Curriculum Reform in Indonesia: Moving from an Exclusive to Inclusive Curriculum
The goal of education is to foster all students’ intellectual, social, and personal potential to their highest level by providing them with an equitable and equal education irrespective of their characteristics (e.g., ethnicity, social class, language use, religion, and other human differences). Different students and communities should not be excluded in terms of curriculum. At the micro-level classroom, student engagement is central. Teachers should go beyond the prescribed curriculum by working with their students and by including their voices. However, how can students be successful academically and socially if the school curriculum is anchored in the mainstream curriculum, primarily promoting the dominant groups? For example, given that the books, curriculum, and standardised testing are centralised in Indonesia, the content is, of course, generalised for all students. Teachers and schools throughout the country should use the same materials for all students. However, for the disadvantaged children coming from poor, rural, and remote areas, such policies lead them to trouble. They learn the books and materials that are similar to those that the affluent schools and students use in cities, but their values and perspectives are excluded. Also, how can students who are racially, culturally, and linguistically marginalised and low-income families succeed if the curriculum is organised exclusively to maintain the current social structure? The purpose of this paper is to explore the need to move from an exclusive to inclusive curriculum in Indonesia so that all students can succeed academically and socially. The orienting questions for this study are: (1) What do we mean by an exclusive and inclusive curriculum? (2) What are the components of an inclusive curriculum? (3) What should be reformed to create an inclusive curriculum? (4) What kind of leadership is required to guide the reform from an exclusive to an inclusive curriculum?
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