Realistic Mathematics Education in Indonesia

Robert K. Sembiring, Sutarto Hadi and Maarten Dolk have written an article about an interesting experimental study related to the current reform movement in Indonesia, where the theory of Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) is being adopted. The article is entitled Reforming mathematics learning in Indonesian classrooms through RME, and it was published online in ZDM on Sunday, August 24. Here is the abstract of the article:

This paper reports an experimental study on the development of exemplary curriculum materials for the teaching of fractions in Indonesian primary schools. The study’s context is the current reform movement adopting realistic mathematics education (RME) theory, known as Pendidikan Matematika Realistik Indonesia (PMRI), and it looked at the role of design research in supporting the dissemination of PMRI. The study was carried out in two cycles of teaching experiments in two primary schools. The findings of the design research signified the importance of collaboration between mathematics educators and teachers in developing RME curriculum materials. The availability of RME curriculum materials is an important component in the success of the PMRI movement, particularly in supporting students and teachers in activity-based mathematics learning. Most of the students and teachers in the two schools positively appraised teaching and learning with the developed materials. Since the teachers were actively involved in developing the materials, they felt a sense of ownership and recognised that their students’ classroom experiences of the materials helped them avoid standard difficulties. That appears to be a particular benefit of the bottom-up approach characteristic of the PMRI movement.

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