Science Process Skills Characteristics of Junior High School Students in Lampung
European Scientific Journal April 2018 edition Vol.14
Science Process Skills Characteristics of Junior High School Students in Lampung
0 Sunyono Sunyono Chemistry Education Study Program, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, University of Lampung , Indonesia
The quality of international education is measured through PISA and TIMSS results and the member countries are very concerned about their students' ability to work on PISA and TIMSS. Countries with low PISA and TIMSS ratings indicate that students' science process skills in this country are low, including in Indonesia. Therefore, this research needs to be done to see the characteristics of science process skill (SPS) of junior high school students, especially in Indonesia. This study involved 9th-grade students of the academic year 2016/2017 in three randomly selected districts. The number of subjects involved in the study was 120 randomly selected respondents. The research was conducted by survey method, by giving SPSs questions to respondents. The results showed that the SPS of junior high school students in Lampung Province-Indonesia is low. Students from schools in the capital and school areas close to the provincial capitals have the characteristics of SPSs on "observing" and "classifying" indicators in the "moderate" category. Students from distant areas of the provincial capitals, the characteristics of their SPSs are "low", for all indicators (observing, classifying, predicting, interpreting, and communicating).
Science Process Skills; student characteristics; junior high school
do things using scientifically mastered processes and principles, learning to
know and learning to do must be achieved in teaching and learning activities
In fact, the quality of science education in some countries, especially
in Indonesia is still categorized as low. Based on the assessment of the
Education Development Index (EDI) indicates that Indonesia is ranked 64th
out of 120 countries
. The results of The United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) in 2013 states that the Human Development
Index (HDI) covering aspects of manpower, health, and education is ranked
121 out of 185 countries. Based on The Learning Curve Institute's report on
the analysis of education performance, Indonesia is ranked 40th out of 40
countries of education mapping
Some research results have shown that the ability of teachers in the
utilization of technology has not met the needs, the learning process is still
conventional (teacher centered) that tend to be boring and less interactive and
communicative in transferring knowledge, decreased motivation learners to
study in the learning process, and the still minimal ability and skill of the
educator understanding the contents of learning
(Kirkup et al., 2007; Nentwig
et al., 2007; Wahono, 2011)
. These studies focused more on the inability to
understand the scientific concepts from the teacher, due to the learning of
science that has not been able to facilitate the students' need for intellectual,
social, and physical skills derived from the fundamental abilities that students
actually already possessed within themselves. Such basic capabilities or skills
among others include the ability or skill to observe or watch, which also
includes calculating, measuring, classifying, and finding space or time
relationships, making hypotheses, planning research, controlling variables,
interpreting data, drawing inferences, predicting, applying and
communicating (Hotaman, 2008). These skills are further identified as SPSs.
SPSs are a learning approach that focuses on developing the skills of
students in processing knowledge, finding, and developing facts, concepts,
and values that are scientifically needed
. Through the SPSs,
it is expected that the learning process can involve the students in finding and
developing the knowledge they get independently in accordance with the
current curriculum demands, namely one that is student-centered learning
where the teacher is the facilitator
(Suryani et al., 2015)
. Some research results
indicate that students' inability to develop the ability to find and develop
knowledge is due to the students' inability to understand the scientific concepts
from teachers and failure to achieve learning in building the conceptual
knowledge of students
(Coll, 2008; Holbrook & Rannikmae, 2009; Nentwig
et al., 2007)
. This is a result of learning that is not yet capable of facilitating
students to develop the SPSs that already exist in students.
The learning process in schools in some countries with low PISA and
TIMSS outcomes (including Indonesia) is still a major problem, as reflected
in the results of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment)
study of Indonesian students from year to year shows that the trend of
Indonesian students’ science literacy has not shown any significant change. In
2015, the proportion correct grade of Indonesian students was still low, the
average score earned for science was 493, therefore Indonesian students are
ranked eighth lowest in the rank of 69 out of 76 PISA participating countries
. These results do not vary much with PISA results in previous
years. Similarly, the results of TIMSS (The Trends in International
Mathematics and Science Study) in 2007 and 2011 in mathematics and science
for 8th-grade junior high school student participants could only reach
. Similarly, for the TIMSS of 2015,
shows Indonesian students are ranked 36 out of 49 countries in terms of
performing scientific procedures in science subjects
. The study
thus indicates that the PISA and TIMSS results of Indonesian students always
go hand in hand and doesn’t move forward. The low science ability of
Indonesian students is influenced by many factors such as the education
system and curriculum, methods and learning models of teachers, learning
facilities, learning resources, and teaching materials.
In accordance with the nature of science, the process of science
learning should ideally rest on the scientific process. The scientific process
involves a variety of SPSs
(Towle, 1989: 16-31)
. When viewed from the level
of SPSs, then observing skills is an initial skill in the process of science. This
is followed by higher process skills such as the skills of measuring, classifying,
and ending with the highest skill, namely, experimenting (Rezba et al., 1995:
1). SPSs can be used as alternative solutions to improve the effectiveness of
science learning process, because learning that is oriented to SPSs will always
involve cognitive or intellectual, manual, and social skills which, if integrated
into a single learning unit, will form three dimensions of skills namely, basic
skills, followed by the skills of data collection / developing / processing, and
the highest is the skill to investigate or experiment
(Bryce et al, 1990: 2)
development of SPSs enables students to acquire the skills necessary to solve
everyday problems (Aydoğdu et al., 2014). Students who use the SPSs will
have a positive attitude towards science. Therefore, learning that emphasizes
the SPSs is essential to creating Science literacy in students
(Espinosa, et al.,
Learning with SPSs in junior high school requires a deep
understanding of concepts because junior high school students are still in the
development period of intelligence, creativity, language skills, learning
motivation, and mental and physical conditions. In line with that,
Karamustafaoglu (2011) argues that SPSs will not develop in students when
the learning process does not accommodate the occurrence of scientific
activities that can trigger the growth of scientific attitudes, sharpen the process
skills in students, so as to become capable to actively participate in an
investigation. Therefore, it is the responsibility of teachers to develop students'
SPSs as supporters in developing the mastery of the concept of science, so as
to provide better learning outcomes
Some studies have found that the low level of students' SPSs is due to
the generally insufficient or low SPSs that science teachers and junior high
school teachers have
(Aydoğdu, 2006: Harty & Enochs, 1985; Karslı, et al.
2009; Lotter, et al., 2007, Sahin-Pekmez, 2001, Turkmen & Kandemir, 2011)
and teachers rarely use these skills in their classes (Oloruntegbe & Omoifo,
2000), so that students' SPSs are difficult to develop. Similarly, most
Indonesian Junior High School students have low SPSs. The Low SPSs of
Indonesian students is reinforced by the results of Anam's (2014) research
which conducted a study of thirty (30) representative students from 30 MI
(Madrasah Ibtidaiyah) in Sumedang Regency on Madrasah Science
Competence (MSC) activities. The results showed that four (4) types of
students' average process skills, namely observing, planning experiments,
classifying, and making tables were in the less adept category, and were not
adept in concluding skills. The same is also the research result of Sukarno et
al. (2013) which states that the SPSs of junior high school students in Jambi
on the skill to reach a conclusion, observation, predict, measure and classify
is still low. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research to obtain information
about "Characteristics of SPSs of Junior High School Students in
LampungIndonesia". The goal is to provide knowledge about the characteristics of
students' SPSs to science learning on the study of the excretory system, so it
can be used as a reference to improve the effectiveness of science learning in
Methodology Of Research
This research was conducted in Lampung Province-Indonesia with
research design using the survey method. Research subjects were students
from four (4) junior high schools in Lampung Province selected by using the
random sampling technique. One class is taken from each school, namely
9thgrade students who have obtained learning materials on the human excretion
system so that students who become the subject of this study amounted to 120
Research procedure / Data collection
The research procedure was by collecting information gained from
students' SPSs result to all students spread in four schools, including an junior
high schools that is far from the provincial capital (SMPN 1 Sukoharjo and
SMPN 1 Natar), junior high school close to the provincial capital ( SMPN 1
Gedongtataan), and junior high school in the provincial capital area (SMPN
16 Bandar Lampung). Furthermore, each of the junior high schools was coded:
SMPN 1 Sukoharjo (SMP 1), SMPN 1 Natar (SMP 2), SMPN 1 Gedongtataan
(SMP 3), and SMPN 16 Bandar Lampung (SMP 4). Data collection from the
research subjects was conducted through tests and surveys.
Instruments and Data analysis
This study used a multiple-choice instrument test of 25 questions with
4 choices of answers. The test is used to measure the level of SPSs that
includes observation (5 test points), classifying (5 test items), predicting (5 test
points), interpreting (5 test points), and communicating (5 test points) skills.
The SPSs (SPS) questions developed, before being used, was tested first
through the validation of the expert (judgment expert). Based on the results it
is found that the SPSs test questions that were developed could be used for
data retrieval. Furthermore, the data has been collected by descriptive analysis,
namely by calculating the percentage of students who get high, medium, and
low-grade test results.
Results Of Research
Measurement of Mastery of students' SPSs in this research is related
to a concept of SPSs. How deep the knowledge of the concept of SPSs of
students' is indicated by the ability/skill of observing, classifying, predicting,
interpreting, and communicating. The data obtained show that the average
SPSs of students are at a relatively low level (44.17% ± 6.34). The SPSs for
observing and classifying skills were grouped as moderate (51.33% ± 22.41
and 50.67% ± 22.59), the skill of predicting, interpreting and communicating
is grouped as low, 41.33% ± 23.87; 39.33% ± 21.99; and 38.17% ± 21.06.
Furthermore, in terms of the acquisition of SPSs for each school shows that
most of the junior high school students in Lampung Province still have low
SPSs on the concept of human excretion system. In sequence, junior high
schools with students of high SPSs are SMP 2 (SMPN 1 Natar) 6.67%; SMP
3 (SMPN 1 Gedongtataan) 6.67%, and SMP 4 (SMPN 16 Bandar Lampung)
33.33%. While students from SMP 1 (SMPN 1 Sukoharjo) do not have
students with high SPSs achievement. In detail, the data of students' SPSs in
some junior high schools in Lampung Province is illustrated in Figure 1 below.
From the perspective of SPSs for each indicator obtained, it also shows data that 50% of students have a SPS profile that is categorized as low for all indicators. Data about the SPSs profile for each indicator is illustrated in Figure 2 below.
From the perspective of the average achievement of each indicator of
the students' SPSs which includes observing, classifying, predicting,
interpreting, and communicating, one finds that only in the observing and
classifying indicator does students’ achievement reach the "medium" category
(> 50%). The analysis results of each indicator as a whole are presented in
detail in Figure 3 below.
The results showed that the SPSs of learners in Lampung Province are
categorized as low. The low SPSs are influenced by many factors, among
others the education system and curriculum, methods and learning models
from the teachers, learning resources, and teaching materials. Thus, the low
SPSs of junior high school students in Lampung Province indicates that
science learning process in schools has not been able to facilitate the students
to develop the SPSs that students actually possess.
The low SPSs of students were due to not being trained with problems
of high-level thinking skills during learning, such as problem-solving,
analysis, and interpretation. Students were not trained in reading observational
data in the tabular form or describing observational data obtained from test
results. This is in line with the research of Temiz, et al (2006) which states that
when testing SPSs five basic capabilities will emerge, which are naming,
generalizing data, interpreting data, identifying variables, and formulating
In reference to the results of the study, it indicates that the average level
of student SPS mastery is of the "low" criterion with the best SPS achievement
on the observing and classifying indicator with the "medium" criterion and the
indicators of interpretation, prediction, and communication received the
lowest achievement level with the "low” criterion..
The analysis results on the observing and classifying indicators are
categorized as high. Students have been able to use various senses to collect
or use relevant facts in explaining phenomena and students can also classify
facts to find differences, similarities; contrasting characteristics; compare;
looking for basic grouping or classification. This means that students have
been able to understand the study materials of the human excretion system
through SPSs exercise problems. According to Dirks, at al (2006) SPSs can be
taught to students in the form of exercises in making graphs, analyzing data,
creating research designs, writing scientific papers, and scientific discussions.
According to Buntod, at al (2010) learning with SPS should be routinely
practiced with the goal of bringing out individuals who can conduct research,
ask questions, achieve scientific knowledge by using scientific thought, and
even use knowledge to solve problems encountered in everyday life.
The ability to classify data, based on the results of written tests are
categorized in the medium criterion. This indicates that students'
understanding of the structure and function of bones is good so that students
are able to properly classify bones. This is also supported by the materials
taught to students, which is about the human motion system so that students
can directly explore parts of their motion system in finding answers to the
questions posed. As stated by Warianto (2011: 14), it is important to develop
classification skills to make it easier to identify a problem.
Interpretation ability assessment by making conclusions from
observational data shows better results. This shows that students prefer to
interpret data presented in the form of description and supported by a theory
underlying the data. This is in line with the views of Pie
Robinson, 2012: 2)
which state that communication is based on symbolic
values and with different expressing processes such as word, voice, body
language, writing, and pictures. All accumulated into the experience and
transmitted between individuals, generations, times, races, and cultures in
several forms such as speaking, writing, body language or symbols.
The ability to predict by estimating something that has not occurred
based on an existing tendency or pattern to answer a question is still very low,
students are still unable to relate the what usually occurs and possibilities that
may occur with reference to the student’s previous knowledge.
Student ability to communicate data in graphs also shows poor results
as indicated by written tests results on questions related to communication
with the low criterion. It also shows students' understanding of data about the
human excretion system that is still categorized as low, so that students have
not been able to change the form of data being presented into a written
statement as a conclusion whilst not changing its meaning.
When viewed from the analysis of the achievement of the SPSs for
each school (Figure 1) shows that students coming from schools residing in
the provincial capitals (SMP 4) have a profile of SPSs for the concept of
excretory systems that are similar to those of the school which is close to the
provincial capital (SMP 3). Furthermore, students from schools far from the
provincial capital have lower SPSs characteristics, especially for indicators of
predicting, interpreting, and communicating. These varied results indicate that
selecting locations in 4 different schools turned out to provide the fact of
differences in students' ability to understand the concepts of human excretory
systems, thus their SPSs achievement becomes lower. Differences in location,
background, knowledge, and school/home environment have a role in
influencing their competence in the form of SPSs. Hariadi (2009) also states
that the competence of science is influenced by several factors such as the
environment and the student’s knowledge. Another thing that can be expressed
from the results of this study is the average ability to provide reasons,
predictions, or communication, where the average score of SPSs in each
question is 0-4, but the ability of students is only within the range 0-2.
The characteristics of the SPS of Junior High School students in
Lampung Province is only on the skills of observing and classifying with a
"medium" category. For indicators of predicting, interpreting and
communicating skills, the characteristics of the students' SPSs are still
categorized as low. The low characteristic of the SPSs in the predictive,
interpreting, and communicating indicators is indicated to be due to the student
inability to understand the human excretion system, especially in explaining
the related internal process in the body in relation to excretion organs,
excretion system abnormalities, and excretion process of metabolic waste
remaining substances that are no longer needed by the body. In addition,
students also have not been able to predict the presence of residual substances
that will be excreted through urine, sweat, or breathing. Most students only
memorize the parts of the organs and processes in the excretory system, so
students are prone to forget and are not sensitive to problems related to the
human excretion system. This finding is consistent with the findings of Luky
(2014: 3) which states that in science learning, most students only memorize
the parts of the organs and processes in the human excretion system but are
unable to apply them in real situations, thus students are prone to forget and
insensitive to the problems in human life associated with the excretory system.
These findings suggest that students have not been able to relate concepts that
have been studied with real-world phenomena and concepts being studied.
This indicates that the application of the conceptual change process of students
to science learning has not been done by science teachers. The reason is that
most science teachers still do not have a sufficient level of understanding of
the conceptual change process, so that science learning is still limited to the
delivery of material according to the curriculum
(Gamze & Mustafa, 2014)
It is very important for the teacher to know about the findings on the
SPSs characteristics, so they can apply an appropriate learning strategy. Given
that learning by prioritizing SPSs will make students active in learning and
teachers can easily persuade students to process new information through
concrete experience and can facilitate students to achieve the goals of science
learning, so that the learning objectives that have been formulated from each
basic competency can be achieved and students are able to do the study
thoroughly. Learning by being oriented to SPSs can also encourage students
to discover their own facts, concepts of knowledge and foster the attitudes and
values of student personality. Therefore, the SPSs is an important component
in the implementation of learning because it can affect the development of
. This SPS has a function as an effective
competency to study science and technology, problem-solving, individual and
(Akinbobola, 2010: 234)
. This SPS is very important
because it can assist students in translating abstract concepts into concrete
(Ango, 2002: 11)
Based on data analysis results, it can be concluded that the SPSs of
Junior High School students in Lampung Province-Indonesia are categorized
as low. Each student coming from a different school possessed different SPSs
characteristics. Students from schools in the capital and schools near
provincial capitals have the same SPSs characteristics, namely "observing"
and "classifying" but still in the "medium" category. Students in regions
farther from provincial capitals have SPSs characteristics that are still
categorized as "low", either on the indicators of observing and classifying, as
well as on higher indicators, namely predicting, interpreting and
communicating. Overall, students' SPSs only reached the indicators of
observing and classifying and not achieving a higher indicator yet.
This article is a part of the research (publication) funded by
Pascasarjana Grant from BLU of University of Lampung, Ministry of
Research, Technology and Higher Education- Indonesia, 2017. The best
gratitude to the University of Lampung for all the facilities for the success of
this research, as well as to the Local Governments of Bandar Lampung City;
South Lampung Regency; Pesawaran Regency; Pringsewu Regency, and all
teachers, headmasters, school committees, and students for their valuable
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