The Development Of Multicultural Based Education Concept Of Civic Education’s Learning In Higher Education


 Ni Ketut Sari Adnyani

Ganesha University of Education


The study is conducted in order to know: (1) the development of multicultural curriculum in higher education, (2) the multicultural education in civic education’s learning in higher education. The subject of the study is the college students. The data in this study are in the form of information, either from document and respondent, and references from the scientific writing which are related with the study. Basically the study is descriptive, so that furthermore will be analyzed qualitatively.Some of the strategic roles of higher education in developing the concept of multicultural education, in the substance of civic education’s learning, are: accommodating the cultural diversity becoming the base to define philosophy. Furthermore, the cultural diversity is used as the foundation in developing every curriculum components, such as: purpose, content, process, and evaluation. The important point of the study is the culture in the educational unit, those are learning sources and the object of the study that becomes part of the student’s learning activities. Therefore, the curriculum takes part as media in developing regional and national culture. The civic education’s concept which is developed with multicultural insertion can be established by arranging the environment so the students are motivated in digging the meaning as well as appreciated the diversity.Therefore, the development of multicultural concept in civic education’s learning in which multicultural nationalism as the core makes the civic education’s learning more powerful.

Keywords: curriculum, multicultural, learning, higher education, civic education.         


Education is a process of facilitation and empowerment.  It suits more to be conducted to kids after they become mature and adult. Facilitating here means advising, serving, supporting with more adequate learning facilitations, and making easier.Meanwhile, empowering means advising, motivating, coordinating, strengthening, and developing.

In educational context, every society’s problems can be fixed trough educational process. It means that any society’s failure is also and education’s failure. Therefore, solving any society’s problem should be started from the education’s arrangement systematically and methodologically. One of the learning’s components is teaching and learning process. Plurality and multicultural isIndonesian identity. It may affect nation’s disintegration without a strong foundation. Indonesia consists of cultural diversity, the implementation of multicultural learning is important to reduce and avoid conflict in several regions. Multicultural learning can instill as well as change the students’ mindset to appreciate the diversity in ethnic, religion, race, and inter-group. The society’s reality can be change through the learning process. Multicultural can be formed through learning process, which is by the implementation of multicultural based learning. Those 3 learning process refer more to the effort of appreciating the diversity among human to realize peace and tranquility in the life of society.

Multicultural education has been reported as very effective as the accommodating tool of power domination of one ethnicity or culture. They prefer the process of multiple acculturations to cultural pluralism since the acculturation process can reduce inter-ethnicity’s conflict. The aim of multicultural based education can be identified as following: (1) to functioning the campus’ role in seeing the existence of students’ diversity; (2) to help students in building positive attitude toward the diversity of culture, race, ethnic, and religion community; (3) toprovide thestudent’sresistance by teaching them about decision making and social skills; (4) to help students in building inter-culture’s dependence and give them positive description about group’s diversity.

In this respect, civic education in higher education, especially in Ganesha University of Education, in the substance of its study summarizes the development of multicultural education by developing the students’ understanding toward the importance of developing national identity for Indonesia in the life with multicultural characteristic. By civic education’s learning in higher education, the students can assessthe developmentof the nation’s (Indonesia) life in building multicultural nationalism with the spirit of democracy. So that multicultural education offers one alternative through strategic implementation and educational concept which is based on the utilization ofdiversity existed in society, particularly those which exist in students like the diversity in ethnic, culture, language, religion, status, social, gender, ability, age, etc. Therefore, in multicultural education, a lecturer is not only required to master and be able to professionally teach subjects or taught courses. More than that, an educator must also be able to instill the core values of multicultural education such as democracy, humanism, and pluralism or instill the values of inclusive diversity on college students.

In the practice of teaching civics education, the integrity of learning objectives can be formulated as follows: 1) students are sensitive to the various problems that exist in the environment, 2) students respond to the implications of the problems that are identified, and 3) the student is able to solve any of the problems considered to be the most crucial in the perspective of democratic citizens; 4) students are able to take collective decisions as recommendations related to the relevant public policy, and 5) students are able to communicate and socialize recommended policy’s proposals through the corridors and the instruments of democracy that exist in the environment.

Civic education with the new paradigm in the future’s vision has become the vehicle of education about, through, for citizenship and democracy as a vehicle for learning, in democracy, and for democracy. For this, the mission carried by civic education will include the mission of socio-pedagogic, socio-academic, and socio-cultural. Through socio-cultural mission as one of the missions, civic education eventually serves as a vehicle for developing real democracy activities in Indonesia multicultural society through active participatory as social actors, especially in the efforts of formulating public policy decisions that can be contributed  in the framework of the process of social engineering in society, nation and state.

Civics learning objectives are in line with those missions, therefore, empower and build the students as good citizens who have democratic life competence as a whole which includes knowledge and insight about citizenship, values and attitudes of citizenship, social citizenship skills, confidence, commitment, and civic competence. If the vision, mission, and goals can be realized, it is expected to build and achieved a more substantial democratic life. For this purpose, the civics educators are definitely need to do a transformation, among others, need to have a vision of education ideology which is more reconstructionist based on five basic principles (Pancasila); in the learning, it needs to formulate the learning objectives in the empowerment-based learning life skills that are more intact, through the development of the concept of multicultural education in civics learning that emphasizes multicultural nationalism, in which a more reliable integration of the nation can be nurtured and developed. Therefore, to create a socially just society that is united by shared values; appreciates ethnic diversity and committed to equality between groups will enable the realization of an ideal social and cultural life based on diversity in unity and unity in accordance with the motto Unity in Diversity.


Form of the data

In this study the data used is in the form of information, both derived from the documents and the respondent. Related with the information derived from the documents so that the material used in the writing of this article are in the form of data and literature references from the scientific literature of scholars study associated with a research paper.

Method of data collection

1. Library Data

Literature data are in the form of legislation and scientific references of the scholars, the data collection is in inventory method that is material beading, in whichtoeach typeof those library data that setproblemsrelated to theresearch topicinto one.

2. Empirical Data

Empirical data obtained from the field, in which from the information of specified respondents. The information from respondents was collected using direct interviews. Direct interview is interviewing the respondent orally. The interview guide is made in this study, so that there is no questions missed and to get a full and detailed explanation.

Data analysis

This is a descriptive article so that the analysis is qualitative. All data collected, both literature and field data were analyzed based on its quality, by grouping those collected qualitative data based on their respective categories, and then interpreted so that strongly defined in an attempt to answer the research problem.


Multicultural Curriculum Development in Higher Education

Multicultural based education is defined as a social policy based on the principles of cultural maintenance and has a mutual respect among all cultural groups in the community. Multicultural learning is basically a nation’s educational program so its multicultural community in realizing the ideal of democracy life for its people. As a pluralist country, Indonesia has diversity in various aspects in terms of religion, ethnic, class, as well as local culture need to make the draft of multicultural education concept so it becomes a guide to strengthen national identity. Civic education has been taught from elementary school to university, enhanced with the inclusive of multicultural education, such as inter-regional local culture into it, so that the younger generation proud as Indonesian. Thus, multicultural education is values education that must be implanted both in students and college students as prospective citizens, in order to have the perception and multiculturalist attitude, can live hand in hand in the nature of diversity of cultures, religions and languages, respecting the right of every citizen regardless of ethnic majority or minority, and can build the strength of the nation together thustaken into accountin theglobal arena and the strong nation dignity.

The importance of developing the concept of multiculturalism in the curriculum at all levels and types of education, especially in the curriculum at universities is to prepare students to be able to support the efforts of strengthen national identity, because it is first associated with the preservation efforts the life of the nation and the strong continuity of Indonesian Republic (NKRI). Secondly, in terms of relations between nations, the interests of developing national identity becomes more important to avoid all forms of intervention from other countries, either in the form of undesirable colonialism or imperialism.

The efforts of improving the quality of education are continually done, both conventionally and innovatively. Planting the concept of multicultural education is very important in organizing the life, whether it is the life in school, family, community and nation. Multicultural education in the substance of the curriculum as a process of socio-cultural transformation, also defined as activities of cultural inheritance from one generation to another.

The strategic role of universities to develop the concept of multicultural education in the substance of civics education curriculum is to prepare citizens who are intelligent, responsible and civilized through the implementation of Law No. 20 Year 2003 on National Education System, which in Article 37 paragraph (2).

The rationale on the importance of multicultural education is because the education strategy is seen to have virtues, especially in:

  1. Providing a new breakthrough learning that can improve the students’ empathy and reduce the students’ prejudice the student to create intercultural human beings (citizens) who are able to resolve conflicts without violence (nonviolent);
  2. Applying the approach and the potential learning strategies in promoting the process of social interaction and contains a strong affection;
  3. Supporting teachers in managing the learning process becomes more efficient and effective, especially give learners the ability to build collaborative and committed high value in people’s life in diversity;
  4. Giving contribution for Indonesian in resolving and managing conflicts that arises in the nuances of racial in society by increasing empathy and reducing prejudice.

Multicultural based education is a very useful strategy, at least for the college as an educational institution to form a common understanding of the concept of culture, cultural differences, balance, and democracy in the broadest sense.

Therefore, the development of curriculum with multicultural development approach should be based on four principles. First, the diversity of culture as the basis in determining the philosophy. Second, cultural diversity as basis for developing various components of the curriculum, such as the purpose, content, process, and evaluation. Third, the culture in the education unit is a source of learning and study objects that should became part of the students’ learning activities. Fourth, the curriculum acts as a medium to develop regional and national cultures.

Based on the four principles above, Civics Curriculum in Higher Education has accommodated the concept of multicultural education. One of which can be seen in the substance of the national identity. Meanwhile, Koento Wibisono (2005) proposed a thesis about the notion of national identity, among others:

  1. National identity is a sense that in itself is knotted a device of specific cultural values, by which people (a nation) with its characteristics that differentiate it from other nations.
  2. This characteristic is the embodiment of cultural values that live and thrive in the history along with variety of symbol with its community leaders who made his idol.

Thus, national identity is the construction of emotional, intellectual, and ideological that must be built and fought constantly so that values that knotted in it remain relevant, actual, and functional in facing the challenges of the era that constantly evolving and changing. The inclusion of multicultural education substance in strengthening the national identity of the substance of the Civic Education course material in Higher Education is aimed at the preservation of the values of the nation as a national character and the transmission of values of the nation (nationalism) among global society. As Indonesia is the nation in which its society is the unity of various ethnicities, races, religions, and belief systems, customs, arts, local languages, and cultural diversity which in general also occupied a variety of large and small islands in the archipelago. Thus national identity and nationalism which is meant recently is associated with those varieties of ethnic identity, religion, and the culture.

For Indonesia, the interests of developing a strong national identity is aimed at fostering a sense of multicultural pride as Indonesian is conditio zine qua non. It deals with some people’s concerns whom seen the strong influence of the ethnic’s separatist movement and the impact of globalization that weakened the spirit of Indonesian nationalism because the low development of Indonesian human resources in the competition’s era in the global market.

Multicultural Education in Civic Education Learning in Higher Education

According to Udin S. Winataputra, that academically civic education is defined as a field of study that focuses his study on the entire dimension of socio-cultural and psychological of individual citizenship, by using political science, education science as the base of its study or discovery. Civic education is one of the fundamental instruments in the frame of national education as a media for the formation of nation’s character (nation and character building) among the heterogeneity or pluralism that becomes a major characteristic of Indonesian nation.

Education of democracy as a part of civic education’s content will be achieved if the components of Indonesia socio-cultural as a nation are understood as natural resources archipelago. The components of socio-cultural were formulated in the form of multicultural education. By lecturers as a mediator in the classroom, it is constructed a simple but meaningful approach in Civic education that is multicultural based learning. Civics education’s learning contained multicultural education can easily be implemented as its simple characteristic, can be repeated (continuity) and affordable (as can be done directly in the classroom by teachers with the students). With this simple model, it is expected that civic education learning to be more meaningful for students and remain as a strategic learning in the effort of building the nation’s character (nation and character building).

In College, multicultural values can be included in the substance of civic education’s courses with sub subject matter of Human Rights (HAM), in which among its studies includes Human Dignity and Issues regarding Gender, Rights and Duties of Citizens. While multicultural values which become priority in civic education with a new paradigm of civic education, which is when analyzing the culture of democracy in Indonesia as well as international legal and judicial system. Whereas in the substance of global development, multicultural study can be discussed in the substance material of Pancasila as an open ideology and globalization.

For that we need to inherit values on learners by Civic education is the basic value, instrumental value, and practical value. Basic values derived from cultural values or culture that comes from the Indonesian nation itself, which is rooted from culture, according to the 1945 Constitution that reflects the nature of cultural value. Instrumental value is a common implementation of basic values, typically in the form of social values or norms of law, which would then be crystallized in the institutions in accordance with the needs of time and place. Practical value is the real value that we carry out in reality.

Civic education’s learning with multicultural education substance will be more meaningful if the learning that is planned by the lecturer can be understood by the students and can motivate the students in which the concept of diversity becomes the main topic of the study to examine the cases of the reducing spirit of nationalism and the strong assertive ethnic with the tribes’ nuances, religion, race, and customs. The goal is to reformat the citizens who appreciate the differences under the frame of unity, by reflecting on the cases that occurred, identify the causes and jointly contribute thoughts and ideas in the form of public policy that can be posted to the relevant agencies and all ranks. Those formulations of public policy can be used as a reference in formulating academic paper in drafting a rule or policy of the government.

The concept of civic education learning which is developed with multicultural insertion can be done by setting the environment so that learners are motivated to explore the meaning of and respect the diversity. Through a series of this meaningful process, the students are expected to gain a lot of self-learning experience so the learning that occurs will be more powerful. This learning aimed at improving the learning outcomes of students in civic education courses.

Through civic education courses with multicultural insertion, students are directed to become democratic and responsible Indonesian citizens and peaceful world society at the same time. Therefore, Civic education course is designed to develop knowledge and understanding and analyzing skill toward social conditions in living the global, dynamic, and competitive life. Civic education course is arranged in a systematic, comprehensive, and integrated way through the learning process toward maturity and success in society. Even explicitly, civic education subject with multicultural substance education in Higher Education aims so that the college students have the following basic abilities:

  1. Knowing the concepts related to people’s lives and the environment.
  2. Having the basic ability to think logically and critically, curiosity, inquiry, problem solving, and social skills in social life.
  3. Having the commitment and awareness toward the social values of humanity.
  4. Having the ability to communicate, cooperate, and compete in a pluralistic society, locally, nationally, and globally.

So civic education courses are designed to build and reflect the ability of students in the society’s life that is always changing and evolving continuously and can survive in the competitive world of work.


With the development of the concept of multicultural education in civic education learning that emphasizes on multicultural nationalism, can be nurtured and developed a more reliable integration of the nation. Civics learning concept was developed with multicultural insertion can be done by setting the learning environment so that civic education learning mechanisms will be more powerful.

Based on a review of the development of the concept of multicultural based education in civic education learning in Higher Education, there are some suggestions that are offered as following: (1) Civic education learning with the insertion of concept of multicultural based education as one of the subjects that has a goal to equip students to develop their reasoning skills, in addition to the aspect of moral values contains many social topics. By inserting multicultural substance in civic education learning, it is expected that the students are able to determine the role of civic education in fostering the spirit of national integration and strengthen national identity. (2) The study of diversity in a multicultural study involving the substance of civic education that is full of complex problem. Therefore, teachers should be able to find solutions to these problems so they can invite learners to contribute and take part in designing a public policy as one of the reflection of the implementation of democratic life by respecting the differences or diversity in the frame of unity.


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