CTL ~Contextual Teaching and Learning~

 Contextual Teaching and Learning is a perspective to know and address teaching and learning process in nature of knowledge. Throughout relationship both in and out of classroom, Contextual Teaching and Learning aims at making relevant and meaningful experience to students by building knowledge that will have applications to lifelong learning. In general, Contextual Teaching and Learning aims to build collaboration between the university/school and community in ways which are mutually beneficial.

            These are the Contextual Teaching and Learning models that stress on:

  • Delivery of curriculum through contextualized teaching and learning strategies
  • Use of community-based experiences, workplace experiences, and school contexts to inform teaching and learning
  • Preparation of teachers to implement contextual teaching strategies


            In Contextual Teaching and Learning practice, it typically involves using one or more of the following seven teaching strategies.

1. Problem-based learning

2. Project-based learning

3. Inquiry-based learning

4. Service learning

5. Collaborative learning

6. Authentic assessment

7. Engaging students of various background

            Contextual Teaching and Learning is good chance for learning about how to connect classroom experiences with the real working world. In university, Contextual Teaching and Learning includes faculty connection to control the courses with the future work experiences of the learners. By participate in Contextual Teaching and Learning classes orientation of university, the lecture should better understand how to help pupils making sense of what they learn in the context of the working world.

            Examples of contextual teaching and learning theory strategies include:
Problem-based – Contextual Teaching and Learning can begin with a simulated or real problem. Students use critical thinking skills and a systemic approach to inquiry to address the problem or issue. Students may also draw upon multiple content areas to solve these problems. Worthwhile problems that are relevant to students’ families, school experiences, workplaces, and communities hold greater personal meaning for students.

Using multiple contexts – Theories of situated cognition suggest that knowledge can not be separated from the physical and social context in which it develops. How and where a person acquires and creates knowledge is therefore very important. Contextual Teaching and Learning experiences are enriched when students learn skills in multiple contexts (i.e. school, community, workplace, family).

Drawing upon student diversity – On the whole, our student population is becoming more diverse, and with increased diversity comes differences in values, social mores, and perspectives. These differences can be the impetus for learning and can add complexity to the Contextual Teaching and Learning experience. Team collaboration and group learning activities respect students’ diverse histories, broaden perspectives, and build inter-personal skills.

Supporting self-regulated learning – Ultimately, students must become lifelong learners. Lifelong learners are able to seek out, analyze, and use information with little to no supervision. To do so, students must become more aware how they process information, employ problem-solving strategies, and use background knowledge. Contextual Teaching and Learning experiences should allow for trial and error; provide time and structure for reflection; and provide adequate support to assist students to move from dependent to independent learning.

Using interdependent learning groups – Students will be influenced by and will contribute to the knowledge and beliefs of others. Learning groups, or learning communities, are established in workplaces and schools in an effort to share knowledge, focus on goals, and allow all to teach and learn from each other. When learning communities are established in schools, educators act as coaches, facilitators, and mentors.

Employing authentic assessments – Contextual Teaching and Learning is intended to build knowledge and skills in meaningful ways by engaging students in real life, or “authentic” contexts. Assessment of learning should align with the methods and purposes of instruction. Authentic assessments show (among other things) that learning has occurred; are blended into the teaching/learning process; and provide students with opportunities and direction for improvement. Authentic assessment is used to monitor student progress and inform teaching practices. (Wisconsin-Madison, University of, 2000)

The 7 Principles of Contextual Teaching and Learning

CTL (contextual teaching and learning) as an approach to learning has 7 principles. These principles underlying the implementation of the learning process by using CTL (contextual teaching and learning). The seven principles include:

1. Constructivism
Constructivism is the process of build or develop new knowledge in students’ cognitive structure based on experience. According to constructivism, the experience is met by the outside, but constructed by and from within oneself. Therefore, the experience is formed by two important factors i.e. the object becomes the subject of observation and ability to interpret the object.

2. Inquiry
The second principle is the inquiry in contextual learning. That is, the learning process is based on a search and discovery through a process of thinking systematically. Knowledge is not the result of considering a number of facts, but the outcome of the process of finding itself. Thus in the planning process, teachers are not preparing a number of materials to be memorized, but stimulate learning that allows students to find their own materials to be understood.

3. Questioning
Learning is basically asking and answering questions. Questioning can be regarded as a reflection of the curiosity of every individual, while answering the questions reflects a person’s ability in thinking. In the learning process, teacher does not submit the information for granted, but the lure for students to find themselves. Since questioning has very important role, because through the questions teachers can guide and lead students to find any material that is learned.

4. Learning Community
In the contextual teaching and learning CONTEXTUAL TEACHING AND LEARNING) implementation of learning communities can be done by applying learning through study groups. Students are divided into groups whose members are heterogeneous good views of learning ability and speed of learning. Let each other learn in their group, who quickly pushed to help the slow learners.

5. Modeling
Modeling is a learning process as an example to demonstrate something that can be emulated by every student. For example, the teacher gives examples of how to pronounce a foreign phrase. Gym teacher gave examples on how to throw a ball and so forth.

6. Reflection

Reflection is the process of settling the experience has been learned that is done by re-sorting events or events that have gone through the learning. Through reflection on learning experiences that will be included in students’ cognitive structure that will eventually become part of the knowledge that has been formed.

7. Authentic Assessment

Authentic assessment is the process by the teacher to gather information about the students learning progress. This assessment is needed to determine whether students are actually learning or not. Does knowledge of student learning has a positive influence on both the intellectual and mental development of students



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Dease, A.  2012. Contextual Teaching and Learning. Available at http://theoriesincareertech.wikispaces.com/Contextual+Teaching+and+Learning+Theory [online at 8/11/2012]

Ketter, CT., and J Arnold. 2003. Implementing Contextual Teaching and Learning: Case Study of Nancy, a High School Science Novice Teacher. Available at http://www.coe.uga.edu/Contextual Teaching and Learning/theory. [online at 8/11/2012]

Berns, R. 2001. Contextual Teaching and Learning:Preparing Students for the New Economy. Available at http://www.cord.org/uploadedfiles/NCCTE_Highlight05-ContextualTeachingLearning.pdf. [online at 8/11/2012]

National Conference on Teacher Quality – Exemplary Practices in Contextual Teaching and Learning






Sukarto. 2012. Strategi Pembelajaran Konstekstual Teaching and Learning ( CTL ). Available at http://id.shvoong.com/social-sciences/education/2009913-strategi-pembelajaran-konstekstual-teaching-learning/#ixzz2H7hC316d. [online at 10/11/2012]

Shiu-sing, T. Some reflections on the design of contextual learning and teaching materials. Available at http://www.phy.cuhk.edu.hk/oceanpark [online at 7/11/2012]

Berns, RG., and PM Erickson. 2001. Contextual Teaching and Learning:Preparing Students for the New Economy. Available at http://www.cord.org/uploadedfiles/NCCTE_Highlight05-ContextualTeachingLearning.pdf [online at 11/11/2012]

Johnson, EB. 2010. Contextual Teaching and Learning Defined. Available at www.ttlcompact.org/Contextual_Teaching_and_Learning_Defined.pdf. [online at 9/11/2012]


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