Development Of Multicultural Education To Form Student Character On Civic Education In University Of Sriwijaya



University of Sriwijaya


Indonesia is a pluralistic (multicultural) which could be a potential and uniqueness that owned by the Indonesia. However, the diversity and the uniqueness is not developed in managing themselves based of cultural wisdom and a willingness to live in peace. It has proven since the beginning of the reform period until now often happens hostility, fights and mass riots which ethnic background, culture of religion, and race until the desire to separate themselves from the NKRI. The results of questionnaires data recapitulation (David L. Grosmann) about a list of 20 characteristics of good citizenship in Citizenship Education University of Sriwijaya student (69 respondents) that which most important for next 25 years of Citizenship Education and the ability to sensitive and defend human rights for example the rights of ethnic minorities and the ability to cooperate with others in cooperative and responsible for manner to role a person or community duty. Analysis of the questionnaire was results that there a variety of hostility, riots, and ethnic massacres which is one form of violation human rights due to inability of a person cooperate with others in the community. Therefore, this paper will discuss two main issues: first, What is the importance of multicultural education for students? Second, How the strategy learning approach used in the multicultural education in college? Discussion on method of writing this paper through literature study conducted through a selection process and an understanding of the writings of relevant a variety of literature, done in a way formulate and describe well as constructions through a process the meaning by examine the a variety of documents obtained through a a variety of sources such as newspapers, internet, and other literature, and interpreted which then be described in depth for later conceptualized. Discussion about the concept Multicultural Education in Indonesia (the importance and purpose of Multicultural Education), approach strategy used in the Multicultural Education in universities (in relation forming character development of student and strategies multicultural education approach to learning in the formation of student character).

Key words : Multicultural Education, Student Character on Civic Education


Indonesia is a country plural (multicultural) comprising various races, culture, religion, languages, customs and a number of other diversity can be a potential and uniqueness owned by the Indonesia. However, diversity and the uniqueness is has not developed in managing themselves based of cultural wisdom and willingness to live in peace. It has proven since the beginning of reform era until now (data attached) often occurs hostility, fights and mass riots which ethnic background, culture, religion, and race until the desire to separate from NKRI still often coloring the national media both print and electronics. The spirit of Bhineka Tunggal Ika which meant “different but fixed one” actually provide space for all the differences. The awareness for one nation as Indonesia continues to be estuary all the difference. Samuel P. Huntington The Clash of Civilization (within Mahfud, 2008: viii) predict an impending clash between civilizations. Conflict can be caused by factors: political, social, culture, economic, racial, and even religion.

The results a questionnaire data summary (Dr. David L.Grosmann) about a list of 20 characteristics of good citizenship in civic education students University of Sriwijaya (69 respondents) that which most important for civic education next 25 years the number 17 was a questionnaire ability to be sensitive towards and to defend human rights (eg rights of women, ethnic Minorities, etc.) amount (41 respondents) and the a questionnaire number 7 ability to work with others in a cooperative way and to take responsibility for one’s roles / duties within society. Analysis of the questionnaire was results that there the various hostility, riots, and ethnic the massacre which is one form of violation of human rights due to inability of a person cooperate with others in the community.

See the phenomenon, educational activities in Indonesia required to have rotation against the current sensitivity of globalization. Monoculturalism doctrinal pattern a forced should be evaluated, because it has been negative implications for the reconstruction of Indonesia that multicultural culture.

Therefore requiring strategic approach and instrument which can used as national movement to achieve unity, entity and integrity of the nation in order to become a sovereign nation and dignity. One of instruments approach is through multicultural education. Multicultural education is particularly relevant in countries be applied a multiethnic and multicultural, such as Indonesia.

Multicultural education beneficial to build cohesiveness and solidity diversity of ethnicity, race, religion, and culture. The practice of multicultural education in Indonesia can not be implemented ideally. It was caused by historical journey provision of education that many background by primordialism. For example, the establishment of educational institutions based religious backgrounds, regions, individuals and groups. Solidarity as a unity nation citizen the more eroded. The practice of multicultural education in Indonesia can be flexible, not necessarily in form of separate subject or monolithic. The implementation of multicultural education based on five dimensions: (1) content integration, (2) knowledge of drafting process, (3) reduce of prejudice, (4) pedagogical equivalent, and (5) school culture and school structure that empower (http://ulilalbabjong /implementation of multicultural-education-in-practice-education-in-Indonesia/ implementation of multicultural education in educational praxis in Indonesia: Al-Arifin Achmad Hidayatullah).

The concept is what later born character education policies. The purpose of education is the realization of character values r character behavior that residents learn includes knowledge, awareness or volition, and actions to implement the values both the one and only god, ourselves, others, environment, and nationality so it becomes perfect man. Perfect man is perfect as human beings that benefit self, society, nation, and religion in the diversity of life.

Multicultural education because it expected to be able form a character of students that can position themselves in relation to God, self, others, environment, and country. Character is that true character of Indonesia so that the nation this to be nation that has an identity. If the character has become ‘acting skills’ people of Indonesia, the Indonesian nation will be great because all the problems of life can be overcome with the robustness of the character of nationality.As Aristotle taught, people do not naturally become morally excellent or practically wise. They become so, if at all, only as the result of life-long personal and community effort (Borba, 20001: xi).

Multicultural education expected to be able form a religious character, innovative, values diversity and others, tolerant, confident, and a spirit of nationalism. Embodiment of the character can be done through practice learning ‘character Indonesianness’. Learning done with forming mindset, attitude, actions, and habituation. The realization of such a character Indonesianness strong basis as a characteristic of Indonesian human. This power be a great energy to be a great nation in the middle of the constellation of nations in the world. Great nation can only be realized through that strong human character. Indonesianness character through multicultural education is one of hope toward Indonesia great future with confidence as the nation’s collective (Sariban, 2011 : 1).


The concept of Multicultural Education in Indonesia (The Importance of Multicultural Education)

As a reform movement, the term multicultural education still considered foreign to the general public, even the interpretation of concept and understanding of multicultural education is still debated among education expert. Since its earliest conceptualizations in the 1960s, multicultural education has been transformed, refocused, reconceptualized, and in a constant state of evolution both in theory and in practice. It is rare that any classroom teachers or education scholars will have the same definition for multicultural education. As with any dialogue on education, individuals tend to mold concepts to fit their particular focus (Paul Gorski and Bob Covert, 2000 : 1). Furthermore Paul Gorski (2000 : 2), stated that multicultural education is a progressive approach for transforming education that holistically critiques and addresses current shortcomings, failings, and discriminatory practices in education. It is grounded in ideals of social justice, education equity, and a dedication to facilitating educational experiences in which all students reach their full potential as learners and as socially aware and active beings, locally, nationally, and globally. Multicultural education acknowledges that schools are essential to laying the foundation for the transformation of society and the elimination of oppression and injustice.

   According to James A. Banks (2002) multicultural education is concept, idea or philosophy as a series of trust (set of believe), and explanations that recognizes and assesses the importance of cultural and ethnic diversity in the form lifestyle the social experience, personal identity, and educational opportunities of individuals, groups and state. Multicultural education is a reform movement and process to create an equivalent environmental education for all students.

Furthermore Andersen and Cusher, as cited Mahfud (2008), the multicultural education is defined as education about cultural diversity. Whereas Hernandez (1989), defines multicultural education as a perspective that recognizes reality of the social, political, economic and experienced by each individual in the encounter human complex and diverse in culture and reflect on the importance of culture, race, sexuality and gender, ethnicity, religion , social status, economic, and exceptions in the educational process. Sleeter and Grant and Smith as cited Zamroni (2011:144) defines multicultural education as a progressive approach for do the transformation education that holistically criticize and expose weakness, failures and discrimination in the world education.

From the definition above it can be concluded that multicultural education is education about the cultural diversity, race, gender, religion, social status, economic and political in forming personal identity and character of the students an equal in his life.

Given the Indonesia nation comprised of many cultures, application of learning multicultural education very important to minimize and prevent the occurrence of conflicts in some areas. multicultural education learning can plant and change the thinking of students to really sincere appreciate the diversity of ethnic, religious, racial, and intergroup. Through multicultural education learning based, attitudes and thinking (mindset) students will be more open to understand and appreciate diversity. This is important because it can eliminate discrimination.

There are some things tobe had of existence learningmulticultural education,among others:

  1. Implementation of multicultural education is very important to minimize and prevent the occurrence of conflicts in some areas. Through the multicultural-based education,attitude and thoughts (mindset) students will be more open to understand and appreciate diversity
  2. Methodology and multicultural learning strategies by means of audio-visual has beenenough to attract children learning and great fun for students and teachers. Because,at once students can hear, see, and practice during the learning process take place. This explain that multicultural learning is very good to be implemented in order to increase student interest is higher
  3. Teachers prosecuted creative and innovative so as to cultivate and create an appropriate of instructional design. Including provide and arouse students’ motivation, as well as introduce and develop the values and attitude of tolerance, solidarity, empathy, deliberation, and egalitarian to fellow. Students can become more understanding local wisdom that is part of national culture
  4. Multicultural education helps students to acknowledge accuracy of these views a diverse culture, helping students to develop pride in their cultural heritage, students awareness that value conflicts often the cause of conflicts among community groups
  5. Multicultural education held in an effort to develop student ability in perceive life from different perspective of different culture with their have culture, and be positive against cultural differences, race, and ethnicity
  6. Can guide, shape and condition students to have a mental or characteristics, used to living in the midst a very complex differences, both differences in ideology, social differences, economic differences and religious differences. With the learning muticultural education graduates will be able to have an attitude of independence in recognizing and resolving all the problems of life. (, access 17Desember 2012).

Rational learning about importance of multicultural education, because education a strategy is seen to have practice of virtue, especially in:

  1. Provide a new breakthrough learning can improve students’ empathy and reduce prejudice so that create human beings (citizens) who capable of resolving intercultural conflicts without violence (nonviolent);
  2. Applying the approach and potential learning strategies in prioritizing process of social interaction and have content a strong affective;
  3. Multicultural learning model help teachers in managing the learning process becomes more efficient and effective, especially give students skills in building collaborative and committed a high score in people’s lives that completely diverse;
  4. Contributing to the Indonesia nation in resolving and managing conflicts that arising SARA nuance in the community by increasing empathy and reducing prejudice (Jones, in the Liliweri, 2003).

Condition culture diversity of the community and positive portray the wealth potential of a pluralist society type, but negatively people feel uncomfortable because it does not know each others cultures. Each ethnic or race tend to have a spirit and which ethnocentric ideology, stating that his group is superior to another race or ethnic group (Jones, in the Liliweri, 2003). The occurrence of not know each other cultural identity of others, can encourage increased prejudice against others, such as antipathy based on the generalization error is expressed as a feeling. Prejudice is also directed to a group of as a whole, or to someone just because it is a member of a particular group. Accordingly, the has potential prejudice to scapegoat other people through stereotypes, discrimination and the creation of of social distance (Bennet and Janet, in the Liliweri, 2003:11)

Multicultural Education Objectives

Multicultural education through learning, subjects learn can be achieve success in reducing prejudice and discrimination (Banks, 1996). In other words, school variables formed from racial and ethnic groups that have experience and equal rights in the educational process. Students are able to develop skills in decisions wisely. They are more become the subjects rather than the object in the curriculum. Those individuals who are able to govern themselves and reflect on the life to become active.

They make decision and did something related to the concept, the issues they learned the problem. Those develop a vision for better social and acquire knowledge and skills well as construct in a systematic and empathic. Teacher supposed find out how to behave towards students of varying cultures in the classroom. They are find out differences in values and culture and the forms ofbehavior that diverse.

Furthermore Paul Gorski (2000) says that the underlying goal of multicultural education is to affect social change. The pathway toward this goal incorporates three strands of transformation: 1). the transformation of self; 2). the transformation of schools and schooling; and 3). the transformation of society.

Purpose-based multicultural education can be identified: 1).enabling the role of schools in viewing the existence a diverse students; 2).assist students in building a positive treatment for cultural diversity, race, ethnic, religious groups; 3).provide security by teaching their students in decision-making and social skills; 4).assist students in building a cross cultural dependency and give to them a positive picture about group difference (Banks, in Skeel, 1995).

Further (in Parker, Walter C, 2003) the central purpose of multicultural education is to improve race relations and to help all students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to participate in cross-cultural interactions and in personal, social, and civic action that will make nation more democratic and just.

Multicultural education can be provide insight to students regardless socio-economic status; gender sexual orientation, or ethnic background, race or culture, equal opportunities to learn in school. Multicultural education is also based on the fact that students did not learn in the emptiness, their cultural influence them to learn in a certain way (Parkay and Stanford, 2011: 35).

The Strategy Learning Approach used in The Multicultural Education in College

Development of multicultural education in Relation Forming Character University of Sriwijaya Student Citizenship Education

Development of multicultural education can be flexible, can be in the form of its own subject in a course or majors as well as integrated into subject of matter for example civic education of matter at sub national identity and geostrategi Indonesia.  Banks (2004:4-6) a multicultural education expert, highlights five dimensions of multicultural education that are important for integration to public schools :

  1. Content integration, the extent to which teachers use a variety of information from diverse cultures and groups to convey key concepts, principles, generalizations, and theories in subject area
  2. Knowledge construction the extent, to which teachers help students understand how knowledge in created and how it is influenced by a variety of cultural and social-class groups
  3. Prejudice reduction, focuses on students racial attitudes and how they can be modified
  4. Equity pedagogy, teachers use a variety of teaching styles consistent with learning styles of cultural and ethnic groups
  5. Empowering school culture restructuring and reorganizing culture of schools to include and empower diverse racial, ethnic, language, and social class groups.

The subject matter are, in Moughrabi’s terms,”critical and dialogic”. That is, they combat indoctrination and promote discussion, perpective-taking, and a comparative approach. I want now to nominate five subject matters for core positions in a multinational curriculum for diversity and democracy : 1). Historiography; 2). Comparative constitutional studies; 3). Comparative ethnic studies; 4). Comparative proverty studies; 5). Deliberation  (Walter C. Parker : 442).

Ten essential virtues, Lickona (in handout short course civic education East-West Center, 2012): ten most important virtues recognized and taught by nearly all philosophical, religious and cultural tradition :

  1. Wisdom is good judgment. It tell us when to act, how to act, and how to balance different virtues when they conflict
  2. Justice means respecting the rights of all persons. A concern for justice-and the capacity for moral indignation in the face of injustice-inspires us as citizens to build a more just society and world
  3. Fortitude enables us to do what is right in the fact of difficulty. It is the inner toughness that enables us to overcome or withstand hardship, defeats, inconvenience, and pain
  4. Self-control is the ability to govern ourselves. It enables us to control our temper, regulate our sensual appetites and passions, and pursue even legitimate pleasures in moderation. It is the power to resist temptation, to wait, and to delay gratification in the pursuit of higher and distant goals
  5. Love is the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of another. Love goes beyond justice and fairness
  6. Positive attitude, if you have negative attitude in life, you are a burden to yourself and outhers. If you have a positive attitude, you are an asset to yourself and others
  7. Hard work, there is no substitute in life for hard work. Hard work includes the virtues of initiative, diligence, goal-setting, and resourcefulness
  8. Intregrity is adhering to moral principle, being faithful to moral conscience, keeping our word, and standing up for what we believe. Integrity is different from honesty, which tells the truth to others. Integrity is telling the truth to oneself
  9. Gratitude is often described as the secret of a happy life. It reminds us that we all drink from wells we did not dig. It moves us to count our everyday blessings
  10. Humility can be considered the foundation of the whole moral life. Humility is necessary for the acquisition of the other virtues because it makes us aware of our imperfections and leads us to try to become a better person.

Strategy Learning Approach Multicultural Education in Character Formation of Student University of Sriwijaya Civic Education

Process oriented approach learning critical thinking-oriented and problem solving oriented model) and the development of local wisdom in learning there is 12-Point comprehensive approach :

  • Schoolwide strategies :
  1. Caring beyond the classroom
  2. Creating a culture of excellence and ethics
  3. Schools, parents and communities as partners
  • Classroom strategies :
  1. The teacher as caregiver, model, and mentor
  2. An ethical learning community
  3. Character-based discipline
  4. A democratic classroom environment
  5. Teaching character through the curriculum
  6. Cooperative learning
  7. Conscience of craft
  8. Ethical reflection
  9. Teaching conflict resolution ( Character Educational Partnership 1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1011 Washington, DC 20036).

Several strategies that the teachers employed to create positive classroom climate include following:

  1. They focused positive energy instead of negative energy on all students
  2. Provided students with challenging work and followed with scaffolding (guidance) through teacher-student interactions if students had difficulties
  3. Created a warm and welcoming classroom environment
  4. Used students culture as tools for student learning
  5. Involved parents and the community into the classroom
  6. Provided tools for students to view the world critically. Students become the researchers and “subjects” not “objects” of study (Caroline Mwonga, 2005).

Whereas in the handouts Gay Garland Reed, Ph.D. (Professor of Education Foundations) College of Education, University of Hawaii there were 9 U.S that pedagogical approaches in multicultural education that is:

  1. Interviewing
  2. Legacy paper
  3. Journaling (with prompts or not)
  4. Use of video or art
  5. Autobiography and leterature (outside the canon)
  6. Group work
  7. Role playing
  8. Debate
  9. Identity mapping or “ya-ya” box


  1. Multicultural education is education about the cultural diversity, race, gender, religion, social status, economic and political in forming personal identity and character of the students an equal in his life
  2. Multicultural Education is to give students an understanding not to look at the socio-economic status, gender sexual orientation, or ethnic background, race or culture, equal opportunities to learn in school
  3. Development of multicultural education can be flexible, can be in the form of its own subject in a course or majors as well as integrated into subject of matter civic education in the formation of student character wisdom, justice, fortitude, self-control, love, positive attitude, hard work, integrity, gratitude and humility
  4. Strategy learning approach multicultural education in character formation of student among other things process oriented approach learning critical thinking-oriented, problem solving oriented model and the development of local wisdom as well cooperative learning.


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———————-. 2002. An introduction to Multicultural Education. Boston-London: Allyn and Bacon Press.

———————. 2004. Diversity and Citizenship Education “Global Perspectives” Jossey- Bass. A Wiley Imprint.

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