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European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org

CHARACTER EDUCATION: IS EDUCATION VALUE FREE OR BOUND? I Ketut Warta Penulis adalah dosen pada Fakultas Pendidikan Bahasa dan Seni IKIP Mataram, email: ketutwarta@gmail.com.

Abstract: Current reality shows that human relationship is in the face of serious problem; conflict is everywhere. Education is characterized as being pragmatic oriented. It emphasizes more on the cognitive aspect rather than the affective. Knowledge is necessary but, without wisdom it may endanger the future life of human beings. This report on character education is a survey carried out on higher educational institutions. The purpose of the survey is to understand whether education is necessarily value free or value bound. Five higher educational institutions in the city of Mataram were selected to be the settings of the survey. Questionnaires were distributed to gather information dealing with human value, character, good life to live, and great good. The sample from various positions: lectures, students, graduates, staff and education managements, stakeholders and publics are considered representative for the study. The collected data were analyzed by means of simple descriptive statistics; results in percentage (%) are displayed in tables. The results of the data analysis revealed sufficient evidence that character education is preferable and that education should be free from any interest, but morally value bound. Result of the study would be resources to establish character education and the basis for curriculum development. This study might be the first carried out in West Nusa Tenggara Province, Mataram, involving five big higher educational institutions; and would provide the government information needed for making educational policy decision. Keywards Value, character education, good life to live, great good THE obvious fact is that our social life including education has undergone a thorough and radical change. 1Everybody seems to agree that civilization is now facing a crisis. One of the tragic errors is that too many of our best minds believe that the solution is to antitraditionalism and localism and turn to intellectuals. 2 There is a belief that a country without intellectuals is like a body without a head. Knowledge, science and technology are needed, and do make life easier to some extents, but their implementation should be morally bound, or human destruction will occur. This is true with reference to Bacon’s that knowledge is power.3 Current reality shows that human relationship is in the face of serious problem; conflict is everywhere. Education is characterized as being pragmatic oriented. It emphasizes more on the cognitive aspect rather than the affective. Knowledge is necessary but, without wisdom it may endanger the future life of human beings. We experience that there has been a great deal of activity in the field of educational innovation and experimentation, but most of it has not been evaluated in terms of purpose, goal and needs. Education, in the phrase of Selleck, has suffered from too long from too

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Rhenald Kasali, Change: Management of Change and Hopes ( Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2005), xxv-xxix. 2 Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (New York: New American Library, 1966), 1-4. 3 F.H. Anderson, The Philosophy of Francis Baacon (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1948), 270-9. 1


European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org

many answers and too few questions.4 Education has been primarily concerned with the questions how to act rather than why to act such thing. Educationalists have been very busy in creating new techniques for teaching, new ways of keeping school hall quiet, new mode of measuring intelligence. Educators have been busy creating and implementing new methodology that they have often failed to ask such question as whether a two-year old mathematician is worth having. Education is clearly characterized as being pragmatics in orientation. It is more material oriented. They have been concerned with building buildings, balancing budget and pacifying parents; they have not tried to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Education has failed to consider the value of humanity; this is true as Knight put it, that an education that fails to consider the fundamental questions of human existence, the questions about the meaning of life, the nature of truth, goodness, beauty and justice, with which wisdom is concerned, is a very inadequate type of education. If our education is to have any meaning for life it must pass through an equally complete transformation of knowledge and wisdom. Student should be trained to be a good member of their community. This can be done saturating them with the spirit of service, and proving them instrument of effective self-direction. By so doing we shall have the so-called worthy, lovely and harmonious society. The inclusion of local languages and literatures into the curriculum is a must. In local languages we find out a lot of teachings, indigenous cultural knowledge. As part of humanities, language is that part of culture. The language of our thoughts and emotions is our most valuable asset. Multiculturalism is our ally in ensuring quality of education for all, in promoting inclusion and in combating discrimination. Human thought, ideas, concept, and culture are made possible to exist because of language; it is through language that human societies can preserve and accumulate the staff of thought, the raw material of all we call culture.5 This is the reason why the world organization, UNESCO, call upon member states to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world. By the same token, it is also resolute to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.6 Indeed, languages are powerful instruments of expressing and developing our tangible and intangible heritage.7 All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.8 If you talk, said Nelson Mandel, to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, mother tongue, that goes to his heart. The language, thoughts, and emotions are our property of great importance. Multilingualism is our ally in ensuring quality 4

Selleck, R.J.W. Theories, Values and Education (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1971), 20-5.

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Cyril Baarrett, S.J., Collected Papers on Aesthetics (New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1966), 107-17. 6 Wayne A.R. Leys, Ethics for Policy Decisions: The Art of Asking Deliberate Questions (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1961), 176-88. 7 Malcolm L. Diamond, Contemporary Philosophy and Religious Thought: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1974), 4157. 8 William Pearson Tolley, Preface to Philosophy: Textbook, A Self-Teaching Course (New York: Education Manual EM 625, 1971), 20-4. 2


European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org

education for all, in promoting inclusion and in combating discrimination. 9 Building genuine dialogue is premised on respect for languages. Each representation of a better life, each development goal is expressed in a language, with specific worlds to bring it to life and communicate it. Languages are who we are; by protecting them, we protect ourselves (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/) retrieved 15 February 2012.

METHODOLOGY This investigation is a survey conducted at four big higher educational institutions in the province of West Nusa Tenggara, Mataram, Indonesia. Questionnaires were distributed to gather information dealing with human value, character, good life to live, and great good. The sample from various positions: graduates (GraD), lectures (LecT), staff and education managements (ManG) and stakeholders (StaH) are taken from the four institutions and in-depth interviews were also conducted to crosscheck the information provided by the respondents. Questionnaire and interview were applied as instruments of the research. The use of these two instruments are highly recommended for a survey. 10The collected quantitative and qualitative empirical data were grouping and classifying before analysis by means of percentage (%) was carried out.

FINDINGS The collected data were analyzed by means of simple descriptive statistics; results in percentage (%) are displayed in tables. The results of the data analysis revealed sufficient evidence that character education is preferable and that education should be value free, but morally value bound. The table that follows displays the findings of the research. Question Number 01 Education today 02 Academic education 03 Teachers’ roles 04 Goal and practice 05 Character education 06 Preferable education 07 Education in need 08 Inadequate education

GraD/N=60 N:% 57: 95.00 03: 05.00 56:93.33 04:06.67 55:91.67 05:08.33 56:93.33 04:06.67 58:96.67 02:03.33 54:90.00 06:10.00 53:88.33 07:11.67 57:95.00 03:05.00

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LecT/N=60 N:% 50:83.33 10:16.67 55:91.67 05:08.33 54:90.00 06:10.00 56:93.33 04:06.67 57:95.00 03:05.00 58:96.67 02:03.33 58:96.67 02:03.33 52:86.67 08:13.33

ManG/N=60 N:% 45:75.00 15:25.00 47:78.33 13:21.67 48:80.00 12:20.00 46:76.67 14:23.33 45:75.00 15:25.00 48:80.00 12:20.00 48:80.00 12:20.00 53:88:33 07:11.67

StaH/N=75 N:% 50:71.43 20:28.57 54:77.15 16:22.85 55:78.57 15:21.43 53:75.71 17:24.29 52:74.29 18:25.71 54:77.14 16:22.86 54:77.14 16:77.14 57:81.42 13:18.58

George R. Knight, Issues & Alternatives in Educational Philosophy ( Michigan: Andrews University Press ,1982), 115-21. 10 Iwan Jazadi, The Politics of Curriculum (Mataram: NW. Press, 2008), 102-12.

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European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org

09 Better education 10 Value free/bound 11 Curriculum development 12 Adequate education

59:98.33 01:01.67 59:98.33 01:01.67 59:98.33 01:01.67 59:98.33 01:01.67

59:98.33 01:01.67 59:98.33 01:01.67 59:98.33 01:01.67 59:98.33 01:01.67

60:100.00 00.00.00 58:96.67 02:03.33 59:98.33 01:01.67 59:98.33 01:01.67

67:95.71 03:04.29 68:97.14 02:02.86 69:98.57 01:01.43 69:98.57 01:01.43

DISCUSSION The survey took 250 respondents as sample; they are from 4 higher educational institutions in the city of Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Of 250 respondents, 75 are stakeholders, the rests are from Graduates (GraD), Lectures (Lect) and Management (ManG) respectively comprising 60 respondents. Through the process of identifying, classifying and grouping the data, the analysis results (1) of education today, 57 (95%) out of 60 graduates claim that education today focuses on the importance of intellect meaning that the pursuit of knowledge (learning to know) has been the primary emphasis of the current educational goal; 11 all respondents, LecT (50/83.33%), ManG (45/75%) and StaH (50/71.43%) are of the same opinion. (2) of academic education, current education is highly oriented to cognitive aspect; the other aspects are given less attention.12 As a result we can see that science and technology have reached their highest development. We are busy creating a new way of teaching and learning mathematics for a little child, developing e-learning, distance-learning and internet has become dominant in educational practice.13 These are supported by the greater number of the respondents. (3) of teacher role, all respondents agree that teacher should take the roles as broadcaster, parent, preacher, or peer. This implies that teacher should deliver not only knowledge but also principles of religious belief.14 (4) the belief behind the practice and goal of current education is rooted in pragmatism. This is supported by the respondents’ responses, 56/93.33%, 56.93.33%, 46/76.67% and 53/75.71%, addressed to pragmatism. (5) academic education and indigenous local knowledge are that kind of ideal education currently needed by the respondents; (6) the integration of academic and character education is, as is it reported by respondents, highly preferable (54/90%, 58/96.67%, 48/80%, 54/77.14%). This is true because to be intellectually good is not sufficient, we need virtuous students.15 (7) similarly, respondents expectation is that future education should directed toward training the intellect and moral aspects. (8) (57/95%, 52/86.67%, 11

Baumeister, R.F., & Vohs, K.D., The Pursuit of Meaningfulness in Life. Handbook of Positive Pschology, 608-618. Accessed 20 June 2012. 12 Britton, K. Philosophy and the Meaning of Life, A Translation (Jogiakarta: Prismasophie Press Jogiakarta, 2003), 23-31. 13 Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World ( Norwegia: The Author and H. Aschehony & Co, 1991), 30-48. 14 R.G. Woods, Education and Its Disciplines (London: University of London Press, 1971), 27-54. 15 Feldman, D.B., & Snyder, C.R, Hope and the Meaningful of Life: The Theoretical and Empirical Associations between Goal-Directed Thinking and Life Meaning. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24 (3), 401-421. Accessed in 20 June 2012. 4


European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org

53/88.33%, 57.81.42%) respondents are of the same opinion that current education is lack of one thing, the meaningful aspect of human life. (9) 59/98.33%, 59/98.33%, 60/100%, 67/95.71% answers posed by the respondents indicate that the future education should include the nature of true, goodness, beauty, justice, and meaningful life.16 (10) the ideal education, according the respondents, ( 59/98.33%, 59/98.33%, 58/96.67%, 68/97.14%) is free from political interest, economic judgment, ethnic centre; (11) most answers require that education should include language and literature, religion, local wisdom, history of education, sociology of education, psychology of education and philosophy in curriculum development (59/98.33%, 59/98.33%, 59/98.33%, 69/98.57%); (12) The feeling of empathy, the feeling of love, self-awareness, tolerance, understanding and moral value, are believed to be an ideal future education 17 (59/98.33%, 59/98.33%, 59/98.33%, 69/98.57%); only 4 (2.44%) respondents do not have any ideas. These findings, when confirmed with interview, proved true. All informants are of the same opinion that current education is lack of humanities.

CONCLUSION On the basis of discussion, it is safe to conclude that education today is highly pragmatics in its goal orientation and practice; it focuses on the intellects, learning to know. It fails to take into consideration the questions of goodness, beauty and meaningful life. Therefore, the inclusion of humanities in curriculum and the blend of academic and character education would be the ideal future education. This is proved true as responded by the respondents.

REFERENCES Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (New York: New American Library, 1966). Baumeister, R.F., & Vohs, K.D., The Pursuit of Meaningfulness in Life. Handbook of Positive Pschology, 608-618. Accessed 20 June 2012. Britton, K. Philosophy and the Meaning of Life, A Translation (Jogiakarta: Prismasophie Press Jogiakarta, 2003). Charles H. Patterson, Western Philosophy (New York: Cliff’s Notes, Inc., 1970). Cyril Baarrett, S.J., Collected Papers on Aesthetics (New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1966). Feldman, D.B., & Snyder, C.R, Hope and the Meaningful of Life: The Theoretical and Empirical Associations between Goal-Directed Thinking and Life Meaning. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24 (3), 401-421. Accessed in 20 June 2012. F.H. Anderson, The Philosophy of Francis Baacon (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1948). Hennic Hohen (Ed.), Landmarks of American Writing (Washington DC: Voice of American Forum, 1979). Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World (Norwegia: The Author and H. Aschehony & Co, 1991). 16 17

Charles H. Patterson, Western Philosophy (New York: Cliff’s Notes, Inc., 1970), 28-39. Wilson Allen, “Pragmatism, A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking” in, Landmarks of American Writing, ed. Hennic Hohen (Washington DC: Voice of American Forum, 1979), 271-82.

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European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org

wan Jazadi, The Politics of Curriculum (Mataram: NW. Press, 2008). Rhenald Kasali, Change: Management of Change and Hopes ( Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2005). George R. Knight, Issues & Alternatives in Educational Philosophy ( Michigan: Andrews University Press ,1982). Malcolm L. Diamond, Contemporary Philosophy and Religious Thought: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1974). R.G. Woods, Education and Its Disciplines (London: University of London Press, 1971). Selleck, R.J.W. Theories, Values and Education (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1971). Wayne A.R. Leys, Ethics for Policy Decisions: The Art of Asking Deliberate Questions (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1961). William Pearson Tolley, Preface to Philosophy: Textbook, A Self-Teaching Course (New York: Education Manual EM 625, 1971).

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European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org

Appendix 01Questionnaire We are in search of information concerning character education; your information is highly needed to help us design better future goals and practices of education and better curriculum development. We appreciate your co-operation. Thank you. A.Kindly write your name, address and Institution; B. your current position (Lecturer; Graduate; Stakeholder; Management) Questions No 1 Education today is focusing more on learning

2

Academic education as it is characterized by the present education is emphasizing more on the aspect of

3

Teacher’s role should be that of: a.Facilitator; b.Communicator; c.Employee of the school; d. Broadcaster, parent, preacher, or peer

Your answer/choice A. To know; B. To be; C. To do; D. To live together A. Cognitive; B. Affective; C. Aesthetic; D. Psychomotor. 1234 1234 1234 1234

Notes: 1= not true; 2 = relatively not true; 3 = relatively true; 4 = very strongly true 4

The goals and practices of education today are strongly rooted in

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Character education is that education comprising a.The importance of intellect; b.The nature of scientific true; c. Indigenous local knowledge and wisdom; d. Academic education and indigenous local knowledge;

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7

Note: 1 = not agree; 2 = relatively disagree; 3 = relatively agree; 4 = very strongly agree. What is your most preferable type of education?

We need an education which trains our children to be a. highly intellectual only; b. intellectually and morally good; c. knowledgeable and powerful; d. be moralist. Note: 1 = not inportant; 2 = a bit important; 3 = fairly

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A. B. C. D.

Pragmatism; Realism; Idealism; Humanism.

1234 1234 1234 1234

A. B. C. D.

Academic education; Character education; Education for all; The blend of academic and character education

1234 1234 1234 1234


European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.2, 2007 ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X www.BellPress.org important; 4 = very important. 8

Inadequate education is the one which fails to consider the fundamental question of

9

What should be considered (by the government) in order to make better education?

C. D. A. B. C. D.

10

Education should be free from

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Curriculum development should consider the subjects a. Language and literature, religion, and local wisdom b. History of education; Sociology; Psychology c. Philosophy; d. All the three mentioned

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A. B. C. D. A. B.

Note: 1 = not inportant; 2 = a bit important; 3 = fairly important; 4 = very important. What do you think adequate education is worth considering?

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Human existence; Material objects; knowledge only; the nature of true. The nature of true; The nature of goodness, beauty, justice; The meaning of life All the three mention. Political interest; Economic judgment; Ethnic centric; All the three mentioned

1234 1234 1234 1234

A. The feeling of empathy, the feeling of love B. Self-awareness, tolerance, understanding C. Moral value, D. All the three mentioned

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