This study examines the social and cultural contexts, and factors of global and local sources, which influence teacher preparation and which may serve to impede or facilitate the training of public and private school English teachers at the “University of Banten,” in Serang, Indonesia. A central question of the ethnographic case study is how, and to what extent professors are modeling and encouraging active-learning methods in the students’ English and Education courses in response to decentralization reforms. The specific focus is on student-teacher preparation pedagogically and instructionally, knowledge of curriculum utilization and development in relation to Indonesian decentralization policy, and the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC-KTSP) standards for English instruction, the PAKEM Active Learning methods, and the Local Content Curriculum (LCC). Uniquely, it examines English and teacher-training responses representative of the realities of localization and globalization, and is concerned with increased levels of teacher autonomy and decision-making in contemporary Indonesia. The study also explores the implementation of decentralization and English instruction, and how past center-periphery cultural and political traditions affect response to educational reforms.
A discussion of theories of educational decentralization builds a framework for situating the present contexts of Indonesian education reform in order to identify specific challenges which impact English teacher preparation and the knowledge and implementation of contemporary decentralization of education policies. The knowledge and implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC-KTSP) curriculum and instructional standards for English instruction, the concept and implementation of PAKEM Active Learning methods, and the Local Content Curriculum (LCC), which represent major elements of decentralization policy, autonomy, and self-motivation for learning, were explored thematically through ethnographic analysis. The analysis and discussion follow in-depth accounts of professors, teachers and students at the campus over 10 months and provides extensive and diverse evidence of dynamic responses to
policy changes. Lecturers and teachers were well informed about and engaged in the implementation of current decentralization of education reforms, including the integration of the CBC curriculum standards with active learning methods in instruction, and the development and implementation of Local Content Curriculum courses. Global influences generally were not viewed as threatening to local, traditional cultural teaching practices, but as potentially advantageous means for improving schooling.