The latest issue in the quality of human resources in Indonesia is a debate over the nature of education and its implications for society. Education in its broadest sense presupposes a better understanding of teaching and learning. On one side, teachers are supposed to be able to share their knowledge through the many approaches, methods and techniques at their disposal. Teaching mathematics, for instance, requires a basic skill in explaining abstract mathematical concepts. Abstract thinking is one of the skills to be introduced to students at an early stage of learning this science. In Indonesia, however, mathematics has often been cited as a “monster” that troubles the students’ progress in learning for a higher level of education. On the other, students particularly those who will continue their studies to a tertiary level are confronted with the various problems of life. They lack books, especially the translated texts, and other learning aids. Unlike in advanced countries, the students in Indonesia entirely depend on the explanation given by their teachers. This is especially true of learning mathematics as the basic science to further their studies.

In reality, there is a big chasm between teachers and students. Teachers believe that they can produce a change of behavior, as defined in the process of learning, after explaining everything about mathematical concepts. Students, on the other hand, feel that they have not learned enough from their teachers. As a result, there is a kind of “tug of war” between the two parties. The question is which party should be given more treatment, the teachers or the students. For the feasible purposes, teachers should be given more training and knowledge on how to teach mathematics. Part of the solution is that the teachers should change their perception about their students. Students are no longer “containers to be filled” , instead they are curious people with much potential to learn anything new. What is needed today is the cooperation between teachers and students in finding solutions to the problems of teaching and learning mathematics. Both of them must realize the importance of sharing and exchanging experiences. Mathematics must be a very interesting course that can help the students solve the many problems they face. In the United States, mathematics is first taught by relating it to the reality of life before going on with the advanced concepts such as in calculus. Teachers can no longer boast of their overt knowledge of mathematics. Students can be expected to contribute to the understanding of this science. The old saying “a teacher knows better” is no longer applicable.

This fact raises a question about the quality of teaching and learning interaction in class. The interaction, if it is properly performed, will produce desired results such as a better understanding and appreciation of mathematics in everyday life. Students will be motivated to learn it when their teachers also show some kind of professionalism and positive attitude in doing their job. A mathematic teach do many things to improve his or her professionalism. The Indonesian government has launched improvement programs in the form of workshops, seminars, symposium and other educationally related activities. The knowledge and skills they received from such events can be used to make their teaching performance much better. Professionalism grows from within, so they will appreciate their work after reaching a level of satisfaction in the job.

The quality of teaching and learning interaction becomes relevant to the problems faced by Indonesia in improving the teachers’ performance. This issue gains more attention of experts in this country due to a staggering fact about mathematics development in this region. For instance, the Third International Mathematics and Science Report found out that Indonesia is far behind the other Southeast Asian countries in the quality of teaching mathematics. Of the 38 countries surveyed by the institution, Indonesia is placed at the 34th level, which means that this country is the worst in providing teaching service in popularizing mathematics. South Korea holds the top position and a leading country in the education of mathematics.

This setback can be fixed by a analyzing the elements of interaction that is related to teaching performance in general. Theories of education and psychological views on teaching and learning interaction can be applied to find out the quality of the interaction. Lingren (1976:127) argues that experience is an important basis for organizing information into concepts. Thus, when teachers are given sufficient training, they will be able to apply their knowledge to carry out the performance. In learning processes, there is a transfer of training which is needed for the improvement of interaction. Also, there is a transfer of principles and attitude. These variables can be used as one of the indicators for the quality of interaction.

The contemporary school has a well determined role in developing of the huge intellectual potential, represented by intelligence and creativity, that being capitalized properly, can provide an uninterrupted social-human progress. In the relation between the pupil and the learning process, knowing the level of intellectual advancement of each student is very important for the utilization of adequate methods, that would allow the individualization of the education, in order to maximize each pupil’s creative capacities and abilities.

From the creativity point of view, it is necessary to revise the traditional teaching methods used in school, by assimilation of creative strategies, as well as by promoting new methods. Some mathematicians considered that it was necessary to move to the “creative” heuristic method of teaching and learning according to which:

• Mathematics is to be considered as a learning activity for people and not a finished studying object;

• Mathematics is to be studied by making it interesting and not by imposed memorization;

• Mathematical instruction is to be performed as a process of continuous research and discovery and not as a simple conveyance of already known ideas.

The systematic solving of mathematical problems contributes to the conscientious assimilation of

knowledge and, specifically to the accumulation by pupils of the experience of creative activities, and to the developing of creative skills.

On the correlation line between creativity and solving mathematical problems we were interested in a few aspects:

• Pupils' training in creative activities requires a system of cognitive problems of research nature;

• Problem solving represents a favorable frame for creativity development;

• Defining for creativity is the part of problems' composition (wording) and not that of their solving

## Sugeng Rawuh

Selamat datang di sarana belajar yang ala kadarnya ini. semoga bisa menjadi media pembelajaran kita untuk terus belajar dalam dunia pendidikan, khususnya dalam pembelajaran dan pendidikan matematika.

knowledge is a power

information is liberating

education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family

knowledge is a power

information is liberating

education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family

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