Base on Lee Peng Yee experience while he stay in Indonesia on realistic mathematics, he was describing it into 4 parts, namely the cultural tradition, a legacy of academic, regional conferences in mathematics, and about realistic mathematics
firstly about cultural tradition
On 23 February 2009 he visited Palembang, and he visited a primary school and observed a classroom lesson practicing realistic mathematics. To an Indonesian, realistic mathematics means activity and connection with the world around us. He was very interested and pleased to see the realistic mathematics has been implemented in Indonesia. But, that makes him amazed about the diversity that is owned by the Indonesian. Indonesia is a country of many races, diverse cultural background, and believers of different faiths.
Secondly about academic heritage
He said that the Dutch brought to Indonesia not only commerce and European culture, but also academic heritage. This can be reflected by the campus of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in the image of old buildings and in the library which has books and journal left behind the Dutch professor.
He happened to know the two mathematics professor from Dutch who spent time in ITB. They are Prof. A. C. Zaanen from Leiden and Prof. L. Kuipers. Zaanen work in integration theory and more than the mathematics journals in the library of ITB were left by him. Whereas, Kuipers worked in number theory. According to Zaanen, Kuipers stayed in the garage of Zaenen’s house.
Besides, he describe that in early 70s the university curriculum in Indonesia at the time was traditional. It changes almost overnight when ITB started the Master Degree program in the last 70s. In order to meet the requirement for entry into the master degree (S2) program at ITB, universities around the country adjusted their curriculum
Thirdly about a regional conference in mathematics
In 1974 or 1975 Le Peng Yee and Mr Arifin make a proposal was that they might wish to host a regional conference in mathematics in 1976, in Bandung. Regional here refers to ASEAN countries
The first such conference was held as expected. A national conference was also held, concurrently. The mathematical society of Indonesia was formed during the conference. Thereafter many more regional and national conferences were held, including the Southeast Asian Conference in Mathematics Education (SACME) in Surabaya in 1993.
The last about Realistic Mathematics
Lee Peng Yee told that the story about realistic mathematics in Indonesia began in 1994 when R. K. Sembiring from ITB attended the second ICMI-China Regional Conference in Mathematics Education in Shanghai. R. K. Sembiring invited a group of Dutch Education to come to Indonesia and initiated a program of Realistic Mathematics in Indonesia
As people outside Indonesia, Lee Peng Yee wanted to say about history realistic mathematics in Indonesia is :
1. Realistic Mathematics in Indonesia is a bottom-up movement initiated by mathematicians themselves and not by the top administrators as was the case for the math reforms in th 70s
2. The movement began in the classroom. In other words, it begins with something children are doing and something teachers can recognize.
3. The changes are more than change in teaching mathematics
There is a formal report by the DO-PMRI International Advisory Board. In what follows, he present an informal version of this report, from the perspective of a practitioner, namely a teacher in service or under training / What the team PMRI doing to develop RME in Indonesia
Research and graduated program :
So far, there are 5 PhD and 7 Master theses written on realistic mathematics. Two universities, one in Palembang and one in Surabaya, admitted over 10 graduate students, per university, to pursue Master’s degrees in mathematics education
Certification of PMRI teachers :
The certification of PMRI teachers is being planned to take at the end of 2009 teachers will be trained to teach activity-based lessons and certified. At a later date, there could be certification for teacher trainers
Regional centres :
The regional centres can obtain greater support from the local community, and move faster in the dissemination of PMRI
Documentation and publication :
Tutorial notes are available. Textbooks are in preparation.
PMRI as a brand name :
One can see that the name of PMRI serves as a key to unlock the door of a much needed mathematics reform in Indonesia
The movement of PMRI spearheaded the change in mathematics education and turn in classroom teaching, and beyond. One should not be surprised if PMRI ends up being a vehicle for change in mathematics education in particular and in education in general