Enhancement of Mathematical Communication Competency Upon Students of Junior High School

Updated: Jul 18, 2018

Through Contextual Learning Based on Coastal Culture


Maria Agustina Kleden

Department of Mathematics, University of Nusa Cendana, Kupang-NTT, Indonesia


Uda Geradus

Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, University of Nusa Cendana, Kupang-NTT


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31014/aior.1993.01.01.3


Abstract

Various studies have pointed out that communication in mathematics is one of the necessary competencies in learning mathematics. Students are expected to possess such competency in order to communicate learning materials in an efficient and effective manner which is supposed to create easiness for students to learn. A particular learning approach which is allegedly to enhance mathematical communication competency is the contextual learning based on coastal culture. This research was conducted by undertaking mixed method with sequential explanatory strategy. Design of study is pretest-posttest control group design. The population is students of Junior High School in East Flores District, Province of East Nusa Tenggara with 119 students as sample. The sampling technique is purposive sampling. Four separate classes of class 8 of Junior High School in Larantuka were randomly selected to be distinguished as an experimental class and a control class. The instrument of this study is a test of mathematical communication competence. Results show that there is an enhancement in mathematical communication competency upon students of the group which were learning through contextual learning based on coastal culture (CLBCC) and conventional learning approach (CLA). Learning outcomes and enhancement in mathematical communication competency of the CLBCC group were found to be higher than those of the CLA group. For both groups, the lowest average enhancement was upon the indicator of expressing a certain situation or mathematical relationship into mathematical models (graph, figures, and mathematical expressions). The highest average enhancement was found upon the indicator of outlining significance upon given situation or problem, which occurred within both groups.


1. INTRODUCTION

Communication is significantly important in the learning process as it determines the success of transferring information of knowledge and experiences between teachers and students, students and students, and between students and learning materials. Furthermore, communication allows individuals to express the ideas and thoughts. Mathematics ideas, which have been derived and expressed through mathematical languages in figures, graphs, texts, and mathematical models, have been designed to be comprehensible to the audience. This utterance is parallel to those of Jamison (Kabael, 2012) who argues that mathematical language is composed by logical structure and rhetoric which is comprehensible towards all parties and is presented based on definition formats, proof, and theory. Conveying mathematical ideas clearly and accurately presents irrefutable significance.


Since an early age, children are encouraged to comprehend and express mathematical facts, thoughts, and ideas that they possess. This allows children to be accustomed to express mathematical ideas in accurate and correct manners in such a way to be comprehensible to the audience. Children should be trained to express mathematical ideas in mathematical sentences in order to simplify problems and solutions. This confirms to NCTM (2000) which underlines that communication in mathematics is an utmost significance and therefore, should be exposed to children at an early age.


Besides, the importance to be comprehensible to the audience communication is beneficial to evaluate the correctness of thinking. Through communication, the correctness of mathematical ideas by students can be evaluated by their peers as well as their teachers. Through this medium, students will be encouraged to realize their mistakes in mathematical thinking and therefore, will be encouraged to undertake correction. This statement confirms to that of NCTM (2000) which utters that communication enables mathematical thinking to be observable and encourages students to reflect upon self-mathematical thinking as well as mathematical thinking of others.


The importance of communication is underlined by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2000, 29), which suggests that in learning mathematics, there are four competencies ought to be attained by the student. They are problem-solving, reasoning, communication and representation.


In accordance to NCTM, within the Decree of Indonesian Minister of Education Number 22 Year 2006 regarding standard contents of mathematics, The 2013 Curriculum set out in Decree of Indonesian Minister of Education Number 64 Year 2013 regarding standard contents of the 2013 curriculum, and Decree of Indonesian Minister of Education Number 65 regarding the 2013 curriculum process standards, it is stated that aims of mathematics learning are upon the following: (1) solving problems which comprise ability to comprehend to problems, design mathematical model, solve upon the model, and interpret the solution; (2) communicating ideas with symbols, tables, diagrams, and other mediums to clarify certain situations or problems; and (3) possessing attitudes in respecting practicality of mathematics in daily life, which comprises of possessing curiosity, concerns and interests towards learning mathematics, alongside being tenacious and confident in solving mathematical problems.

Recalling the significance of mathematical communication competency, it is therefore required particular mathematical learning strategy which has the potential to increase mathematical communication competency. One of the strategies which have the potential to increase mathematical communication competency is contextual learning based on coastal culture (CLBCC).


Mathematical learning is an effort to develop mathematical competencies requires a strategy that emphasizes the role of students in maximizing their activity. Learning should involve students in the search for meaning through the use of an environmental context. Unnecessary concepts will not be stored well in the student's memory. Therefore, learning must be based on the idea that meaning arises from relationships between content and context. Context gives meaning to content. The more skilled the students associate the lesson with the context, the more meaning they gain from the lesson.

The above exposure indicates that the importance of context in every learning implementation. Contextual learning is referred to as contextual teaching and learning (CTL). In this learning, all student activities are related to the subject matter and real-life context they find. This means that students seek meaning in finding interesting mathematical problems, seeking information and drawing conclusions, actively selecting appropriate strategies, composing, planning, investigating, questioning, and making conclusions about solving a mathematical problem, and linking mathematical concepts learned to the context in life situations.


The illustration above shows that mathematical communication competency is an utmost significance ought to be possessed by students in learning mathematics. Therefore, it is required a study which analyzes mathematical communication competency of students, especially those being prepared to be teachers of mathematics. These students righteously possess mathematical communication competency to convey information in an effective and efficient manner which eases students into learning.


Derived from the above introductory, the problem of this study is formulated as: (1) Are there differences upon outcomes of mathematical communication competency between a group of students of contextual learning based on coastal culture approach and group of students of the conventional learning approach? (2) Are there differences upon enhancement of mathematical communication competency between a group of students of contextual learning based on coastal culture approach and group of students of conventional learning approach? (3) Which indicator of mathematical communication competency of students resulted to be the highest? (4) Which indicator of mathematical communication competency of students resulted to be the lowest?


Aim of this research is to identify: (1) differences upon outcomes of mathematical communication competency between group of students of contextual learning based on coastal culture approach and group of students of conventional learning approach; (2) differences upon enhancement of mathematical communication competency between group of students of contextual learning based on coastal culture approach and group of students of the conventional learning approach; (3) The highest and the lowest indicator of student mathematical communication competency.


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