PEMBELAJARAN BIOLOGI YANG MEMBERDAYAKAN KEMAMPUAN BERPIKIR SISWA*
LEARNING STRATEGIES TO EMPOWER STUDENTS THINKING SKILL
State University of Malang
There were significant correlation between thinking skill and cognitive achievement (Lawson, 1992).
Experimental researches had been carried out to find out learning strategies having big potency to empower
student’s thinking skill in biology learning. Those learning strategies were Thinking Empowerment by
Questioning (TEQ) in TPS (Corebima et al., 2006), TEQ in Jigsaw (Corebima et al., 2006), Problem Based
Instruction or PBI (Setiawan, 2005), Inquiry learning (Winarni, 2006), Group Investigation or GI (Arnyana,
2004), and Contextual Teaching and Learning in Group Concept Map (CLGCM) as well as Contextual
Teaching and Learning in Individual Concept Map or CLICM (Tindangen, 2006). Among the learning
strategies having big potency to empower student’s thinking skill, some had been compared experimentally
with each other. Based on experimental research at Junior High School TEQ in TPS has bigger potency
than TEQ in Jigsaw; CLGCM has bigger potency than CLICM; GI has bigger potency than PBI as well as
PBI has bigger potency than inquiry. At Senior High School, it had been uncovered that inquiry in extended
learning society had bigger potency than inquiry in limited learning society. Those learning strategies are
believed too to have big potency to empower student’s meta-cognitive skill, and right now we are going to
carry out experimental research to uncover the potency.
Keywords: learning strategies, thinking skill
Learning process must soon realized that the sciences and technology development to day and in the
future has bigger dependence on thinking empowerment role in learning process managed deliberately as well
as planned. It was believed that learning which conducted thinking skill empowerment deliberately would give
bigger chance for students to become the best generation in the future as well as to become sciences and
technology developer on the long run.
Thinking skill has important role on learning. Many studies had uncovered this role.
1. Our greatest national resource is the minds of our children (Walt Disney in Costa, 1985).
2. We must return to basis, but the “basics” of the 21st century are not only reading, writing and arithmetic.
They include communication and higher problem-solving skill, and scientific and technological world
around us (Educating Americans for the 21st century in Costa, 1985).
3. The level of development of a country is determined in considerable part, by the level of development of its
people’s intelligence (Machado in Costa, 1985).
4. John Dewey saw the development of an individual capable of reflective thinking as a prominent educational
Theoretically, Lawson (1992) said that according to Piaget, the development of formal reasoning was
very important for concept achievement, because conceptual knowledge was a product of a constructive process,
and reasoning skill was an instrument needed in the processes. So, it was clear, that thinking empowerment in
learning process was a very fundamental need as well as very strategic one. The need will be more urgent due to
the fact that science and technology development are going very rapidly.
Thinking empowerment is very important as well as strategic on learning, including on biology learning
process. A lot of studies had found the relation between formal reasoning and biology achievement, including
laboratory skills and critical thinking skills (Lawson, 1992). Many studies in Indonesia had found too the
significant correlation between thinking skill as well as academic life skill, and concept gaining on biology
learning. Three examples of those studies result according to Lawson (1992) and four examples of research
studies in Indonesia will be described further.
1. Nordland and de Vito (1975) in Lawson (1992) had found that there were significant correlation between the
level of reasoning and natural science achievement.
2. Basmajian (1978) in Lawson (1992) had found that students who had formal reasoning would have better
achievement in audio-tutoring course of general biology, as well as better skill in laboratory work and higher
potency in critical thinking, than those who had concrete reasoning.
3. Mitchell and Lawson (1988) in Lawson (1992) had proved that reasoning skill was the most consistent
predictor of the biology achievement, especially on genetic course achievement compared to other
predictors, like cognitive style, mental capacity, fluid intelligence, and prior knowledge
4. Yuanita (2006) had found that there were very significant correlation between thinking skill and cognitive
achievement (concept gaining) on biology learning. The regression equation related is Y’= X + 1,511.
5. Meha (2006) reported that there were very significant correlation between thinking skill and academic skill
with cognitive achievement on biology learning. The regression equation related is Y= 12,276 + 0,409X1-
0,017X2 (X1 = thinking skill and X2 = academic skill). Percentages of thinking skill and academic skill
effective contribution were 84.43% and 3.09% respectively.
6. Puspitasari (2006) reported that there were very significant correlation between academic life skill and
cognitive achievement (concept gaining) on biology learning. The regression equation related is Y= 0,276X
7. Hilmiah (2006) reported that there were very significant correlations between thinking skill and biology
achievement on biology learning. The regression equation related is Y = 0,556x + 15,524.
Related with those findings, many researches had carried out too to study the potency of many learning
strategies that empowering students thinking skill on learning. Those learning strategies were Thinking
Empowerment by Questioning (TEQ) in TPS (Corebima et al., 2006), TEQ in Jigsaw (Corebima et al., 2006),
Problem Based Instruction or PBI (Setiawan, 2005), Inquiry learning (Winarni, 2006), Group Investigation or GI
(Arnyana, 2004), Contextual Teaching and Learning in Group Concept Map (CLGCM) as well as Contextual
Teaching and Learning in Individual Concept Map or CLICM (Tindangen, 2006), Inquiry in extended learning
society (Irwandi, 2007), and TEQ in contextual learning (Hasruddin, 2004).
All research is described above are learning experimental researches (quasi experimental researches).
Research method of each experiment will be described further.
1. Pengembangan Perangkat Model Belajar Berdasarkan Masalah Dipandu Strategi Kooperatif Serta
Pengaruh Implementasinya Terhadap Kemampuan Berpikir Kritis dan Hasil Belajar Siswa Sekolah
Menengah Atas Pada Pelajaran Ekosistem (Arnyana, 2004).
The independent variables of this research were learning models consisted of Problem Based Learning (X1)
as well as direct instruction (X2); and cooperative learning strategy consisted of Group Investigation or GI
(X3) as well as Student Team Achievement Division or STAD (X4). The dependent variables were critical
thinking skill (Y1) and biology achievement (Y2). The experimental design related was 2 x 2.
2. Penggunaan Pertanyaan dalam Tatanan Pembelajaran Kontekstual untuk Meningkatkan Penalaran
dan Hasil Belajar Biologi Siswa SMPN Kota Malang (Hasruddin, 2004).
The independent variables of this research were learning strategies consisted of Thinking Empowerment by
Questioning or TEQ (X1), question employing in questioning card (X2), employing of direct question (X3) as
well as expository (X4). The dependent variables were reasoning skill (Y1), biology achievement (Y2),
student skills for asking any question (Y3) as well as student response to the learning strategy treated (Y4).
3. Pengaruh Pembelajaran Kontekstual dalam Strategi Inkuiri dan pembelajaran Berdasarkan Masalah
untuk Meningkatkan Kemampuan Berpikir dan Hasil Belajar Biologi Siswa SMP di Kecamatan
Buleleng Bali (Setiawan, 2005)
The independent variables of this research were learning strategies and student academic skills. Learning
strategies consisted of Inquiry (X1) as well as PBI learning (X2); while student academic skills consisted of
high (X3) and low academic skills (X4). The dependent variables were the student high order thinking skill
(Y1) and concept gaining (Y2). The experimental design related was 2 x 2.
4. Pengembangan Model Pembelajaran IPA Biologi SMP Konstruktivistik Konstekstual Berorientasi
Life Skill dengan Pola PBMP (Pemberdayaan Berpikir Melalui Pertanyaan) di Kota dan Kabupaten
Malang (Corebima, 2006).
The first independent variable of this research was learning strategies consisted of TEQ learning in
cooperative strategy of Think Pair Share (TPS) (X1), TEQ learning in cooperative strategy of Jigsaw (X2) as
well as expository strategy (X3). The second independent variable was class level, consisted of class 1 (X4),
class 2 (X5), and class 3 (X6). The dependent variables were the biology achievement (Y1), thinking skills
(Y2), and student life skills (Y3). The experimental design related was 3 x 3 .
5. Implementasi Pembelajaran Kontekstual Peta Konsep Biolobi SMP Pada Siswa Berkemampuan Awal
Berbeda di Kota Malang dan Pengaruhnya terhadap Kemampuan Berpikir Tingkat Tinggi dan Hasil
Belajar Kognitif (Tindangen, 2006).
The independent variables of this research were learning strategies and student academic skills. Learning
strategies consisted of three levels i.e. contextual learning in group concept map (CLGCM) strategy
(X1), contextual learning in individual concept map (CLICM) strategy (X2), and contextual learning
in group without concept map (CLWCM) strategy (X3); while student academic skills consisted of high
(X4) and low academic skills (X5). The dependent variables were student high order thinking skill (Y1) and
concept gaining (Y2). The experimental design related was 3 x 2.
6. Pengaruh Strategi Pembelajaran Terhadap Pemahaman Konsep IPA-Biologi, Kemampuan Berpikir
Kritis, dan Sikap Ilmiah Siswa Kelas V SD dengan Tingkat Kemampuan Akademik Berbeda di Kota
Bengkulu (Winarni, 2006).
The first independent variable of this research was learning strategy consisted of guided inquiry (X1) as well
as expository (X2). The second independent variable was student academic skills consisted of low academic
skills (X3) and high academic skills (X4). The dependent variables were student critical thinking skill (Y1),
concept gaining (Y2), and sciences attitude (Y3). The experimental design related was 2 x 2.
RESEARCH RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Experimental research result uncovered by each research will be described and discussed further.
1. Combination between PBL models in GI cooperative learning strategy has the best potency to empower
student critical thinking skills; respectively followed by PBL model in STAD strategy, direct instruction in
GI strategy, and directed instruction in STAD strategy (Arnyana, 2004).
2. The most effective learning strategy to empower student reasoning as well as achievements are TEQ
learning strategy followed respectively by employing student question, teacher question in question cards,
and expository strategy (Hasruddin, 2004).
3. PBL strategy has better potency to empower thinking skill than inquiry (Setiawan, 2005).
4. TEQ learning in TPS and jigsaw strategy have better potency to empower thinking skill than expository.
TEQ learning in TPS strategy has better potency to empower thinking skill than TEQ learning in jigsaw
strategy (Corebima, 2006).
5. Contextual learning in group concept map strategy have better potency to empower student higher order
thinking skills than contextual learning in individual concept map strategy, as well as contextual learning
without concept map strategy (Tindangen, 2006).
6. Guided inquiry strategy has better potency to empower thinking skill than expository (Winarni, 2006).
Based on research results described above, many learning strategies had been uncovered have potency to
empower student thinking skills. Those learning strategies were TEQ in TPS strategy, TEQ in jigsaw strategy,
PBL, inquiry, GI, and concept map. Related explanation about the potency of each learning strategy to empower
thinking skill will be described further.
Learning experimental research result carried out by Corebima (2006) had proven that TEQ in TPS
strategy as well as in jigsaw strategy having bigger potency to empower student thinking skills than expository
strategy. This fact relates with the characteristics of TEQ learning strategy as well as cooperative
Learning process of TEQ strategy agrees with natural science learning ideas of Bunce (1996), related to
teaching science the way students learn. Based on this ideas, he told that help the student to think, help students
to make question, and help students to look for the answer; and the operative word is “help” and not “give
explanation”, because students must be participant in their learning process, and not only as a recipient of
teacher wants. Learning by TEQ strategy also agree with the premise that student can learn much more if we do
not teach more. Ahern-Rindell (1999) had stated that this premise was the basic of cooperative learning
technique that was developed by Schamel and Ayres on 1992, and it was called “minds-on” approach.
Based on its effect TEQ learning strategy actually agrees with the meaning of learning stated by Woods
(1996). He defined learning as acquisition and internalization of knowledge and skill. The effect of TEQ learning
strategy proven most helpful for developing student reasoning actually agrees with the effect of learning relying
on instruction like problem as reported by Yager and Huang (1994). It was said that by this learning experience,
students will be excellent in knowledge gaining and understanding of science process than those whose learning
experience rely on traditional or book approach. Effect of TEQ learning strategy on learning is also agrees with
Crow (1989). He said that critical thinking can be improved by appropriate activity such as questioning
or inquiry activity. This statement is agrees with Frazee and Rudnitski (1995). Frazee and Rudnitski
said that students thinking skill stimulator. Further, they said that question had potency to increase the
quantity and quality of students learning attitudes and it will help them to increase their achievement.
This research result agrees with Arends founding. Arends (1997) found that from 45 research
that had been carried out, 37 of them showed that cooperative class had significantly different result
compared to the control class in increasing student achievements (including cognitive achievements
and student thinking skills).
TEQ in TPS learning had been proven to have better potency to empower students thinking skill than
TEQ in jigsaw strategy. It is caused by the fact that TEQ in TPS strategy is easier to be implemented than TEQ
in jigsaw. TEQ in jigsaw strategy is more difficult to be implemented because not all of the subject matter can be
taught in jigsaw strategy. Suhardi (2001) said that difficulties in jigsaw implementation were caused by the fact
that not all of the subject matter can be divided in to many sub topics to be discussed. The other factors causing
jigsaw strategy more difficult to be implemented is because in this strategy students need more time to move
from one group to another but TPS strategy didn’t need of students moving.
Inquiry is a broad concept. This learning strategy is one of the strategies having the basics of
discovery, besides those that can’t be described textually. Generally, learning strategy having inquiry
basics gives priority to investigation process to get knowledge, and one of its goals is to facilitate the
students to have scientific thinking as well as scientific work like the scientist (National Research
Council, 2000). In the learning process having the basis of inquiry, a learning process takes place in the
basis of scientific method; the students can learn how to be a scientist that always perceives as well as
analyzes any information. Specifically, it can be explained that inquiry strategy has potency to
empower students thinking skill according to Renner and Lawson (1975), Blake (1976) (all in Lawson,
1992), Renner et al (1973) and Crow (1989).
Ibrahim and Nur (2000) had said that problem based learning was developed to help students
for developing their thinking skill, problem solving, and intellectual skill. Hastings (2001) had stated
the same information related to Ibrahim and Nur. It was said that problem based instruction can
develop analytical and critical thinking skill and it could be a practice for students to solve the problem.
Wang, Thomson, and Shuler (1998) had confirmed that problem based instruction could enhance the
students thinking skill, as well as could be a practice for them to solve the problem and to increase the
subject matter mastery. Wheeler (2002) had said too that the problem based instruction was a kind of
learning used to think about real problem around student life. Duch, Allen, and White (2002) had
suggested too that problem based instruction prepared condition for students to improve analytical and
critical thinking skill, as well as to solve the problem in the real life.
Cooperative learning of GI is appropriately used in any integrated project to solve a problem. In
this strategy, the students facilitated to carry out investigation based on the general theme issued by the
teacher. They will set up too the procedure to be used in the investigation. This strategy is used to
practice many student skills like information or data collection in order to solve any problem, as well as
to synthesize and analyze. So, cooperative learning of GI can be used to practice student high order
thinking (Slavin, 1995).
Gagne (1988) stated that concept were the building blocks of thinking. The concepts were the
basis of higher mental processes to be used for setting up the principles as well as for generalizing.
Long before Ausubel (1968) had said too that if there were not any relevant concept in student
cognitive structure, new information would be learned literally, so there was no development of
In concept map learning, students could build the relationship among subject matter concepts,
individually or in groups. By this kind of learning, students were always triggered to find out concepts
relation, even in every level, from those which were general to those were specific. By concept map,
students built their understanding conceptually, so they could reach high cognitive achievement in
meaningful learning. This concept map learning (in groups) described by David Brown referred to
meaningful learning of Ausubel.
Based on the researches results above, it is clear that those of learning strategies proven having big
potency to empower student thinking skills. Those learning strategies are PBI, PBI in GI strategy, PBI
in STAD strategy, TEQ, TEQ learning in TPS strategy, TEQ learning in jigsaw strategy, group concept
map strategy, individual concept map strategy, and guided inquiry. Although each strategies proven to
have big potency to empower student thinking skill, but in its implementation, specific strategy have
bigger potency to empower student thinking skills than the others. In this connection: (1) PBI in GI
strategy has bigger potency than PBI in STAD strategy, (2) TEQ in TPS strategy has bigger potency
than TEQ in jigsaw strategy, (3) group concept map has bigger potency than individual concept map. It
is clear too that generally cooperative learning strategy proven to have big potency to empower student
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