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Analyzing Textbook for Secondary High School on the Perspectives of Literature and Pedagogy

Dibaca: 90 kali, Dalam kategori: Pendidikan, Diposting oleh: HENDRA, M.Pd lihat profil
pada tanggal: 2017-10-31 12:57:32 wib


1. Introduction
Teaching-learning process can not be apart from the role of textbook. It is essential in improving the quality and effectiveness of it. Therefore, textbook is the only safe and effective means for instilling the values and developing the attitudes that the authorities deem necessary for the formation of students who are eventually become citizens. (http://www.laes.org/PDF/Call_Papers_English.pdf)
It should provide coherence across grade levels, reflect a scientific research based, promote achievement of approved state learning standards, support a full range of pedagogical approaches for learners of differing achievement levels, and provide for cumulative building of skills over multiple instructional sessions and years. It also should cover essential details and be enlightening at the same time. Meanwhile, teachers may assume it is “sacred" and follow it without thought or write it off as useless. Many textbook publishers and writers have developed textbooks with useful elements, and the teachers are able to figure out what they are.
Using the textbook appropriately is an art which becomes clearer with experience (Harmer: 2002), teachers can choose the ideal textbook which is coherent with the curriculum and the social context where the students live. With help from the teacher, the text materials can begin to make more sense. If structure is explained, students can get a better idea of where they are going in the class. If the teacher understands focus or bias, he/she can make additions or deletions as needed to keep the presentation balanced. And if Learning assists are understood, they have a better chance of being utilized.
(http://www.specialconnections.ku.edu/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/specconn/main.php?cat=instruct
ion§ion=main&subsection=ss/textbook)

2. Review of Related Literature
1. Textbook
A textbook is a manual of instruction or a standard book in any branch of study. It is produced according to the demand of educational institutions. Although most textbooks are only published in printed format, some can now be viewed online. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textbook).
There is no perfect textbook. Therefore, teachers should have the option of assigning supplementary materials based on their own specific needs in their own specific teaching situation. According to Ansary and Babaii (2002), there are some reasons why teachers need to use the text such as follows: (1) it is a framework which regulates and times the programs, (2) in the eyes of learners, no textbook means no purpose, (3) without a textbook, learners think their learning is not taken seriously, (4) in many situations, a textbook can serve as a syllabus, (5) a textbook provides ready-made teaching texts and learning tasks, (6) a textbook is a cheap way of providing learning materials, (7) a learner without a textbook is out of focus and teacher-dependent, and perhaps most important of all, (8) for novice teachers a textbook means security, guidance, and support.
However, there are also some counter-arguments reasons why the teachers do not need the textbook: (1) if every group of students has different needs, no one textbook can be a response to all differing needs, (2) topics in a textbook may not be relevant for and interesting to all, (3) a textbook is confining, i.e., it inhibits teachers' creativity, (4) a textbook of necessity sets prearranged sequence and structure that may not be realistic and situation-friendly, (5) textbooks have their own rationale, and as such they cannot by their nature cater for a variety of levels, every type of learning styles, and every category of learning strategies that often exist in the class, and most important of all, perhaps, (6) teachers may find themselves as mediators with no free hand and slave, in fact, to others' judgments about what is good and what is not.
Apart from the positive and negative points of the textbooks, in writer’s viewpoint, they are still needed in Indonesia context to help teacher to be effective and conducive in teaching-learning process.

1.1. A good textbook
Although no textbook is perfect, there are some criteria of a good textbook. According to Wachidah (2005) that a good textbook must cover some criteria such as follows:
1. The textbook must develop language skills as means of communication. It covers oral (Listening and speaking) or written (reading and writing) skills. It also must develop intellectual, social and emotional aspects of learners which support learners’ successful in learning all subjects.
2. The textbook must use fluent and good English within presenting its contents. It must be suitable with the linguistic and contextual communication.
3. The textbook must develop language skill through students centered-learning and their environment in the context of natural and authentic daily life.
4. The textbook must develop life skills such as personal, social, academic and vocational.
5. The textbook must develop cross-culture understanding in order to support the friendship in the local, national and international relationship. By revealing the insight about cross-culture understanding, it can minimize misunderstanding, grow the mutual appreciation, and improve the quality of human interaction.
6. The textbook must orient to science and technology development.





1.2. The criteria of good content of English textbook
In order to develop students’ competence in language skill, the contents of it must cover as follows (Wachidah: 2005):
1. The textbook must encourage learners to explore, at least, short and simple interpersonal texts which is related with the students’ life. It is to have students understand and produce the utterances in interpersonal (oral and written) and interact with their environment.
2. The textbook must encourage students to explore the transactional texts to be able to give and take (to offer and advice) which is related with the students’ life and the entire of subjects as well.
3. The textbook must encourage students to explore the functional texts and short monologue to develop four basic skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Reading) about daily life topic and the entire of subject as well.
4. The textbook must encourage students to explore variety of texts which are relevant with the daily life in order to accostume students to understand the texts.
5. The textbook must encourage students to have explicit understanding about social function, meaning structure and linguisic feature.

2. Feminist theory
One of the literary theories is Feminist theory, which strives to empower and raise the women status and roles in every angle of life. It explores the nature of the female world and outlook and reconstructs the lost or suppressed records of female experience (Barry: 2002)
The main dependent construct of Feminist theory is women’s Rights and Interests, Women’s Welfare. Meanwhile, the main independent construct of Feminist theory is gender Inequality (discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification), oppression, patriarchy.
One institutionally predominant type of feminism focuses on limiting or eradicating gender inequality to promote women's rights, interests, and issues in society. Another opposing type of modern feminism, with deep historical roots, focuses on earning, and establishing equity by and for women, vis-à-vis men, to promote those same rights, interests, and issues, regardless of gender considerations. Thus, as with any ideology, political movement or philosophy, there is no single, universal form of feminism that represents all feminists. The most well-known types of feminism are: liberal feminism, social feminism, radical feminism, and post-modern feminism.
Feminist theory aims to understand the nature of inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality. While generally providing a critique of social relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on analyzing gender inequality and the promotion of women's rights, interests, and issues. Themes explored in feminism include art history and contemporary art aesthetics, discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification), oppression, and patriarchy.
Feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theories or politics. Its history has been varied, from classic works of nineteenth-century women authors such as George Eliot and Margaret Fuller to cutting-edge theoretical work in women's studies and gender studies by "third-wave" authors.
In the most general, feminist literary criticism before the 1970s was concerned with the politics of women's authorship and the representation of women's condition within literature. Since the arrival of more complex conceptions of gender and subjectivity, feminist literary criticism has taken a variety of new routes. It has considered gender in the terms of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, as part of the deconstruction of existing power relations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_theory)





2.1. What feminist critics do (Barry: 2002)
1. Rethink the canon, aiming at the rediscovery of texts written by women.
2. Revalue woman’s experience.
3. Examine representations of women in literature by men and woman
4. Challenge representation of woman as ‘other’, as ‘lack’, as part of ‘nature’.
5. Examine power relations which obtain in texts and in life, which a view to breaking them down, seeing reading as a political act, and showing the extent of patriarchy.
6. Recognize the role of language in making what is social and constructed seem transparent and ‘natural’.
7. Raise the question of whether man and are ‘essentially’ different because of biology, or are socially constructed as a different.
8. Explore the question of whether there is a female language, an ‘ecriture feminine, and whether this is also available to men.
9. ‘Re-read’ psychoanalysis to further explore the issue of female and male identity.
10. Question the popular notion of the death of the author, asking whether there are only ‘subject position…constructed in discourse’, or whether, on the contrary, the experience (e.g. of a black or lesbian writer) is central.
11. Make clear the ideological base of supposedly ‘neutral’ or ‘mainstream’ literary interpretations.














3. Methodology
This study employs a descriptive study design which sets out to describe and to interpret what is (Cohen and Manion: 1994). It aims to observe (1) whether the textbook is appropriate on the perspective of literature and pedagogy and (2) whether the textbook is applicable in the school. In this case, this study observes the textbook entitled BAHASA INGGRIS Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) dan Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTS) from class VI up to XI

4. Finding and Discussion
4.1. The textbook on the perspective of pedagogy
The textbook is entitled BAHASA INGGRIS Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) dan Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTS) from class VII - IX. The authors are Mikdam Mustopa and Entin Suryatin and edited by M. Dudy Ernawan. It is published by TITIAN ILMU Bandung 2005. This book is designed to cover all language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Reading) and develops students to use the language properly and adequately. It is compiled systematically based on literacy approach by covering the linguistic competences.
This textbook contains the real and familiar life contents and presented by variety of activities. It is completed by phonetic symbols as well. The phonetic symbols that used in the textbook are IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), which are taken from IPA English Dictionary. It is also enriched by the listening scripts and key answers as well.
Looking at the pedagogical perspective based on Wachidah’ criteria of good textbook (2005), it reveals as follows:
1. It develops all four language skills (Listening, speaking, reading and writing) as means of communication. It also develops intellectual, social and emotional aspects of learners which support learners’ successful in learning all subjects. E.g. this textbook teaches a history about Indonesia culture and world culture.
2. It uses fluent and good English within presenting its contents. It employs the phonetic symbols IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), which are taken from IPA English Dictionary. It is also enriched by the listening scripts and key answers as well
3. It develops language skill through students centered-learning and their environment in the context of natural and authentic daily life. For instance, self identity, School life, and family life which describe a real life of students and so forth.
4. It develops life skills such as personal, social, academic and vocational.
5. It orients only a little bit to science and technology development. It does not provide the text explicitly about science and technology development. For example it only discuss about computer and its usage.

Concerning with the content of the textbook, it reveals that it encourages students to explore short and simple interpersonal texts which is related with the students’ life. The content employs the real life as teaching media such as self identity, School life, and family life which describe a real life of students and so forth. It also directs students to explore the transactional texts which are related with the students’ life and exlpores the functional texts and short monologue to develop four basic skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Reading) about daily life topic. However, it does not encourage students to explore variety of texts which are relevant with the daily life. Eventually, it encourages students to have explicit understanding about social function, meaning structure and linguisic feature such as Social life and Public Service.






4.2. The textbook on the perspective of literature (feminist theory)
The findings reveal that the textbook is as follows:
1. The textbook does not highlight merely man’s life but also woman’s life. In this case, it points out the diversity of life and raises the real life. Although it still emphasizes on man’s life in the whole text but it relatively represents the woman’ life.
2. The textbook revalues a woman’s experience in one of its contents such as “Anggi was sick” when went Camping. In this respect, it reveals how the woman becomes an object of victim who suffers from the illness, it depicts that Anggi (the name of the girl is sick and gets fever and flu). And when the textbook told about story, it is found that the aunt was sick. Thus, it is still questioned why the sick should be always the girl. As the result, this means that the textbook does not support gender equality to promote women's rights, interests, and issues in society. It places the girl in a weak position and she has inconvenience treatment.
3. The authors of the textbook have tried hard to be an objective, although they cannot accommodate all factors of woman status and society. However, they still take man’s side. It can be seen from the pictures that there are more man pictures rather than woman pictures.
4. The textbook raised foreign cultures, such as winter, snow and Kangaroo. In my viewpoint, it is not relevant with the Indonesian context. There are not snows anymore in Indonesia and the students cannot play snowman here, but text tells about how the children play joyfully with the snowman.
5. When the text tells about the women status, it places them as domestic societies who live only at home, cooking, shopping, gardening and taking care the children. It contrasts with the feminist aims which strive to enhance and empower women status, women should not only at home or domestic area but also can participate in other fields.
6. The textbook cannot accommodate the women status in the social life; it can be seen from the professions in the textbook content. It shows that all traders or sellers in the market are men and no women.


Table 1: Criteria of the textbook
No Criteria Rating
1=Poor 2=Fair 3=Good 4=Excellent
1 Textbook is comprised of authentic literature 
2 Text is thematically organized and indexed 
3 Readings include multicultural selections 
4 Readings are gender-balanced and equitable 
5 Readings include both fiction and non-fiction 
6 Reader response questions are included 
7 Direct instruction in active reading strategies is given 
8 Reading comprehension questions include critical reading, not just literal comprehension 
9 Related writing assignments are included 
10 Instruction and practice in language skills is linked to
literature and writing 
11 Vocabulary in context instruction and practice is included 
12 Assignments are provided for differentiated levels of learning 
13 Provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning 
14 Opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills 
15 Study skills are reinforced 
16 Resources include a variety of assessment measures 
17 Resources include additional skills practice activities 
18 Related technology is available (test item bank, CD of selected readings, etc.) 
19 Ancillary materials are available (related trade books, transparencies, etc.) 
20 Overall evaluation 
Adapted from ELA (English Language Arts)












Table 2: Criteria of the Reading Contents
No Reading Content Rating
Strongly
Agree
Agree Cannot Judge Disagree
Strongly
Disagree

1 Reflect the learning standards from the English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks 
2 Include quality literary/non-literary selections 
3 Include science and history selections 
4 Contain selections with an appropriately challenging vocabulary of English words 
5 Contain selections with all non-English words italicized and footnoted 
6 Include predictable texts, leveled texts, and both fictional and
non-fictional trade books 
7 Include reading materials in which approximately 75% of the words are decodable, for practicing phonic elements already taught 
8 Include illustrations that depict the diversity of our culture 
9 Related writing assignments are included 
10 Instruction and practice in language skills is linked to
literature and writing 
11 Vocabulary in context instruction and practice is included 
12 Assignments are provided for differentiated levels of learning 
13 Provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning 
Adapted from ELA (English Language Arts)



5. Conclusion
Having analyzed the aforementioned issue above, the conclusion can be drawn as follows:
1. This textbook is relatively applicable and representative to use for the junior high school students (especially for the writer’s school in Bogor West Java) since it covers all aspect of linguistic skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) and it also fulfills some criteria of good textbook.
2. Some cultures in the textbook are not suitable with the Indonesian culture avis-avis the winter and the snow man. How students can express their feeling toward winter and snow with its costumes while they never feel it anymore.
3. Some of texts discriminate and disparage woman’s role and strength in social life and status. It reveals that the women suffer from the illness and have no significant functions in the real life.







6. Suggestion
The following snapshots give recommendations and solutions to the drawbacks as follows:
1. The textbook should be enriched by more variety of cultures and understanding of other culture as whole. It is to give students more understanding about the cultures in the world and encourage their mind and sight, so they can compete with the other children in the world as the goal of teaching English is to give them skills and knowledge (Wachidah: 2005)
2. The textbook should not emphasize merely on men’ status but also women’ status to empower and raise the role of women in the social life. The equality between men and women should be realized in this current phase. Otherwise it can be called to be injustice for all.


























References:

Ansary, Hasan and Babaii, Esmat (2002), Universal Characteristics of EFL/ESL Textbooks: A Step Towards Systematic Textbook Evaluation. [Online] Available at http://iteslj.org/Articles/Ansary-Textbooks/ [20th January 2008]

Barry, Peter (2002). Beginning Theory, An introduction to literary and cultural theory. Great Britain: Manchester University Press.

Cohen, Louis and Manion, Lawrence. (1994). Research Method in Education. New York: Routledge.

Harmer, Jeremy. (2002). The Practice of English Language Teaching. London: Pearson Education Limited.

Wachidah, Siti. (2005). Pembelajaran Bahasa Berbasis Genre. Jakarta: Universitas Negeri Jakarta (UNJ).

http://www.laes.org/PDF/Call_Papers_English.pdf.

http://www.specialconnections.ku.edu/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/specconn/main.php?cat=instruct
ion§ion=main&subsection=ss/textbook

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textbook.

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