THE PORTRAIT OF TEACHERS’ COMPETENCY IN TEACHING SCIENCE THROUGH INQUIRY APPROACH AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN BANDAR LAMPUNG

Chandra Ertikanto*, Ari Widodo**, Andi Suhandi**, Bayong Tjasyono HK***

*) Lampung University**) Indonesia University of Education

***) Institute Technology of Bandung

chandra_unila@ymail.com

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to portray teachers’ competency in teaching science through inquiry approach at elementary schools in Bandar Lampung. The study was conducted at elementary schools located in the centre of the town, suburb, and remote area. Observation was conducted twice at each school. The sampling technique used in this study was quota sampling technique, where the researcher took the sample randomly to meet the expected number of the sample. The data of the study were collected through documentation and observation. The data were analysed qualitatively through the steps: transcription, tabulation, coding and description related with the research focus before the writer made the conclusion. The research findings are: most of the teachers in Bandar Lampung have not applied inquiry approach in teaching science systematically. They applied inquiry approach in their teaching spontaneously and inappropriately. The inappropriate use of inquiry approach in teaching science create difficulties in explaining the concepts. It is important to teach science at elementary schools through inquiry approach because it helps the teacher teach the science concepts, especially in explaining abstract concepts.

Keywords: inquiry, teaching competency, science.

INTRODUCTION

Learning Sciences in primary schools should emphasize the provision of direct learning experiences through the use and development of scientific skills and scientific attitudes. As stated on National Education Standards Agency (BSNP, 2006) that learning science should be carried out scientific inquiry intended to foster the ability to think, work and scientific attitude and to communicate it as an important aspect in life skills. The reality that happened in the field based on Sarjono’s research (2008) states that: learning science in elementary schools so far is not based on scientific inquiry, but it is conducted conventionally with a lot of information in it. This case makes the outcomes of science learning lower than the results of other subjects.

Chandra (2011), in his study, stated that: not all teachers who taught in the Elementary Schools in Bandar Lampung were able to deliver the concept of scientific inquiry. It is described as follows: (1) The average score of the teachers related to knowledge of inquiry is 36.28 teachers’ (it is supposed to be between 80.0 to 100), and only 20% of teachers who obtained a score of 62.5 from 20 teachers, (2) Learning Science in Primary Schools in Bandar Lampung is not in accordance with the directives of BSNP that states learning science should be carried out by using scientific inquiry. Most of the teachers had difficulties in teaching science in the way of inquiry. One reason related to this case was because the concept of teaching science as inquiry had not been mastered correctly.

When teachers teach science in the classroom, they mostly touch cognitive domains. The pattern of learning is less fun, because learning Science does not involve hand-on. It may happen because of teacher’s lack of knowledge in learning science by involving hand-on less (Pine, 2006). Thecommunications take place only in one direction “teachers teach and students learn”. In this type of learning, the instruction given by teachers is meaningless because the teachers tend to do more lecture. By referring to this case, it is concluded that the communication between teacher and students is supposed to do correctly (Cuevas, 2005). It is similar with the statement stated by Ridwan (2005) in his research which confirmed that many primary school teachers still used the old patterns of learning, namely one-way learning process which was dominated by the teacher. This type of learning causes less pleasurable. This way of learning reveals that teachers just carry out their duties as teachers, rather than provide meaningful learning experiences to students. This case occurs because teachers’ ability to teach science as inquiry is lack.

The findings which were contributed by Capobianco & Lehman (2006) proved that by giving science for elementary student courses or trainings for the teachers could overcome the problem of the teachers’ lack of ability related to science learning in the way of inquiry. This case was also supported by the study conducted by Budiastra (2008) which concluded that if the teacher’s ability in planning a packet of inquiry learning in science is good, it can enhance the ability of teachers in teaching science in primary Schools in real way.

Luera & Moyer and Everett (2004), in their research: the relationship between teachers’ knowledge of inquiry science and the content of its material to be used to plan inquiry learning showed that: there is a significant positive relationship between all of them. Furthermore, it is also found that the skills of planning inquiry learning contribute significantly to the ability of teachers to teach science in the inquiry way. The research which was done by Iyamu & Ottote (2005), generated a result that revealed: the ability of teaching by using inquiry teaching skills to the teachers in Southern Nigeria, indicated that the ability of teaching was getting better by using the inquiry way.

Based on the explanation above and in accordance with the goals of science education in primary schools which are set out on GBPP of Elementary School curriculum in 2006 which states: to teach Science Elementary School in inquiry way correctly. Referring to it, this study has a main question which says: “How is the portrait of teachers’ ability to teach inquiry science of elementary schools in Bandar Lampung?”  The benefits of this research results to relevant parties, among others: (1) Providing inputs for the principals to improve and develop science learning in their respective schools in order to improve teaching skills in science through inquiry way for elementary school teachers, (2) Contribute feedbacks for the City Education Department officials to improve the ability of teaching science for elementary teachers through inquiry way, and (3) As a reference for the developers who want to develop innovative, effective and efficient science learning model in primary school.

METHODOLOGY

The design of this study was to use descriptive method to photograph the teaching of Science in the inquiry way and the effects that may happen. The data used in this study is the qualitative data obtained from the implementation of the lesson plan documents, the implementation of learning, and the document resulted from the interviews with elementary school teachers in Bandar Lampung.

The research was conducted during April – June 2011 at the Elementary Schools in Bandar Lampung which were located in the centre of the town, suburb, and remote area.  From each of the sites was taken eight elementary schools. Then, one elementary school teacher was selected from each elementary school. In this investigation, the observation was conducted twice of learning activities.

Sampling technique used in this investigation was the Quota sampling thatdefined as random samples which are taken to finally fulfill the amount which is desired (Arikunto, 2008). Twenty-four teachers were selected to represent the population of teachers in Bandar Lampung. The data was collected by documentation and observation. Data analysis was conducted by using qualitative method by doing the following steps: transcription, tabulation, coding and description based on the focus of the research which was then concluded.

The process and the analysis of the data were done through several stages. The first stage was the examination and selection of critical data associated with the problem or the indicator concerned. The second stage was grouping the data or information in accordance with the aspects of the needs and problems. The third stage was tabulating the data in order to easily review the class, nature, type and frequency of it. This way contributed the easiness of reading, categorizing and analyzing. The fourth stage was analyzing the qualitative data. This way was done in order to analyze the data by breaking and linking it with the information relating to the focus of research. Finally, the fifth stage was making the interpretation of analysis results according to the problems and research questions and concluded it.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION

Documents which were obtained is in the form of learning implementation plan from twenty four Elementary School Teachers who became the subjects of the research. Results of the document tabulation is disclosed in Table 1.

Table 1. Tabulations of RPP Science assessment document from 24 elementary teachers, based on the components of inquiry that should appear at the inquiry RPP.

NO ASPECT OBSERVED ASSESSMENT Freq Score
0 1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A Learning Outcome Indicators  
 
  1. Contains an indicator that reflects the rsults of learning outcomes / products of learning science by inquiry

 

1 24 24
B Allocation of Time  
 
  1. Load allocations are oriented at the time of the proceedings
1 24 24
C Learning Objectives  
 
  1. Contains learning objectives and learning outcomes reflect the process of science as inquiry
1 24 24
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
D Learning Materials  
  1. Contains a complete teaching materials and procedures that reflect how the sequential presentation of such material can be commanded students through the process of inquiry

 

1 24 24
E Scenario Learning Activities  
  Initial activities  
 
  1. a.  Contains questions that are relevant apperception
1 10 10
 
  1. Contains questions to uncover / explore students’ prior knowledge of the relevant
1 6 6
 
  1. Contains activities to focus students’ motivation in inquiry activities
1 8 8
  Core Activities  
 
  1. Contains activities to formulate the problem by asking questions about physical phenomena or events that occur in everyday
0   24 0
 
  1. Contains activities to formulate a hypothesis of the problems posed related phenomena / events that are often encountered in everyday life
0   24 0
 
  1. Load planning or designing inquiry activities in inquiry
0   24 0
 
  1. Load carrying out investigation activities in the inquiry form cooperative groups
0   24 0
 
  1. Loading data analysis activities for the withdrawal of the conclusion of the investigation (construction concept)
0   24 0
 
  1. Contains activities to communicate the results of the investigation
0   24 0
  Closing activities  
 
  1. Load follow-up to the task of strengthening activities and the provision / homework
1 24 24
 
  1. Contains material information at the next meeting
1 24 24
F Plan evaluation and assessment of learning outcomes  
 
  1. Loading the skills evaluation tool for inquiry activities
1 24 24
 
  1. Contains the results of the evaluation rubric assessment inquiry skills
1 24 24
G Learning Resources / Viewer Tool  
 
  1. Contains tools and materials appropriate to the inquiry activities
1 4 4
 
  1. Load the appropriate worksheets for conduct inquiry
1 4 4
Number of Total Score   200
The average percentage of the value of RPP Science = Total Score Total 1632 X 100% = 12.25%

The data in Table 1 shows that teacher prepared the Elementary School Science lesson plans conventionally. This case is shown by the results of the assessment based on the assessment form of RPP Science in inquiry way. In that assessment,the components of inquiry that should arise in the RPP does not appear. If any components of inquiry in the RPP in every aspect which was observed are available, they are very small. In general, the ability of teachers in preparing the lesson plans in science inquiry is still low.

The results of assessment using the assessment form of RPP Science in the inquiry way showed  the value percentage average of RPP Science as follows: (a) the indicators of learning outcomes only got 24 score (or by 25%) containing the knowledge of concepts, understanding of concepts, application of the concept, (b) the allocation of time just got a 24 score (or by 25%) containing most of the time teachers used to describe the subject matter, (c) the purpose of learning just got a 24 score (or by 25%) containing the knowledge of concepts, understanding of concepts, application of the concept (d) the instructional material only got 24 score (or by 25%) containing inclusion prerequisite material, and physical phenomena; (e) the scenario learning activities just got on the initial activity score 24 (or 25%), it consists of the core activity was 0 score (or at 0%)and the closing activity was 24 scores (or by 25%).It indicates that the science learning scenario was not inquiry, (f) the evaluation of learning activities just got a 24 score (or by 25%). It reflects that the evaluation of Science subjects were not evaluated in the inquiry way, and (g) the visual aids of learning activities only got 8 scores (or equivalent to 4.17%). It shows that Science learning activities werenot applied in the inquiry way.

Average of Science RPP assessment is only 12.25% (relatively small), which indicates that the components of learning science in inquiry does not appear in the draft of RPP Science. It is obvious that ifthis RPP is used, it will only give less contribution to the learning science in the  inquiry way (BNSP, 2006).

 Table 2. Tabulations of RPP Science assessment based on the method and media which were used by 24 elementary teachers.

Teacher Code The method used The medium used Plan the use of inquiry
1 2 3 4 5
G-1 Lecture and Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-2 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing
G-3 Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-4 Lectures, discussions and demonstrations Board and Props Nothing
G-5 Lecture and Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-6 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing
G-7 Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-8 Lectures, discussions and demonstrations Board and Props Nothing
G-9 Lecture and Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-10 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing
G-11 Lecture and Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-12 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing
G-13 Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-14 Lectures, discussions and demonstrations Board and Props Nothing
G-15 Lecture and Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-16 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing
G-17 Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-18 Lectures, discussions and demonstrations Board and Props Nothing
G-19 Lecture and Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-20 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing
G-21 Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-22 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing
G-23 Discussion Group Board Nothing
G-24 Lecture and Discussion Board Nothing

 We can observe the data in Table 2 that shows  the teachers in preparing teaching turned out to be conventional, classical and mostly used the lecture method (Cuevas, 2005). This case is also demonstrated by the missing of  inquiry method. This missing indicates that the learning component of Science in the inquiry way does not appear in the draft of RPP Science. It is obvious that ifthis RPP is used, it will only give less contribution to the learning science in the  inquiry way (BNSP, 2006). Based on the observation in this case, the teachers combined several methods: method of discussion (group) with the lecture method, the using of blackboard, and four teachers (16.67%) added it by using the teaching aids. The above condition describes clearly that the teaching way gives less to the contribution of learning science in inquiry way. The analysis result in Table 1 and Table 2 confirms that the implementation of scientific inquiry teaching in elementary schoolsin Bandar Lampung is not applied by the teachers, and it is carried out spontaneously without going through the planning. It makes its use not appropriate and likely to cause errors in conveying the concept.

The following table shows the result of  the observation of  inquiry learning implementation (Joyce & Weill, 2001) which was conducted to the 24 teachers who became the research subjects:

 Table 3. Data which was resulted from the 24 elementary school teachers’ scores of the learning science implementation in the inquiry way

No Indicator component inquiry Descriptors Score Freq Total
1 2 3 4 5 6
I  Introductory activities
1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performwarm-up activity-oriented learning activities ofinvestigationfor the discovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Teachers conduct apperception. (Activities apperception appears but is not associated with the material covered)
  2. Teachers perform excavation activities to deliver the initial conception of the problem to be investigated. (Excavation activities preconceptions arose but did not deliver her on issues that will be an investigation)
  3. Teachers motivate students to do the investigation. (This activity appears to motivate but not at all related to the material covered)
1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

8

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

10

8

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

10

II  Core Activities
2  Formulatingthe problems associatedwiththe investigation. The teacher facilitates the students to formulate problems of investigation that is expressed in scientific questions.
(The formulation of the problem does not arise in the investigation of learning.)
 

0

 

24

 

0

3 Formulate a hypothesis The teacher facilitates the students to formulate hypotheses.
(Hypothesis formulation does not appear in the learning)
 

0

 

24

 

0

4 Planning theinvestigation. The teacherfacilitates thestudents to practiceinquiryin terms ofdesignactivities :

  1. Variables included in the theme of inquiry investigation.
    (Variable investigation did not appear in the learning)

 

  1. Design procedures or steps according to the theme of inquiry investigation
    (The design of the investigation procedure does not appear in the learning)

 

  1. Designing tables observation for data collection
    (Draft table does not arise in observational learning)

 

  1. The teacher facilitates the students in designing ways of data processing results of the investigation
    (The design of data processing does not appear in the learning)
 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

5 Conduct inquiry investigation Teachers provide direction and guidance when students have difficulty in the investigation
(Providing guidance in the form of a solution to the problem statement)
 

1

 

4

 

4

6 Develop explanations and conclusions
  1. The teacher facilitates students to develop an explanation of the investigation
    (Explanations and conclusions do not appear in the learning)
  2. The teacher facilitates the students to perform hypothesis testing
    (Testing the hypothesis does not appear in the learning)

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

24

 

 

 

 

24

0

 

 

 

 

0

7 scientific communication The teacher facilitates the students to communicate the results of investigations obtained
(The investigation does not appear in the learning)
 

0

 

24

 

0

III Closing activities        
8
  1. Teachers to monitor achievement of learning objectives through the provision of a matter / question orally or in writing
    (Provide question / questions but only covers a small part of learning objectives)

 

  1. Teachers provide follow-up information or material information at the next meeting
    (There is, but only information materials will be discussed at the next meeting

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

IV Other        
9 Utilization of time allocation learning by teachers and students Utilization of time allocated by the teacher and student learning
(Most of the time teachers use for teaching materials)
0 24 0
10 Utilization ofinstructional mediaby teachersandstudents Utilization of instructional media by teachers and students
(There is, but inadequate for such an inquiry activity)
 

1

 

4

 

4

Number of Total 80
Percentage score of the implementation of learning Science = Total Number of 720 X 100% = 11.1%

The data in Table 3 related to that the result of the observation which is focused on the implementation of learning science in the inquiry way conducting to the 24 elementary school teachers shows that the learning components of the inquiry way which appears relatively very small, only 11.1% (with a range of assessments to 100%. Depdiknas, 2003). This case is highly related to the knowledge of inquiry teaching whis is owned by every teacher. If  the knowledge of inquiry teaching is low, the result of the average score acquired by the teacher  will also be lower (11.1%). On the other hand,  if  the knowledge of teachers in teaching science in the inquiry way isappropriate, it can help them to improve their ability of teaching science well (Budiastra, 2008). It can even be stated that the teaching of Science which was conducted by 24 teachers in the sample is unable to generate components of inquiry that should appear on the initial, core and final activities. Moreover, when it is examined in terms of student activities (hand-on less, according to Pine, 2006) in terms of scientific inquiry (BSNP, 2006) as one of characteristics of learning science in inquiry.

Interviews were conducted against 24 teachers who became the subject of research by using a manual ability questionnaire inquiry (NRC, 1996 and 2000). Summary results of the interviews with 24 teachers who teach elementary school science disclosed in Table 4.

Table 4. Results of interviews using questionnaires about the ability of applying inquiry to 24 elementary school teachers who teach Science subjects

No Teacher inquiry capabilities in …. Score (%)
1 Teaching materials Elementary School Science 75,0
2 Get information about the inquiry 50,0
3 Training related to inquiry 12,5
4 Preparation of the inquiry RPP 12,5
5 Implementation of Learning by inquiry 12,5
6 Evaluation of Learning by inquiry 12,5
Number of scores 175,0
The average score 29,17

Table 4 obtained the information related to the teachers who are implementing learning Science and they do not have any difficulties in mastering the material science. This point is indicated by the obtained score of 75.0%. This score means thatamong 24 teachers who find it difficult is only 6 teachers (25%). Halfnumber of the teachers who became the study sample had difficulty in getting information about the inquiry is 50.0%. Whereas other components such as: Teachers had difficulty in terms of training related to the inquiry, teachers had difficulty in terms of preparation of lesson plans in science inquiry learning, teachers also experienced difficulties in terms of Learning Implementation and Evaluation of Learning in an inquiry, each of them obtained score 12.5%. Thus the overall average score of teachers’ abilities associated with inquiry is 29.17%. Average score of the teachers’ ability related to the inquiry way is quite small. The standard of passing for teachers in this case is 80of 100 (Curriculum Centre, 2003). This minimum passing grade is believed to be able to overcome the limited ability of teachers realted to learning science in the inquiry way. Besides that, it is important to handle somecourse methods,such as elementary school teachers’s science lesson learning courses/trainings (Capobianco & Lehman, 2006).

Based on the description above, it can be explained that the use of learning science in the inquiry way in science teaching has both positive and negative aspects. As the negative impact was: the use of inquiry learning in science can lead to an unplanned error concept, whereas the positive impact of learning science in the inquiry way was able to prevent the occurrence of errors of abstract concepts. So the use of inquiry learning can be helpful in learning Science, and can even overcome misconceptions. This can happen if the lesson plan is prepared well and also usedwell. On the contrary, it can cause errors if the concept is applied carelessly without being planned well.

From the results of the interviews with the teachers, it is revealed that learning science in the inquiry way is needed and can be a greatassistance when the teachers are explaining abstract concepts. Besides that, the use of inquiry learning in science is not only helpful in explaining abstract concepts, but also help the learners to avoid the error occurrence in concepts.

CONCLUSION

The conclusions of this study are: the implementation of the scientific inquiry teaching are not appliedby teachers in Primary Schools in Bandar Lampung, but its use is carried out spontaneously without going through the planning, so it is not appropriate to use, and be likely to cause errors in the submission of the concept of Science,

The learning of elementary school science is necessary, because it can facilitate in conveying the concepts of science, especially to convey abstract concepts. The concept which is stated and applied by the teachers can be used to determine how deep the teachers understand it.

The learning of Science in the inquiry way can lead to positive and negative impacts. The positive impact of the use of science as inquiry learning is that it can assist in understanding the abstract science concepts, and can prevent the occurrence of errors in learning concepts. While the negative impact is the use of learning science by using the inquiry way may result in spontaneous conceptual errors.

The advice that is needed in this case is that every use of inquiry learning in science learning, should be well planned, and learning science in the inquiry way should select the appropriate media. By doing this way, the use of learning science in the inquiry way can prevent the occurrence of conceptual errors, and make the abstract concepts can be easier to understand.

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