Despite President Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla's administration over a period of more than a year, his administration has yet to show the concrete plans and implementation of the mental revolution, assume the government is serious about this idea. At least, the flow of the syllogism is straight and consistent so that the mental revolution is perceived as a valid conclusion.
The mental revolution was initiated by Joko Widodo (Kompas, 10/5/2014) with the premise that during the 16 years of running reform we have only achieved institutional progress. The economy is growing and the more prosperous society, but why our society is getting worse, instead of getting happier?
According Jokowi, our development has not touched the paradigm, mindset, or political culture of human beings who run the system so that nation building did not deliver Indonesia on its ideals. In order for change to be truly meaningful, sustainable, and in accordance with the ideals of an independent, just and prosperous Indonesian Proclamation, we need to do a mental revolution.
Non-toll road toll road
Nevertheless, during the reign of Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla (Jokowi-JK), we witnessed the gap between the stated proposition and the agenda being carried out. This government seems more diligent to build a toll than to build the nation's mind. In fact, the mind is the main mental content that connects us to the future being preached and therefore needs to be treated first.
Political sovereignty, economic independence, and personality in a culture that becomes the ideals of government is a problem and originates from the mindset or mindset of the nation. The revival of advanced nations in general starts from the effort to maintain their reasoning so as to be generous with common sense. Worldly life and progress seem to be composed of rational laws that will develop only if understood and lived according to the law.
Prioritizing physical development while improving the mind and soul, in addition to not in tune with "Indonesia Raya", also against the law of reasoning progress. Such a development will ultimately only continue the cycle of absorption of the sisipus as it has been: building up to witness the fall.
With the mental revolution as a national movement as intended penggagasnya, should the government prioritize efforts to the nation's intelligence as a way of shaping the mindset of the nation. Ironically, the efforts of the nation's intelligence through education in its various aspects today are still covered by fundamental problems.
Orientation of learning is limited to optimize the ability of low-level thinking. Students' minds are everyday crammed with a variety of knowledge data-either useless or non-memorized and tested in the future. Very few students are involved in high-level thinking processes, such as reasoning, analyzing, and solving problems that are said to be one of the key skills needed to live and succeed in the 21st century. The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) outcomes show strong Indonesian students' thinking ability at low level and low level of thinking ability. While developed countries, such as Singapore and South Korea, show the opposite ability.
Armed with low-level thinking skills, entering the 21st century with its competitive era of globalization will make this nation a mule without authority, independence, and identity. The phenomenon begins to appear and feel when our policies and cultural movements are oriented towards "foreign" standards, perhaps even for foreign interests, with the argument "for the sake of competitiveness".
Giving great attention to the field of education in addition to being a sign of a forward thinking government is also a necessity for saving the nation. Our various educational problems today are very severe and require the President to intervene because the magnitude and substance has exceeded the departmental or ministry capacity. If this fact continues to be ignored, it will not only result in an involution in education, but also in the life of a nation and a state.
Back to the base
Indonesian nation with its education experiencing disorientation in the middle of the current swirl of change so fast. Today's educational programs and operations are being sucked by the pragmatic charm of fighting in the globalization era. Education is getting away from the base, heading somewhere. As a result, the intelligent nation as wisely set by the founders of the nation, after seventy years of independence is further away from the fire.
This nation may well qualify for so long not treating the wills of "enlightening the life of the nation" and more concerned with economic development. In fact, intelligence is a substance that determines the dignity of humanity. If only "educating the nation's life" had been observed long ago, it would have been this: our students not only excel at low-level thinking, but also excel at high-level reasoning.
High-level thinking is the real essence of thinking because it requires all potential and cognitive abilities. The "high-low" distinction based on the taxonomy of Benjamin Samuel Bloom (1913-1999) is not intended to indicate a hierarchy of interests, but aims to facilitate doactic-methodical learning. Low-level thinking is the foundation and requirement for entry and exercise of higher-order thinking skills. In essence, the learning strategy must lead to the attainment of the ability to think, not just fill the mind.
One of the major weaknesses of our education since the past is the methodological problem that teachers use in learning. For the umpteenth time, in relation to this issue, I raised the results of the research of Prof. CE Beeby (1987) which states that teachers explain the lesson with a background of minimal methodological knowledge and skills, limited to the textbooks it possesses. Another mainstay may be the remnants of his memory of what he once learned in school. After outlining the problem, the teacher spends the lion's share of his lesson hours dictating or writing down what he teaches on the board and waiting for the students to copy it. That note is what the student learns and is the subject of repetition. Few schools in Indonesia help to cultivate a student's potential, and the drab and unimaginative influence of school is felt when a person becomes an adult and leads his community.
Get rid of political interests
Among the efforts that can develop the ability and thinking skills are learning is dialogical or participatory, or whatever the name. Learning should actively involve students in the thinking process, primarily through various expressions, such as verbal and gestures. This is important because philosophically every conscious action always has an intentionality that necessitates rationality.
Normatively, the government has been right to improve classroom practice, through the Law on National Education System (UU No. 20/2003) by updating the definition of education and Teachers and Lecturers Law (Law 14/2005) establishing professionalism with teacher competence. Meanwhile, the discourse on participatory learning model that is fun and effective is growing rapidly in the country. Books such as the learning revolution, accelerated learning, effective teachers, learning and quantum teaching are widely sold.
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Unfortunately, normative decisions and various educational reform discourses in its implementation strategy have too much political interest to be ineffective. What appears and consumes energy is even a certification issue related to professional allowances and curriculum. Modern learning ideas that are developed are unabsorbed and the improvement of teacher competence that should require neglected qualitative intervention.
Now, with regard to the nation's intelligence that leads to improved thinking skills, governments-especially those dealing with education-are expected to focus on the challenge of improving educators' performance through incentive and motive approaches. The government has provided relatively good professional allowances to educators, but so far the government has not managed the motive effectively. An intervention model is needed to increase motivation which is at the same time a driver of pedagogical and professional competence improvement for educators in positions and educator candidates so that they can carry out dialogical learning like the spirit of the law.
Sparks of the idea of mental revolution should be a turning point to our educational base to educate the life of the nation in all its dimensions. The mind of this nation has grown like a bush into a jungle so as to cover various ways of progress. So, do not ignore education.