prevention the waste. For example, using the less dangerous chemical substances and less quantity will result the less waste.

Furthermore, I found that some research studies in green chemistry such as including green chemistry in curriculum. However, the more interesting and powerful is how this approach could empower the students to active participating in sustainability environment in their society. As a result, education is not only the process of transfer the knowledge of sustainability, but also could stimulate students in agenda for social reconstruction.

Metacognitive Skills

The constructivist theory of learning has important implication on the teaching-learning process in the classroom. It is common that most science education focus on the scientific learning of the learners rather than the growth of learners’ knowledge as holistic individual (Taber, 2006). Using the constructivist theory of learning encourages the students to reflect their own knowledge which is important in the learning process (Bodner, 1986). The meaningful learning environment can be created if the students can relate their preexisting knowledge with the concepts that they have received (Novak & Gowin as cited in Bodner, 1986).

As a teacher, I had experiences related to apply constructivist theory to cope with students’ misunderstanding. There are common researches about misconceptions and students’ understanding in chemistry, because it was a real problem in teaching and learning chemistry. One constructivist theory that I applied is metacognitive skills to help students to understand the concepts. One of strategies which can improve students’ understanding is metacognitive skills. Metacognitive skills allow students to understand their thinking process and concepts (Wellman, 1983 as cited in Pressley, Mac Kinno,& Waller, 1985). Most studies of students’ understanding stated solutions through the use of meaningful learning experiences (Rickey & Stacy, 2000; Treagust, Chittleborough, & Mamiala, 2004). Metacognition gives meaningful learning for students because “metacognition involves, among other things, taking responsibility for own’s learning process” (Anderson Nashon, 2006, p.299). “In metacognition classrooms, learners are expected to ask questions about where they went wrong and to tell the teacher when they don’t understand” (Parkinson, 2004, p.99). Metacognitive skill is important in learning and teaching because awareness one’s thought is important for developing an understanding of ideas and awareness and control of thinking. That has been shown the control of thinking have a significant impact on problem solving success. Therefore, metacognitive skills are important to understanding the ideas and give significant impact on problem solving in chemistry (Rickey, & Stacy, 2000).

According to Winn & Snyder (1998), metacognition process is devided into three steps: monitoring progress in learning, making changes and adapting learning strategies to get the best achievement. Throughout this process, students could do the self-reflection, and self-responsibility within their learning process. According to Flavell, (1979) as cited in Achacoso (2005), metacognition consists of both metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences which related to the self awareness. Therefore, metacognition refers to learners’ automatic awareness of their own knowledge and their ability to understand, control, and manipulate their own cognitive processes. As a result, metacognitive skills are also important in individuals lives, because of they apply the self reflection to solve the problems which is powerful to individual’s empowerment.

There are several instructional tools for promoting metacognition in the classroom which is important to improve the conceptual understanding and problem solving abilities of students to learn chemistry. Some instructional tools which are used in science classroom are concept maps, concept tests, Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) tasks, and the Model-Observe-Reflect-Explain (MORE) thinking frame (Rickey, & Stacy, 2000). The concept map is collection of the concepts links which help student demonstrate their understanding on the relationship between the concepts. Moreover, the concepts tests are constructed to expose students’ view within the concepts throughout the peer discussion. On the other hand, the Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) tasks used to assess students’ understanding of classical mechanic which allow students to make predictions about an event and explain the reasons for their predictions. This POE tasks have been successful in promoting conceptual change in physics (Rickey, & Stacy, 2000). The Model-Observe-Reflect-Explain (MORE) is an adaptation of POE task which provide students with a framework to guide their thinking. The students allow reflecting on the implications of their observations for their model and revising their ideas. According to Rickey, & Stacy, (2000), MORE thinking frame not only develops significantly students’ abilities in metacognition but also help students to understand the fundamental of chemistry concepts, and ability to solve the problems