An exclusive culture is one that limits its people. It is a culture that provides restrictive boxes of expression where one is forced to choose one or the other. No room for diversity, novelty, or personal expression is equipped rather pick a side among what has been provided in the table. It is from this school of thought that Indonesia finds itself when it comes to matters of religion. One is either a Muslim or a Christian, and if you do not subscribe to either, you are forced to join either of them. (Muhammadiyah STKIP of Enrekang, December 2016)Attending high school in Indonesia provides one with the same experienced. Having undergone through the system, I have a firsthand experience of how the system works. Whenever it was the time of religious education, one could only attend either of the prearranged classes, which were either Islam or Christianity. If you happened to fall to neither of the religions, it was up to you to choose among the two faiths to attend class. It made me feel oppressed and limited in the expression of my faith. The worst part was that nothing could be done about it because it was the stipulated law by the government. This was the situation for many more students who grew up under this kind of system.
The world of history emerges from the theory of one sock that fits all. It is a model that does not provide options for new ideas or accept different ways of thought. Back then, when knowledge was limited, and no much research had been done, such ideals were acceptable. However, in the current day, such models are limiting and restrictive in all ways. In Indonesia, the religious education system is one that does not provide the learner with the ability to express themselves fully but rather conform to the already existing ideas. It enforces theories of behaviorism, which are of the notion that behavior is learned by punishments or rewards. Those who comply are rewarded, while those who default are punished. The accurate word for this kind of thinking is discrimination due to one's religion. (Nugraheni, 2017)The new models of learning are more inclusive and are about focusing on the whole. It is not about giving more credit to one part at the expense of the other, instead of embracing the whole as being unique and accepting the diversity that comes with it. Global policies such as the Salamanca Statement that campaigned for the inclusion of the disabled children into the regular curriculum system. (UNESCO, 2018). The United Nations conventions and global policies are at the forefront advocating for the integration of the minority so that they can make part of the whole. By being different is no reason to be excluded, but even more, cause to be integrated to add diversity.
The leading schools of thought on the concept of inclusion include structuralism, constructivism, and holistic models. These models of learning place emphasis, on the whole, being important than individual parts, yet the particular piece has a role to play. Structuralism learning pays attention to learning parts of the concept as one works towards the whole. It provides a spiral form in education. The constructivist model, on the other hand, pays attention to the process of learning where the learner actively participates in acquiring meaning and knowledge. It is not passive in grasping concepts blindly; it engages the learner to have an experience of what they are learning. The holistic model is about fully engaging the learner on ideas they are passionate about and interested in. The learner can learn the concepts that they are most interest in. (Poplin, September 1988)We are in the era of capability, where one functions based on choice. The infringement of rights to express oneself is a thing of the past. The learning model where the teacher is the custodian of all knowledge is gone. It is a time for the teachers to be guides, to help nurture the students to realize their true potential and empower them to express it freely. A student does not have to feel the need to compromise their faith or religion to fit in or be accepted. On the contrary, they are more accepted for standing out in their individuality and unique expressions. For Indonesia, this is the new model that is being prepared for its students. (Schonhardt, 2013) Ignorance has been said to be bliss; unfortunately, that holds no water when the future of a generation is at stake. Awareness of the new model of learning needs to be well communicated to the relevant policymakers so that they amend the laws. The fact that a system had been working before does not guarantee that it has been effective, continuous innovativeness and creativity is what makes it productive. That which was considered exclusive has to give way to that which is inclusive.
Muhammadiyah STKIP of Enrekang, J. S., December 2016. The Challenge of Religious Education in Indonesia Multiculturalism. Journal of Education and Human Development, v( 2334-296X), pp. 211-221.
Nugraheni, L., 2017. Speak up on religious discrimination at school. [Online] Available at: https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2017/08/09/speak-up-on-religious-discrimination-at-school.html[Accessed 29 October 2019].
Poplin, M. S., September 1988. Holistic/Constructivist Principles. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 21(7), pp. 401-416.
Schonhardt, S., 2013. New York Times. [Online] Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/world/asia/in-indonesia-science-may-give-way-to-religion.html[Accessed 29 October 2019].
UNESCO , 2018. The UNESCO Salamanca Statement. [Online] Available at: http://www.csie.org.uk/inclusion/unesco-salamanca.shtml[Accessed 29 October 2019].
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