Nowadays, learning mathematics in the classroom is still said to be too theoretical and not adequately contextual. Based on the “Program for International Student Assessment” (PISA) research in 2009, the learning achievement for mathematics is still not satisfying. This is due to the students’ inadequate skills in reasoning and problem solving. Therefore, innovations for more contextual and interesting learning media are needed.
Finding this problem, a group of students of Yogyakarta State University made an innovation for the mathematics teaching and learning process through developing learning media for geometry. Named Smartmath, an ethno-mathematics or cultural based approach is applied by using temple structures as the object of learning. They are Miftah Rizqi Hanafi (a student of Electronics Engineering Education Department), Venti Indiani, and Medina Rendani Sabana (students of International Mathematics Education Department). Flash program is used in making the approach.
“When we found that learning geometry could be more than just learning from text books, we tried to make an innovation in the learning media by using parts of Borobudur temple,” said Rizqi Hanafi. Together with four other teams from YSU, they presented a paper entitled “Smart Math” in the International Conference on Education Research (ICER) 2013 in Khon Kaen University Thailand, held from 13th—16th September 2013. This conference put education activists to sit together to solve educational problems. University representatives from Asian Countries such as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippine also joined this conference.
One speaker from Japan, who was also one of the key note speakers in this conference, presented the similar learning concept to Smart Math as one contextual learning media for geometry.
“Smart Math got a positive appreciation from the audience. We hope Smart Math can make learning geometry more contextual,” Rizqi added. (meg)