A. Background of Study
Twenty-first centuries comes and spreads great fear upon society to the changes it brings. The fast changing information, huge development of high technology devices and rapid growing economic condition cause worries among parents and teachers. Skills that were appropriate 20 years ago no longer prepare children for the world beyond school. Technological change has both created and destroyed jobs. Changes in society are accelerating so rapidly that it is difficult to assess what factual knowledge will be needed for the future. To be prepared for the challenge of the future, children will need skills that will give them control over their lives and their learning, for of their learning will be no end (Fisher, XXXX: vii).
The fact that society has also changed its worldviews, values and norms, urges the educational institutions to search and establish the most suitable way to educate the young generation. In order to prepare the students facing their future, students must have the skills to respond to their rapidly changing and increasingly complex environments. The educational implication of this is that teachers should focus on teaching skills essential to the gaining, using organizing and using information.
Through evaluation upon the world's past theories on education, the educators came up to the notion that it is time to teach students thinking skills. As Fisher states that the teaching of thinking skills is potentially one of the most valuable areas of educational research and development today. He also states (Fisher, XXXX: vii) that past theories tended to focus on simpler forms of learning. Children are often expected to learn scientific, mathematical and aesthetics skills and concepts without being helped to develop the tools of critical, independent, and rational thought, even though they were successful in generating many improvements in the teaching of basic skills. Today there is a greater emphasis on the process of learning, on investigation and problem solving, on reading for meaning, on the use of reasoning in writing, on study skills and on developing autonomous ways of learning. Reasons for this lie in the changing view of children, school, and society.
Regarding human life as a problem solving process and the long winding path that our next generation must successfully pass through, it can be concluded that they need to learn to think creatively, so they will be able to solve any kinds of problems in this unpredictable fast changing world, and for being able to think and become successful problem solver, they must involve and train critical and creative aspects of their minds, both the use of reason and the generation of ideas. Creative thinking supplies the context of discovery and the generation of hypothesis. Critical thinking provides the context of justifications, testing the acceptability of reason and proof.
In productive problem solving, one generates ideas (by creativity) and evaluates ideas (by criticality). Although creativity occurs first in the process, it's best to begin with a foundation of critical thinking because wise evaluation, in critical thinking, can prevent "creativity plus enthusiasm" from converting questionable ideas into unwise action. Critical thinking is "reasonably and reflectively deciding what to believe or do."... Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments. Basically, it is using criteria to judge the quality of something. In essence, critical thinking is a disciplined manner of thought that a person uses to assess the validity of something: a statement, news story, argument, research, etc (Ennis paraphrased by Beyer on www.asa3.org/ASA/education/thinkcritical.htm).
Critical thinking is an important and vital topic in modern education, as Piaget states,
The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done - men who are creative, inventive and discoverers. The second goal of education is to form minds which can be critical, can be verify and not accept everything they are offered (cited in Fisher, XXXX: 29)
Dewey pointed out that learning to think is the central purpose of education. More recently, at the XXXX education summit, the National Education Goals Panel identified the need for a substantial increase in "the proportion of college graduates who demonstrate an advanced ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and solve problems" (National Education Goals Panel, XXXX: 62).
The goal of improving critical thinking is also fundamental to environmental educators' efforts to create an environmentally literate citizen. In the face of complex environmental issues, environmental education does not advocate a particular solution or action, but instead facilitates a student's ability to draw on and synthesize knowledge and skills from a variety of subject areas to conduct inquiries, solve problems, and make decisions that lead to informed and responsible actions (UNESCO, 1978). Furthermore, being a critical thinker also consists in developing certain attitudes, such as desire to reason, willingness to challenge and a passion for truth (Fisher, XXXX: 66).
Unfortunately, in her landmark book The Skills of Argument (XXXX), psychologist Deanna Kuhn reported intensively studying hundreds of people from all walks of life. She found that over half the population cannot reliably exhibit even the most basic skills of general reasoning and argument.
In Indonesian academic discourse, critical thinking has also become a new educational issue, and this has been reflected in the National Development Program for the year XXXX-XXXX on education development. Section A of the program, about General Problems, paragraph six, mentions that one of the problems in the national education is that "the culture of critical thinking is not yet socialized...." (Depdiknas, XXXXf, WWW.DEPDIKNAS.GO.ID).
It seems educational system in Indonesia has not yet promoted this critical thinking skill as seen on http://www.pendis.depag.go.id firstname.lastname@example.org,
Sistem pendidikan di Indonesia tidak memberi ruang bagi anak didik untuk berpikir kritis. Hal ini berimplikasi pada rendahnya kreativitas pelajar di Indonesia. Demikian diungkapkan dosen Fakultas Seni Rupa dan Desain (FSRD) ITB, Yasraf Amir Piliang, pada talkshow 100 Tahun Kebangkitan Nasional "Selamatkan Indonesia dari Kemiskinan" di Kampus ITB Jln. Ganeca, Bandung, Kamis (22/5).
Menurut Yasraf, iklim belajar-mengajar yang tidak mengarahkan anak didik pada pembelajaran yang kritis akan mematikan hasrat siswa untuk kreatif. "Perlu ada strategi untuk memperbaiki pendidikan dasar dan menengah yang belum membuat anak-anak Indonesia menjadi seorang yang kritis," ungkapnya.
Hal serupa dikatakan staf ahli Dirjen Pendidikan Tinggi (Dikti) Asep Saefudin. Menurutnya, sistem pendidikan Indonesia cenderung mengarah pada feodalisme. Akibatnya, sistem pendidikan tersebut membuat anak didik kehilangan sarana untuk mengembangkan kreativitasnya. Sejatinya kreativitas dihasilkan dari pemikiran kritis anak didik
The description above tells us that students in Indonesia do not yet show their critical thinking skill which is very important to promote and improve their ways of learning and thinking in order to face the unpredictable challenge of the future. It's very regrettable fact since Indonesian's pluralistic society needs citizens who can fair-mindedly evaluate the relevance of different perspectives on complex problems. Additionally, making sound personal and civic decisions requires the ability to interpret accurately information filtered by media that emphasize promotion and imagery over reason.
Meanwhile, another urgent topic in the field of education in Indonesia is the importance and the need for English and the teaching of English in Indonesia, that have been explicitly stated in several official documents released by the government, especially those related to education. The first document is the Competence-Based English Curriculum released by the Department of National Education of Indonesia (Depdiknas, XXXX). In the rationale of this curriculum, it is stated,
Sebagai Bahasa yang digunakan oleh sebagian penduduk dunia, Bahasa Inggris telah siap untuk memegang peranan sebagai bahasa dunia. Selain menjadi bahasa ilmu pengetahuan, teknologi dan seni, bahsa ini dapat menjadi alat untuk tujuan ekonomi dan perdagangan, hubungan antar Negara, tujuan sosial budaya, pendidikan dan pengembangan karir bagi masyarakat. Penguasaan bahasa inggris merupakan syarat utama bagi kesuksesan perseorangan, masyarakat dan bangsa Indonesia dalam menjawab tantangan jaman di tingkat dunia. Penguasaan bahasa Ingrid dapat diperoleh dengan berbagai car a, namun kelihatannya pendidikan bahasa Inggris di sekolah merupakan media yang utama bagi siswa di Indonesia (Depdiknas, XXXX).
The curriculum further mentions the role of English in Indonesia as described below:
Di Indonesia, bahasa Inggris merupakan alat untuk memahami dan mengembangkan ilmu pengetehuan, teknologi, seni dan kebudayaan. Lebih lanjut, bahasa Inggris memiliki peranan yang sangat penting dalam membangun hubungan antara Indonesia dan negara-negara lain di berbagai bidang seperti perekonomian, perdagangan dan politik. Oleh karena itu, bahasa Inggris merupakan jalan untuk mempercepat kemajuan bangsa dan negara Indonesia (Depdiknas, XXXX; see a similar statement from the Director General of Secondary Education in Depdiknas XXXX, http://www.pdk.go.id/publikasi/Masadepan/I XVIII XXXX/bahasa inggris -1-thXVIII-XXXX)
Moreover, the rationale of the Competence-Based Curriculum also explicitly states:
Hasil penelitian membuktikan bahwa pendidikan bahasa Inggris di Indonesia masih jauh dari tujuan penguasaan keahlian bahasa yang diharapkan. Lulusan sekolah menengah masih belum mampu menggunakan bahasa Inggris untuk berkomunikasi. Lulusan sekolah tinggi masih belum mampu membaca buku teks berbahasa Inggris. Ada bebereapa faktor yang menyebabkan kegagalan ini dan banyak hal pula yang harus dilaksanakan untuk memperbaikinya. Salah satu caranya adalah dengan menggunakan silabus yang tepat sesuai perkembangan jaman (Depdiknas, XXXX).
In order to overcome this problem, Department of National Education released the recent concept curriculum in XXXX to apply on Indonesian secondary education level (Senior High School) as followed:
Salah satu model terkini yang ada di dalam system pendidikan bahasa adalah yang dikemukakan oleh Celce-Murcia, Dornyei dan Thurrell (XXXX) yang kompatibel dengan pandangan teoritis bahwa bahasa adalah komunikasi, bukan sekedar seperangkat aturan. Implikasinya adalah bahwa model kompetensi berbahasa yang dirumuskan adalah model yang menyiapkan siswa untuk berkomunikasi dengan bahasa untuk berpartisipasi dalam masyarakat pengguna bahasa. Model ini dirumuskan sebagai Communicative Competence atau Kompetensi Komunikatif (KK)
It is further mentioned that
Dalam Kompetensi Komunikatif, kompetensi utama yang dituju oleh pendidikan bahasa adalah Discourse Competence atau Kompetensi Wacana (KW). Artinya, jika seseorang berkomunikasi baik secara lisan maupun tertulis orang tersebut terlibat dalam suatu wacana. Yang dimaksud dengan wacana ialah sebuah peristiwa komunikasi yang dipengaruhi oleh system yang dikomunikasikan, hubungan interpersonal pihak yang terlibat dalam komunikasi dan jalur komunikasi yang digunakan dalam satu konteks budaya. Makna apapun yang ia per oleh dan ia ciptakan dalam komunikasi selalu terkait dengan konteks budaya dan konteks situasi yang melingkupinya. Berpartisipasi dalam percakapan, membaca dan menulis secara otomatis mengaktifkan kompetensi wacana yang berarti menggunakan seperangkat strategi atau prosedur untuk merealisasi nilai-nilai yang terdapat dalam system-unsur bahasa, tata bahasa, isyarat-isyarat pragmatiknya dalam menafsirkan dan mengungkapkan makna (McCarthy dan Carter XXXX: 88).
This model of language teaching and learning has also offered another model as cited below,
Selain model kompetensi, sebuah model bahasa yang memandang bahasa sebagai komunikasi atau sebagai system (Halliday 1978) juga digunakan dalam kurikulum ini. Menurut pandangan ini, ketika seseorang berpikir tentang bahasa, minimal ada tiga aspek penting yang harus diperhitungkan, yakni konteks, teks, dan system bahasa.
The decision to use the model of language teaching above emerged through consideration and notification that during the final quarter of the twentieth century, cognitive revolution spelt its influence on second language education. Active construction of knowledge on the side of the learners was considered the core of learning, and language learning was viewed as active rule generation and transformation through exposure to large amount of input, rather than habit formation. Individualized, learner-centered learning was given an unprecedented emphasis under this perspective, and a cognitive, problem-solving approach was advocated as a viable language teaching approach. Despite the popularity of cognitive/constructive perspective to second language education, researchers like Hymes and Halliday pointed out the limitations of this perspective in downplaying the social aspect of language learning and initiated the sociocognitive perspective to second language education. Under this perspective, language learning was regarded as socially constructed, and its purpose was to enable self-expressing and get learners prepared for dealing with the authentic social interactions and discourse communities that learners would later encounter. Furthermore, learning is no longer restricted to linguistic aspects, but rather social, discourse and cultural aspects are also considered crucial components of learning (Gui Suk Park: XXXX on web.utk.edu genreteaching.doc).
The release of the XXXX English curriculum, which is underpinned by systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and involves the genre-based approach (GBA), indicates the Indonesian government's awareness of the necessity for the teaching of English which is functional and which can lead to students' ability in using the language in context. In another sense, Indonesian's Department of National Education realized that genre-based writing instructions as the heir of Hymes' communicative approaches to language teaching that emerged in the 1970s would be the best choice of a curriculum as it had worked very successfully in other big countries.
In Australia, as Cope, Kalantzis, et al. (cited in Myra Barrs on www.teachthinking.com) explain in their historical account, the genre movement began as a group of academic genre linguists who were critical of 'progressivist pedagogy' in teaching writing. This came up from the growing realization that writing was a key area of literacy learning and an essential route to educational achievement. Writing is a skill that is acquired more slowly and with more difficulty than reading, in addition, putting thoughts into writing involves embarking on what Vygotsky calls 'the longest journey that thought has to travel'. Translating inner speech, which is condensed and abbreviated in character, into writing, the most elaborate and detailed form of language requires the writer to spell out meanings as well as words.
Even though in its development, the genre linguists had their view reduced of what is involved in writing and in teaching writing, as they put all the emphasis on textual structures and linguistic features and left out the most essential element of writing: the writer's subject, the content, what is to be communicated. It was reformed by some revisionist genre linguists in Australia by promoting a more curriculum-based way of working: in Callaghan, et al. 'process-based' approach to teaching genre.
The aim is not just to teach the class to produce a generic text type. Rather it aims to use language to help teach the abstraction of the content knowledge and the skills of generalizing and synthesizing and hypothesizing (Callaghan XXXX: 201).
This recognition that writing has an important cognitive dimension, and is a basic means of thinking and learning is a positive move. Learning to write, in Halliday's words, is 'learning how to mean' - on paper. Meaning-making is at the heart of the process, and since these are the learner's meanings we are talking about, the learner needs to be engaged with the learning and with the writing.
Emig (1983 cited in Myra Barrs on www.teachthinking.com) describes writing as the 'complex evolutionary development of thought, steadily and graphically visible and available throughout as a record of the journey from jottings and notes to full discursive formulation.' This focuses on the development of a text, viewed not as routine drafting but as the development of thinking, suggests why a 'process writing' approach could be a helpful part of learning in any curriculum area.
This statement about writing as the development of thinking clearly provides teachers a media for teaching thinking to students through English language learning at school. So it can be concluded that by teaching writing to students, in the same time there is a chance to foster and develop thinking skill.
Additionally, genre pedagogies promise very real benefits for learners as they pull together language, content, and contexts, while offering teachers a means of presenting students with explicit and systematic explanations of the ways writing works to communicate (Christie & Martin, XXXX cited in Hyland, XXXX: 15). One advantage from using GBA, according to Hyland is that Genre-Based teaching facilitates critical understanding, GBA has the potential for aiding students to reflect on and critique the way that knowledge and information are organized and constructed in written English text. Understanding how texts are socially constructed and ideologically shaped help students to distinguish differences and provide them with the means of understanding their varied experiential frameworks.
In order to accomplish their purpose, genres generally move through a number of stages (Martin 1985 cited in Deriawanka on RELC Journal 32, XXXX: 38). And when GBA is implemented in Indonesian English language class using this Martin's 'wheel' model of genre literacy pedagogy, in one of its stage; the modellilng stage: presenting a text as an example of a genre and then analyzing its generic features (which may include function, structure, language, grammar, use of tenses and so on), students are required to understand contents of the text.
The process of understanding the text involves critical thinking skill. For example when telling a story such as Goldilocks and the three bears (Narrative genre), a teacher might ask the following questions: What did you think of the story? Was Goldilocks good or bad? Why? These kinds of questions are categorized as evaluation process which Bloom (in Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive goals) associates to be synonymous with the term critical thinking (Fisher, XXXX: 69). Modeling stage is followed by 'joint construction of a new text in the same genre' (or shared writing) and then by 'independent construction of text', in this final stage students are required to be able producing a text, the writing process which experienced writers use are the processes will help young children develop their writing/thinking skills
The writing process begins with thinking about the nature of the message writing should take. At this initial stage such as audience, purpose and form should be considered. Writing activities should have a purpose. Such purposes for writing might include: to amuse, to argue, to discuss, to describe, to recount, to remind, to report, to persuade or to touch the emotions (Fisher, XXXX: 202). This statement is line with the theory of genre pedagogy, genre theorists place participant relationships at the heart of language use and assume that every successful text will display the writers' awareness of its context and the readers who form part of that context (Hyland, XXXX in Gui Suk Park: XXXX on web.utk.edu genreteaching.doc).
And when it comes to the Exposition genre or Argumentative genre, the students will be challenged to find facts and construct arguments for why a thesis has been proposed. Skill in argumentation and, spoken and written has been considered as one of critical thinking disposition (Ennis, 1987 cited in Emilia, XXXX: 59) and argumentative writing has thus been considered to be critical to challenge student's critical thinking.
The above explanation about the need for teaching students thinking skill, critical thinking particularly and Indonesian Department of National Education's decision to involve Genre-Based Approach as the right curriculum to apply in English language learning in secondary level of education in Indonesia, can be seen as two related subjects. In other words, GBA as a writing product oriented can be a media to promote thinking skill, since writing involve thinking capacity in its process, especially when the students learn about argumentative genre such as Analytical and Hortatory Exposition and Discussion Genre text. They are required to construct arguments, argument is the offering of reasons for a belief, and it also aims at discovering the truth by exposing belief to the light of reason. To weigh arguments before reaching a balance judgment, to carefully examine experience, asses' knowledge and ideas, students must be able think critically (Fisher, XXXX: 66). In addition, GBA helps the students to understand and criticize how information written and produced in English text.
This study with the title "The Implementation of Genre-Based Approach in the Teaching of English at SMA Negeri 1 X and Its Effects in Promoting Students' Critical Thinking" tries to see and reveal the clear description on how the Genre-Based approach when implemented in Indonesia's senior high school, especially in SMA Negri 1 X. And how does the implementation of GBA affect the promotion of student's critical thinking. The reason in choosing this school is, as the writer lives in X as a teacher, highly believes that the teachers and the students of SMA Negri 1 X are capable to understand and to apply GBA in their English class. Their capability is proven as SMA N 1 X is considered to be the best school in local district of X viewed from the fact that it has the highest rank of score for almost all of academic subject matters especially in English in X regency examination in XXXX/XXXX among high schools. Another proof is SMA Negri 1 X has succeeded to win the X high school debate competition for several years. This success was a result of their professional and progressive development.
Furthermore, the study describes to what extent Genre-Based Approach is understood and implemented in the teaching of English and to what extent does it affect students' critical thinking. Thus, this reaserach was conducted on each component included in GBA such as: (1) The teaching and learning objectives; (2) Model of syllabus; (3) The strategies and procedure in teaching of Exposition and Discussion genre in the process of teaching and learning activities; (4) The teachers' role, and (5) The students' role in the process of teaching and learning activities using GBA. To get further description, the research also observed teachers' perception on Genre-Based Approach in the teaching and learning of English and in promoting students' critical thinking. And at last, the research observed indicators of students' critical thinking ability.
B. Problem Statements
Based on the background of study the problem statements in this study are:
1. How is the implementation of Genre-Based Approach in the teaching of English in SMA Negri 1 X?
2. To what extent does the implementation GBA promote students' critical thinking?
C. The Objectives of the Study
Answering the problem statements above, this research has certain objectives. Those are:
1. To get the clear description of the implementation and identifies effectiveness teaching learning activities of Genre-Based Approach in the teaching of English.
2. To know the effects of the implementation of Genre-Based Approach in promoting high school students' critical thinking skill.
3. To figure out the influence of this critical thinking skill on developing student's attitudes to think critically or reasonably to the extent that students are able carefully to examine experience, assess knowledge and ideas, and to weigh arguments before reaching a balanced judgment
D. The Benefits of the Study
Hopefully, from this study, there is a complete description about the implementation of Genre-Based Approach in SMA Negri 1 X, for the writer; certainly this study will enrich her life with such good experience in searching and developing knowledge to be a better person. For the school, it can give a clear view of the strengths and weaknesses of this approach in the teaching and learning English, it will also enable the school, the headmaster, the teachers and students to decide next strategies or the right steps in developing the teachers and students English competence, specially strategies on how to develop and increase students' critical thinking.
In a broader field, I hope this study will give a contribution on changing the way teaching students about English, not just provide the students to master the language skill but it is also important for teachers to teach students to think and specially to think critically.