Kurikulum Merdeka provides flexibility for schools to provide learning facilities for individual student diversity. Through the Kurikulum Merdeka, differentiated instruction is an approach that can be used in learning Mathematics, including learning Mathematics at Junior High School (SMP). Differentiated instruction facilitates learning based on student readiness, student interests, and student learning profiles, while the learning strategies that can be carried out by teachers are content differentiation, process differentiation, and product differentiation. As a relatively new learning approach, junior high school mathematics teachers in Surakarta city still experience obstacles in the process of implementing differentiated instruction, from lesson planning to implementation including assessment. Anticipating these conditions, the Research Group for Mathematics Learning in Primary and Secondary Education, Mathematics Education Study Program, Universitas Sebelas Maret in collaboration with MGMP Mathematics SMP Surakarta City provided training to junior high school Mathematics teachers related to Differentiated Instruction.
The training activities were conducted offline at SMP Negeri 20 Surakarta city for four meetings between July and August 2023. The training activities carried out consisted of two main stages. The first stage was in the form of delivering material on the Kurikulum Merdeka and Differentiated Instruction. The material delivery activity was delivered by the Head of the Research Group, namely Dr. Imam Sujadi, M.Si. In addition, members of the Research Group also participated, namely Ira Kurniawati, S.Si., M.Pd., Riki Andriatna, S.Pd., M.Pd., Arum Nur Wulandari, S.Pd., M.Pd., and Dr. Dra. Yuli Bangun Nursanti, M.Pd. At the end of the first stage, all participants were given an assignment in the form of preparing a mathematics learning design with a differentiated instruction approach using the Backward Design framework. Furthermore, in the second stage, the trainees designed mathematics lessons with a differentiated learning approach using the Backward Design framework, namely (1) identifying the desired results (learning objectives); (2) determining evidence and assessment to measure the achievement of the desired results; and (3) planning the stages of learning activities (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). In addition, at the end of the activity, participants made presentations on the results of learning design through Backward Design so that suggestions / input were obtained from other participants and the Community Team.
The whole series of service activities ended by conducting a focus discussion group. Through this activity, several inspirations for differentiated instruction in junior high school mathematics learning in number materials were also conveyed, especially related to content differentiation by taking into account student diversity based on student learning profiles.
Wiggins, G. & McTighe. (2005). Understanding by Design. New Jersey: Assn. for Supervision & Curriculum Development.