Sunday, November 13, 2011

Introducing Human Rights Education in Indonesia: the Experience of Muhammadiyah Schools 2005-2010

Miswanto, Agus. 2010. Introducing Human Rights Education in Indonesia: the Experience of Muhammadiyah Schools 2005-2010. MA Thesis - Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands.

This research examines the introduction and negotiation of Human Rights Education (HRE) in Muhammadiyah schools in Indonesia. The content of the curriculum is a central concern of this research, especially in how it reveals debates between the progressive and the conservative tendencies within Muhammadiyah itself.  Regarding the HRE curriculum model and the strategies or approaches used in introducing HRE, the study explores both the curriculum itself and draws on interviews with key actors in the process of curriculum design.  Through literature study and in-depth interviews data was collected and a value-critical policy analysis carried out.  The research found that the refusal of conservatives groups to acknowledge the importance of HRE in the Muhammadiyah school curriculum arose from uncertainties about the connection between HRE and dominant western ideologies, viewed as hostile to ‘Islamic values’. Since, in practice, implementing HRE in Muhammadiyah schools has entailed positive impacts upon students’ learning experience, and has improved of teaching performance, the assessment in this study is positive overall; HRE has proven to be a valuable addition to the curriculum.  Some of the fears and doubts among more conservative educators and thinkers, have proven unfounded to the extent that HRE in Muhammadiyah schools seems to have reinforced rather than undermined the Islamic pillars of the Muhammadiyah educational system.  The present curriculum is thus the result of reconciled values which incorporate both Islamic values and universal values of human rights. The study ends with a number of modest recommendations to strengthen HRE in future.

Muhammadiyah, Human Rights Education (HRE), Universalism, Relativism, conservatives, progressives, Islam, Indonesia.

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