Refleksi Pendidikan Indonesia: Untuk Apa Sih Kita Belajar Selama Ini?

Pertanyaan sederhana untuk merenungkan kembali hakikat belajar

Posted by Jefry Dewangga on June 19, 2016

Preface

"Anak-anak, nanti cita-cita kalian kalau sudah besar pengen jadi apa nih?"
"Aku pengen jadi dokter bu."
"Aku pengen jadi pilot bu."
"Aku pengen jadi presiden bu."

Masih ingat kah kalian dengan jawaban-jawaban seperti itu? Anak-anak di bangku TK menjawab pertanyaan tersebut dengan polosnya.

Seiring berjalannya waktu, ketika SD sudah jarang yang menanyakan hal tersebut. Bagi sebagian orang pertanyaan tersebut mungkin telah berganti menjadi, "Bagaimana nilai kamu di sekolah?".

Pertanyaan seperti itu pun berlanjut hingga anak-anak duduk di bangku SMA. Walaupun pasti jawaban pada tingkatan sekolah tersebut akan berbeda. Tetapi esensinya tetap sama, yakni menanyakan nilai.

Setidaknya ada 3 jawaban yang akan dikatakan anak, yang pertama dia akan menjawab dengan mantap bahwa nilainya sempurna. Yang kedua dia akan menjawab dengan kecewa bahwa nilainya kurang memuaskan. Dan yang ketiga dia akan menjawab dengan ragu-ragu apakah nilainya sudah memuaskan atau belum.

Tipe jawaban pertama dan kedua biasanya merupakan jawaban dari anak-anak yang peduli akan pendidikannya. Sedangkan tipe jawaban ketiga merupakan jawaban dari anak-anak yang kurang memperhatikan pendidikannya.

Sekarang bagaimana kemungkinan respon orang tua terhadap ketiga jawaban tersebut. Yang pertama jika si anak menjawab dengan jawaban pertama, orang tua meresponnya dengan senang. Yang kedua jika anak menjawab dengan jawaban kedua dan ketiga, ada 2 opsi respon orang tua. Memarahi atau memotivasi, tergantung dari sudut pandang masing-masing.

Education

Syukurlah kalau orang tua merespon dengan memotivasi, namun jika orang tua memarahi anaknya, mari kita memikirkan kembali hakikat dari pendidikan tersebut. Menurut Wikipedia, pendidikan adalah pembelajaran pengetahuan, keterampilan, dan kebiasaan sekelompok orang yang diturunkan dari satu generasi ke generasi berikutnya melalui pengajaran, pelatihan, atau penelitian.

Dari definisi tersebut, kita bisa memahami bahwa esensi dari pendidikan adalah menurunkan ilmu pengetahuan dari suatu generasi ke generasi berikutnya. Mari kita berpikir sejenak, apakah tolak ukur keberhasilan menurunkan tersebut bisa dilihat dari nilai semata?

Memang diakui nilai bisa menjadi cerminan, tetapi apakah bisa maksimal? Menurut saya tidak, nilai hanya sebagian kecil dari keberhasilan tersebut. Keberhasilan tersebut baru dikatakan sukses jika generasi selanjutnya mampu mengembangkan ilmu yang diturunkan. Mampu memikirkannya dan tidak menerima mentah-mentah apa yang diberikan kepadanya.

Guru sebagai tenaga pendidik juga seharusnya bukan hanya mengopi paste apa yang dia pahami saja. Mereka seharusnya juga memberi kesempatan kepada anak didiknya agar bisa berpikir secara kritis. Terkadang perbedaan jaman membuat ilmu yang diturunkan menjadi tidak relevan. Sehingga siswa juga dituntut untuk berpikir kritis terhadap apa yang diturunkan guru tersebut.

Menurut konsep yang diajarkan Zenius, tugas utama seorang guru bukanlah mengajar, tapi menginspirasi siswa akan serunya ilmu pengetahuan agar siswa mau belajar dengan motivasinya sendiri.

Dari konsep tersebut kita bisa memahami bahwa pendidikan bukan hanya sekedar menurunkan ilmu, tapi juga menginspirasi sehingga siswa dapat merasakan sendiri keindahan ilmu pengetahuan tersebut, yang kelak akan membuat siswa menjadi pembelajar seumur hidup.

Learning & Studying

Siswa sendiri juga seharusnya memahami kembali hakikat belajar, belajar yang dimaksud di sini adalah "learning" bukan sebatas "studying". Sederhananya learning itu mempelajari sesuatu karena curiousity, passion or something that make you interest yang berlaku seumur hidup sedangkan studying itu belajar hanya sebatas untuk tujuan formal atau selama periode tertentu.

Studying in The NightStudying in The Night
(Source: wallpaperswide.com)

Furthermore, studying is always done to earn good marks and good grades whereas learning is done to improve our knowledge. Studying can take us further in our education but learning will take us further in our life which cannot be taught is schools and colleges.

Well, ask ourself. Do we actually study for exams or learn for exams? The answer is usually "We study for exams". A several month after the exams, try recollecting topics that we studied for the exam and we wouldn't be surprised that we don't remember.

Let's look at learning. We "learn" how to drive the car, for instance. We can still drive the car after several years. We often study to get through a specific period such as exams whereas we learn to grow as humans and what we learn stays with us.

Talking about education, I found this great article, written by a mathematics professor from ITB. Let's check this out guy.

Schools Must Teach Pupils to Think

August 5, 2004

It has now become very difficult to make predictions about our future with a high degree of precision. In the industrious age human beings might easily have predicted what the future might look like in the subsequent 30 years.

However, at present, we do not have that luxury anymore. We cannot foretell precisely what kind of world and existence we will have in 30 years from now. In today's digital era, some jobs we see today may be gone in less than 10 years from now. No one can guarantee the existence or availability of a particular job in the next five years.

Hence, if we have a very uncertain future, how should we prepare for it? In particular, what kind of preparation should we provide for our children? What kind of schooling do our children need for their future?

One definite implication of the vast acceleration in our civilization is that modern schooling cannot provide practical skills for certain jobs. If a school teaches specific practical skills, when its students graduate and enter the real world, the skills they have obtained may be useless: We may not need the skills anymore tomorrow.

The particular software one uses at college or school today may be obsolete when one graduates next year. Hence, if one focuses on teaching the practical skills for using highly specific software, for example, that would be unwise.

The practical skills of today may become impractical tomorrow. The skills necessary for certain occupations today may be worthless tomorrow, because once students finish their formal education their skills may be replaced by machines. Indeed, the occupations we train our students for today may no longer exist when they graduate.

Therefore, educators should ponder the objectives of modern schooling. The vocational studies provided by formal educational institutions nowadays are challenged by the training centers from industry.

Some training centers in developed industries or companies are far superior to the vocational studies in tertiary education institutions. This poses questions about the practicality of vocational studies. Indeed, do practical skills relevant to our modern life exist?

I strongly believe that, more than ever, schooling and general education in this modern era should assist students to become intelligent human beings. This means that the most important objective of modern schooling should be to make students learn to think.

The more our children learn to think, the more human our children will become. Hence, by allowing and facilitating our children to develop their minds, we help our children to become more human, and that is the primary objective of our present and future education.

PM Goh Chok Tong of Singapore reasons clearly why learning competencies are very important for his country. He said, "A nation's wealth in the 21st century will depend on the capacity of its people to learn."

Moreover, in 1997, he stated the vision of Singapore's future education in a strong and clear message: "Thinking schools, learning nation." He argued that the nation could be sustainable only if workers thought and the people of the entire nation learned continuously.

Our children need reasoning tools and skills for facing an uncertain future. To overcome or solve uncertain problems in an unclear and fast-moving tomorrow, one needs abilities to learn and relearn, more than ever before.

The ability to think and to learn will become very handy and practical for the world of tomorrow. Thus, one may conclude that thinking and learning are the two most versatile skills of tomorrow for our children.

This may seem paradoxical. On the one hand, pragmatic people see that the ability to think and learn is rather impractical. For some people who condone a quick-fix culture, this view is, of course, correct.

Yet, from the experience of our own civilization, we observe that thinking and learning are indeed the truest practical competencies we can provide for our children who face an uncertain future.

Now, if we accept that thinking and learning are the two most important competencies for the future, educators have some homework to do. Educators should think deeply about how to teach our children to think and learn.

This implies that the subjects learned today in school should be seen as vehicles for achieving the competencies to think and learn. The subjects themselvesare not the primary objective of schooling, but the ability to think and learn is.

Around the world, educators and governments should make essential national standards for school systems that stress thinking and learning skills. As the main objectives of schooling are to think and learn, learning processes in schools should promote and foster the development of thinking process and lifelong learning.

School standards deemed essential should make curricula lean and assessments relevant to modern life. Hence, our children and teachers could focus on the development of reasoning processes and learning skills.

Another important requirement to realize the enrichment of the thinking process in schools is the teacher factor. There should be systematic development programs in pre-service and in-service professional development programs for school teachers.

Developing countries, in particular, should recognize that while the human resource development of schoolteachers is difficult to measure, it is one of the most practical and feasible solutions for the present education situation.

Thus, at present, our children call for the leadership of educators and governments to retool school systems so that they promote thinking and learning capacities.

Prof. Iwan Pranoto ( Guru Besar Matematika ITB & Atase Pendidikan KBRI India )

Pak Iwan membicarakan mengenai sekolah yang belum mampu membuat siswa survive terhadap apa yang kelak akan terjadi pada generasi mereka. Karena memang kalau kita sadari, banyak hal yang kelak menjadi tak relevan di masa depan.

Di masa depan beberapa pekerjaan akan punah karena telah digantkan oleh humanoid. Dan pasti akan muncul pekerjaan-pekerjaan baru yang lebih relevan. Bahkan situs Futurist Speaker telah merilis daftar 162 pekerjaan yang ada di masa depan.

Summary

Dengan memahami esensi dari learning, semoga kita bisa menjadi pembelajar seumur hidup. Menjadi generasi yang dapat merasakan dan menurunkan keindahan ilmu pengetahuan ke generasi berikutnya. Menjadi guru yang terus memotivasi dan menghargai setiap proses dan pemikiran para siswa. Membentuk sekolah yang menghasilkan siswa pemikir dan pembelajar yang mampu survive di jaman mereka kelak.

References