The topic was chosen because of one important reason.
It is students’ motivation in teaching and learning processes in the classroom. As we know that motivation influence almost all things during learning processes. How will the students pay attention through the teacher explanation if they did not have a motivation to learn.
The focus is how to use small group discussion to increase the students’ motivation to learn in the classroom. In Indonesia, the students mostly become a passive learner who get all the information by listening to the teacher’s explanation rather than become active learner. In order to increase the students motivation and make the students more active in the classroom the teacher should apply small group discussion in learning activities. Small group discussion is an activity when the students are working in a group. Learning is not only the process of hearing, remembering then repeating, even though remembering and repeating may be a part of learning. To learn something means to ask something, challenge ideas, fins something new and improve our knowledge about something. All those things can be done by working or discussing something in the form of small group work. Discussion may help both the teacher and the students to find important information and underline the misconception.
Discussion also help the students become more active listener, not takers, as well as they active through the discussion.This study is focused on what type of small group discussion which can increase the students’ motivation. It is also studied about what are the types of small group discussion.This is the theory that is used based on the problem above. The theories are constructed by using the latest theory which related to the problem which these researches focus on.According to McCorie(2006), small group discussion is a method in teaching which get the students to engage with each other without feel fear of address a large group.
Sometimes, there are students who comfortable addressing their idea in the form of small group rather than in front of the whole class or in the large group. Some students also not really motivated while study individually because the students not confidence with their own ability. The small group discussion allow the students to deliver their idea for group discussion among other members of the group. A small group discussion follows democratic guideline which allows all members of the group to be an active participant through the discussion. According to Brewer(1997), it is human nature to curious about something and other people, and the best way to find out answer for the question is to talk with another.
New ideas can be evaluated and tested by using the discussion method. According to Gall (1980), discussion is a method that can be used not only to help students develop problem solving skills and to share opinion, but also help the student to mastery the subject matter. Discussion method give students some responsibility for structuring verbal interaction. It is because during the discussion the students deliver their idea by using verbal language.
It is also improve students responsibility in use the target language trough the discussion. In the discussion, the teacher encourage the students to interact with each other. There are relatively long sequences of one students comment follow by another with little or no intervention from the teacher. According to Gillet(1980), discussion is a strategy for achieving instructional objectives that involves a group of person who communicate with each other by speaking, non verbal, and listening processes. Discussion also implies that the students learn not only from the teacher explanation, but also from each other.
The teacher also should be open to learn new ideas from the students. The important characteristic of discussion are emphasize on speaking, non verbal, and listening skill. Gillet (1980) also agree that the opportunity to speak about the students’ ideas and to listen to others speak help them to learn. The process of taking and sharing knowledge with their group may motivate the students to learn more. The effectiveness of discussion method is influenced by two aspects, there are group size and seating arrangement. The first is the group size.
A successful discussion requires a small number of member exists in the group. The number of participants and the percentage number of participants who talk in the discussion decrease significantly if the group consist more than five students. The second is the seating arrangement. The traditional seating arrangement may be not successful yet to apply the discussion method. A circle seating arrangement where the students can see all the member of the group make the students easy to talk with others member of the group.According to Smith, there are some strategies of small group discussion that is commonly used. There are: jigsaw strategy, base groups, syndicates, and problem based learning.
Each of the strategy give different impact for the students motivation. Each strategies in small group discussion method have their own characteristic which is different from one to another. Each strategies will explain as follows.Jigsaw strategy have been used by highly effective students study groups for the classroom. The jigsaw procedure involves the students working in a cooperative group where each students is responsible for learning a portion of the material and then teaching the material that they already learn to the rest member of the group. Many students report that the jigsaw strategy provide a pleasant alternative to the teacher in helping the students learn conceptual material and that it fosters interdependence among them. The jigsaw strategy also can be applied in the form of game, so it will make the classroom atmosphere more enjoyable for both students and teacher. Although it takes preparation and time to set up the jigsaw, the students usually learn more material and remember it longer, and become experienced in a learning that they often begin using on their own.
Cooperative base groups is a relative simple way to build a supportive but also enhances personal development. Base groups are long-term heterogeneous cooperative learning groups with stable membership whose primary responsibility to provide each students support, encouragement, and assistance their needs to make academic progress. Because the groups often stay the same during the entire course, base groups can personalize the work required and the course learning experiences. When base groups complete and submit work in group folder the teacher will check the product of the base group. Like other formal groups, base group member must be carefully chosen, monitored, and often coached to improve their communication and functioning as a group.
Syndicates is a strategy recommended by McKeachie and Svinci (2006). In this strategy the teacher give a topic to the students. The topic will be split into some sections and the students will divided into some small groups. Each group work on a section of topic and present its views at a plenary. The member of the group may act as a resource, coordinator, and summariser which each member of the group have different role. Few topic are linear, most of them are multi factorial.
This syndicates strategy requires careful analysis and organisation. Problem based learning or PBL is a rapidly involving strategy for developing students learning through the process of working toward the understanding or resolution of a problem. In problem based learning setting, the problem is encountered first in the learning process. According to Barrows and Tamblyn (1980), problem based learning is generally built around the following features, such as problems are the organizing focus and stimulus for learning and the vehicle for the development of problem solving skill, new information is acquired through self-directed learning, learning is students centred and occurs in small students groups, and the teacher acts as facilitator or guide. Problem based learning is an instructional method that challenges students to learn working in cooperatively to find the solution to real world problems.