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Javanese Culture-Based Character Development Model for Early Childhood in Semarang City, Indonesia

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International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 4, Issue 5, July 2018, Pages 7-13


Javanese Culture-Based Character Development Model for Early Childhood in Semarang City, Indonesia

DOI: 10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.45.1001
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.45.1001

1 Kustiono, 2 Suripto,3 Sugiharto, 4 Rafika

1 2 3 4 Faculty of Education, Semarang State University, Indonesia

Abstract: This research intended to find the character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture in Semarang City, Indonesia. The research was designed with systematic steps in the form of the process of action, reflection, evaluation, and innovation by applying qualitative research method, descriptive, development, experiment, and evaluation. The results of the research showed that in 15 characters’ education based on Javanese culture in early childhood, manners and self-confidence were considered as the most important. The implementation of the character of ways was emphasized on attitude, language, and behavior towards parents and elders. The conclusions of this study summarized that the use of early childhood education models should be noted on manners and confidence, as well as character development.

Keywords: Character education, Early childhood, Javanese culture, Manners, Self-confidence

Javanese Culture-Based Character Development Model for Early Childhood in Semarang City, Indonesia

1. Introduction

Lately, acts of immorality, brutal acts, and other harmful acts involving students are reported in various mass media frequently. This is very concerning because violence seems to be the only solution to the problem. Besides, this also indicates the weak formation of character in the younger generation. They are supposed to be the successor of the building of the nation to be able to compete in the era of globalization. The development of character which is the effort of the realization of Indonesia’s national ideology, Pancasila, and the Preamble of the 1945 Constitution is motivated by the facts of the current problems, such as disorientation of Pancasila values; the limitations of integrated policy instruments to realize the values of Pancasila; degradation of ethical values in the life of nation and state; waning of awareness of the nation’s cultural values; threat of disintegration of the country; and the weakening of the independence of the nation (Pemerintah Republic Indonesia, 2010). To support the realization of the ideals of character development as mandated in the Pancasila and the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution and to overcome the current nationality problem, the Government makes character building as one of the national development priority programs in which character education is placed as the foundation to realize the vision of national development, achieving a society of noble, moral, ethical, and civilized based on Pancasila philosophy.

To strengthen the implementation of character education, 18 values originating from religion, Pancasila, culture, and national education objectives have been identified. Although there have been 18 values of the nation’s character formers, the educational unit can determine its development priorities by continuing the pre-condition value reinforced by some priority values of the 18 values above. In the implementation, the number and type of characters selected will undoubtedly be different from one region or school to another. It depends on the importance and condition of each unit of education. Among the various values developed, the practice can start from an essential, simple, and easy values to be implemented by the conditions of each school or region.

Character education will be more meaningful if it is implemented since early childhood. This is because early childhood education is the foundation of character formation of children. In the implementation of character education, each school adjusts to the early childhood education based on Javanese culture. Javanese culture needs to be introduced in early school period so it will not disappear because of outside culture that goes with the era of globalization. Besides, the Javanese culture is very advanced in manners and etiquette, which is very appropriate for the formation of the character of children of early age.

This research intended to find character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture. The target of this research was finding the character education model based on Javanese culture which then the model would be applied to all the providers of early childhood education in Central Java.

2. Literature Review

Education is an absolute necessity to educate the nation’s children. It is also essential to build morale, personality, mental, and good character to become a pillar of the country and the state. The figure is one aspect of human nature that is believed to change; from good to bad or vice versa from wrong to right. That is why the development of character becomes something that is very important for human life itself, both in the scale of individual and nation scale. The nature of a nation is an important aspect affecting socio-economic development. Nation character education can be done by habituating excellent moral values to the students and familiarize them with the customs that match the national character.

The character is derived from the Greek word “charassein” which means carving to form a pattern. This suggests to have a functional role is not automatically owned by every human being once they were born but requires a lengthy process through parenting and education. Character refers to a series of attitudes, behaviors, motivations, and skills (Musfiroh, 2008). Another researcher said that character education has the same essence and meaning with moral education and its aims to shape the child’s personality to become a good human being and good citizen (Ramli, 2003). Qualified characters need to be established and nurtured from an early age. Early age is a critical period for the formation of a person’s character. Moral development through character education as early as possible to children is the key to building a nation. According to pediatric research experts in the development of the human brain (neuroscience), if children are not given a good education, nurturing, and stimulation at an early age, it will affect the structure development of brain because brain development occurs very rapidly at the period under seven years. Ninety percent of the mind is already formed at this age.

Students will have a good character if they grow in an environment that has a personality as well. Character formation is a lifelong process. Family, school, and society are the three essential things in character formation. Three things take place in an integrated manner. First, a student understands both good and bad. They know what action should be considered and can give priority to the right things. Second, they love goodness and hate evil deeds. This love is a torch or spirit to do good. For example, a student does not want to cheat on an exam because cheating is a bad habit. Third, students are capable of doing good and are accustomed to doing it.

Children will grow into a characteristic person if they grow in a particular environment, the nature of the holy-born child can be developed optimally. This requires the participation of all part of the family, school, and all components that exist in the community. Therefore, character education in schools, especially in kindergarten and elementary school, need to be done following the stage of development of the child’s age.

3. Methodology

This research was designed with systematic steps in the form of the process of action, reflection, evaluation, and innovation by applying qualitative research method, description, development, experiment, and evaluation. Data is collected from the natural setting as a direct data source. This research was expected to build an inductive theory of data abstractions collected about the Javanese culture-based character education model in early childhood in Semarang City. The objects of study were institutions of early childhood education that organizes Javanese culture-based character education in Semarang City.

The qualitative research design focused on a particular phenomenon that lacked generalizability and comparability but had internal validity and contextual understanding. What the researcher did to achieve the research objectives were four outlines, namely (1) building familiarity with respondents, (2) sample determination, (3) data collection, and (4) data analysis. This research was not only about the knowledge that can be discussed (equivalent knowledge) but also about the experience that cannot be spoken (tacit knowledge).

Based on the conceptual findings from the school, further comparative analysis and conceptual development were conducted to get an abstraction on character education model characteristic in early childhood based on Javanese culture in Semarang City. In line with the design of qualitative research, this research sought to understand the meaning of events and the interaction of people in certain situations. To understand the meaning of people’s activities and interactions, theoretical orientation or theoretical perspective with the phenomenological approach was used. This approach was determined by observing the conceptual world phenomena of the subject found through its actions and thoughts. This research program was conducted gradually with the following activities:

  • Conduct literature studies across disciplines and perform a critical analysis of previous research results relevant to the research theme.
  • Design and conduct preliminary research to produce a complete description of the development of character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture in Semarang City.
  • Prepare a prototype of character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture in Semarang City.
  • Conduct workshop seminars with relevant experts and practitioners on the prototype of character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture in Semarang City.
  • Socialize the development of character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture in Semarang City.
  • Test the level of effectiveness of character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture.
  • Revise the development of character education model in early childhood based on Javanese culture in Semarang City based on test result as the final result of a research program conducted.

4. Results and Discussion

The results of the research that will be presented are: (1) the character education model based on Javanese culture in Central Java with the samples from Negeri Pembina Kindergarten of Semarang City and Labschool Kindergarten of Semarang City; and (2) the management of character education based on Javanese culture in early childhood.

The research activities were conducted from May 1st until October 31st, 2017. The sample selection was based on giving a correct description because each of these areas has their language and cultural characteristics, even though they are located within the City of Semarang. Two sample schools represent for public and private schools, where these two schools are currently the pilot project of character education based on Javanese culture. Thus, the results of the research will be implemented in other schools with development according to the specificity of each school. The research team conducted data collection activities with the help of 10 college students.

4.1 Javanese Culture-Based Character Development Model

To facilitate in finding the character education model implemented by each school, focus group discussion (FGD) was held in advance where the activity was intended to collect information from each school and related experts. The results of FGD activities conducted in June 2017 involving early childhood education experts from lecturers majoring in early childhood education of Semarang State University, early childhood education experts, and a team of researchers themselves. FGD results showed that among 15 characters education based on Javanese culture in early childhood, manners and self-confidence were considered as the most important. The character education model based on Javanese culture in Central Java is viewed from the aspect of coverage of objectives, materials, cost, learning schedule, learning tools, implementation of activities, evaluation system, and facilities. The results of the readiness of the components of the study are presented in Table 1.

The purpose of learning is not yet fully compiled to develop the character in particular so that the percentage was 89%. For learning materials, there has never been a preparation of character education materials based on the Javanese language. Implementation of character education based on Javanese culture is based only on the curriculum of 2013 which applied nationally, so it has not shown the distinctiveness of Javanese culture, except just at Negeri Pembina Kindergarten of Semarang City as a pilot project implementation of character education based on Javanese culture. Thus, the material is still compiled using the national language of Bahasa Indonesia, and the content of the article is generally applicable. There is only 56% percent of the stuff that expresses common Javanese culture. Regarding financing, it has reached 90% of the existing budget. This shows the commitment of the school to pursue character education based on Javanese culture. Funding is used to purchase media related to Javanese cultures, such as Wayang characters, musical instruments, and customs such as custom clothing, and custom house.

Table 1: Results of the readiness of the components of the study

No Component Percentage 
1 Objectives 89 %
2 Materials 56 %
3 Cost 90 %
4 Learning schedule 100 %
5 Learning tools 45 %
6 Implementation of activities 70 %
7 Evaluation system 55 %
8 Facilities 80 %

As for the learning schedule, 100% has supported the implementation of character education based on Javanese culture. Every Thursday, character education based on Javanese culture is implemented. On the learning device side, it is still achieved 45% because the media used is still very limited. The implementation of the activity has reached 70%; this is because many teachers are less able to speak Javanese and less understanding of Javanese culture. The reason behind this is that the teachers are still young who do not carry the tradition of Javanese culture in daily routines. Further, most of them can not speak Javanese well. This is a problem because teachers are the most crucial factor in the implementation of character education based on Javanese culture. Only 55% achieved for the evaluation system, where this is related to the obstacles to the implementation of the activity which is the lack of ability of teachers in teaching Javanese culture. At facility factor, it has reached 80%, it is seen from the media which have been available to support the implementation of character education based on Javanese culture. Figure 1 shows the design of the initial model based on the empirical study of the Javanese culture-based character development model for early childhood in Semarang city, Indonesia.

Figure 1: Hypothetical model of character education based on Javanese culture

The implementation of the character of manners was emphasized on attitude, language, and behavior towards parents and elders. Where in Javanese culture, there are levels of communication used, including Javanese Ngoko language to talk with peers, Javanese Kromo to speak with older people, and Javanese Kromo Inggil to speak with parents and teachers. Besides, due to the language differences that exist in Javanese Culture in Central Java, this aspect of language will follow the Javanese language which is available in each region. To facilitate the learning process of character education based on Javanese culture, learning tools such as teaching materials, Javanese songs, traditional Javanese music instrument, conventional Javanese house, regular clothes, and traditional food must be developed. These learning tools are used to improve the sense of love of the homeland including the culture of the region itself, which is Javanese culture so that children do not lose their identity.

Learning tools generated from the advanced research were teaching modules and media (songs embodied in drawing stories) that are beneficial to teaching and learning activities in the kindergarten, mainly in character education based on Javanese culture. Several themes will be made into learning devices, which are me, the environment, animals, the universe, my needs, and occupation. Figure 2 shows character education model based on Javanese culture obtained from the discussion.

Figure 2: Javanese Culture-Based Character Development Model

4.2 The Management of Character Education Based on Javanese Culture in Early Childhood

To realize the process of character education based on Javanese culture, every Thursday Javanese Kromo Inggil language is used as the language of instruction in Negeri Pembina Kindergarten, Semarang City. This learning process is not directly given, but gradually. In the first three months, Bahasa Indonesia was mostly used. This was caused by children’s inability to speak Javanese language because they used Bahasa Indonesia every day. There are even some of the students who are not Javanese. There are those from Jakarta, Medan, and Aceh, so to facilitate communication the teacher has to use a mixed language – between the Javanese and Indonesian languages.

Children are taught to shake or kiss their hands and say hello using Javanese Kromo Inggil language whenever they meet their parents, guests or older people. After three months, children understand Javanese Kromo Inggil language then the teacher more words. Thus, children learn to imitate what the teacher says.

Character education based on Javanese culture characters is given every Thursday along with Batik day. On that day, all components of the school will use Javanese Kromo Inggil language. Character education model developed in Negeri Pembina Kindergarten is Stream Bottom Up; thus the development on this level (stream) is expected from the initiatives of the education unit. The government provides technical assistance to schools that have developed and implemented character education following the characteristics of the school.

To run good and quality learning, teachers create Daily Action Plan (DAP). For the teaching of character development based on Javanese Culture, DAP is made in Bahasa Indonesia. Teachers develop DAP according to the appropriate curriculum. There are 10 learning centers developed, namely: (a) number preparatory center, (b) alphabet preliminary center, (c) nature solid center, (d) nature liquid center, (e) faith and religion center, (f) beam center, (g) role-playing center, (h) English center, (i) art center, and (j) sports center. Learning activity starts from 7 am until 10 am for groups A and 7 am until 10.30 am in group B.

The implementation of Javanese culture-based character development model in Negeri Pembina kindergarten is similar to learning activities on a regular day. The only difference is the use of the Javanese Kromo Inggil language as the language of instruction. During classes, the teachers put more emphasis on the use of the Javanese Kromo Inggil language and manners in accordance with the Javanese culture, such as greeting parents or teachers, sitting politely, appreciating friends, and anything else according to the 15 characters on Javanese culture. The teacher taught a polite way of lying, and the children followed. Likewise in behaving, dressing, and speaking. This was so that children did not feel compelled, but they learned while playing, according to the example given by the teacher. Evaluation activities were not done formally. Teachers only observed the ability of students to understand the character education materials based on Javanese culture.

As a new school for about three years old, Labschool Kindergarten Semarang tries to provide character education based on Javanese culture. The school manager attempted to implement the model by imitating the learning model in Negeri Pembina Kindergarten Semarang. The implementation of character development based on Javanese culture is the same as in Negeri Pembina Kindergarten, which is on Thursday, although it is limited to the introduction and simple words.

Character education based on Javanese culture in Labschool Kindergarten also refers to Negeri Pembina Kindergarten. The performed development of the 15 components of Javanese culture was of the use of Javanese Kromo Inggil language to parents, teachers and older people; manners in Javanese Culture; the use of Javanese Ngoko language to peers; sitting politely according to Javanese culture; respect parents/teachers; appreciate the help of people; behave politely according to Javanese culture; greet each other according to Javanese culture; way to ask for permission to enter class if coming late according to Javanese culture; way to ask for permission to go outside or to the restroom according to Javanese culture; visiting people’s houses according to Javanese culture; serving guests according to Javanese culture; eat/drink according to Javanese culture; and joking/laughing according to Javanese culture.

Teachers in Labschool Kindergarten do not develop DAP because character education based on Javanese culture is limited to the language of instruction. The implementation of character development based on Javanese culture in Labschool Kindergarten is similar to the application in Negeri Pembina Semarang. Although the model of character development based on Javanese culture in Labschool Kindergarten imitates the pattern of Negeri Pembina Kindergarten, the school manager strives always to improve the quality of character development based on Javanese culture. In the future, the management will further enhance the learning process and support facilities.

5. Conclusion

Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded as follows:

  • From 15 characters’ education based on Javanese culture in early childhood, manners and self-confidence were considered as the most important.
  • The implementation of the character of manners was emphasized on attitude, language, and behavior towards parents and elders. Where in Javanese culture, there are levels of communication used, including Javanese Ngoko language to talk with peers, Javanese Kromo language to speak with older people and Javanese Kromo Inggil language to speak with parents and teachers.
  • Learning tools generated from the advanced research were teaching modules and media (songs embodied in drawing stories) that are beneficial to teaching and learning activities in the kindergarten, mainly in character education based on Javanese culture.
  • Characters in education based on the Javanese language is given every Thursday along with Batik day. On that day, all components of the school will use Javanese Kromo Inggil language.

References

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  • Pemerintah Republik Indonesia. 2010. Buku Induk Kebijakan Nasional Pembangunan Karakter Bangsa 2010-2025. Jakarta: Pemerintah Republik Indonesia.
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