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1. Development of Comprehensive Model of Character Education for Preschool and Elementary School Children

Indonesia Heritage Foundation has developed a model of comprehensive approach of character education for preschool and elementary school setting. The model is designed in such ways that it could be easily implemented, and be adopted as an alternative community-based preschool program (for those who could not get access to formal kindergarten). The 9 pillar characters are inculcated to preschool children by using a comprehensive approach through:

  1. Each pillar is defined clearly and translated into classroom activities.
  2. Teaching pillars throughout the school years, in which each pillar is rotated every two to three weeks.
  3. Twenty minutes daily apperception or contemplation before the class begins. Each pillar is introduced (using the method of knowing, loving, and acting the good) everyday.
  4. Applying a Character-based Integrated Curriculum System. Each pillar is integrated into centers of activities (for preschool children: imagination, Building Blocks, Art and Creativity, Exploration, Gardening, Reading and Counting for preschool children) (for elementary school: into respective subject area). For elementary school, IHF has integrated the 9pillar character education and skills into the national curriculum academic objectives in addition to academic goals, most objectives now also have specific character objectives. Because character education is not a separate subject but rather connects to all aspects of life. This curriculum incorporates government's life skill program (broad-based education project). All modules include a variety of interdisciplinary activities to integrate into academic areas.
  5. Using methods Developmentally Appropriate Practices (including Student Active Learning, Cooperative Learning) that could create a climate of joyful learning experience. This method will enhance child's motivation, creativity, sense of competence, and self-esteem.
  6. Co-parenting. At the beginning of each pillar, each parent is given a notification letter containing the information of pillar, the definition, and a list of recommended activities that could be done by parents at home to enhance the effectiveness of the teaching. At the end of the pillar period (2-3 weeks), each parent is required to fill a questioner sheet(s) asking about their experience, feeling, and observance of their children character development.
  7. Conducive school climate; friendly, courteous, and well-trained teachers.

This model is equipped by a 9pillar module; teacher's handbook (about 200 pages), 10 colorful 9pillar work books for children, and 120 story books. In addition to the 9pillar module, character-based integrated curriculum that integrates pillars into center of activities is provided. The curriculum designed corresponds nicely with the newly launched Life Skill educational efforts under the government's Broad Based Education Project. Up to now, there are 45 themes for preschoolers (2 years worth of thematic modules), and 26 themes for elementary school children (from grade 1 to grade 6) available.

2. Conducting the Pilot Project

The comprehensive approach has been tested in three different areas, which is called Semai Benih Bangsa or SBB program as pilot project since June 2001. SBB model is a community-based alternative kindergarten designed for children who cannot afford to enroll in formal kindergartens. Each site is located in poor areas (urban slum, semi-urban poor, and rural poor), comprising 30 children in each site (with the total of 90 children). One site uses a garage as a class, one site a terrace, and the other site an ordinary class from an abandoned school building.

The IHF has also developed a formal kindergarten for middle class children, which is called TK.Karakter in Cimanggis, Depok.

To test the model in elementary school setting, a private school located in the city of Jakarta, called "Sekolah Citra Alam" was assigned to be our pilot project since June 2003, while 2 elementary public schools will start implementing this model in February 2004.

Based on some observations and anecdotal data collected by teachers in preschool pilot projects, children's attitudes and behaviors are satisfactory. Children progress reports also show promising results. Most parents have expressed their satisfaction upon the pilot project.

An independent study comparing character of SBB students to that of non-SBB students (total sample: 175 children) was done using a character questionnaire designed by the foundation in collaboration with Department of Community Nutrition and Family Resources, Bogor Agricultural University. The results from the U Mann Whitney test suggest that SBB students score 5.50 (.00 significance) points higher on the overall character test.

note: TK A: one year participation in SBB Vs. one year in formal kindergarten
TK B: 2 years participation in SBB Vs. 2 years in formal kindergarten
1 SD: first grader after one year SBB completion Vs. non-SBB first grader



3. Continuing School Curriculum and Other Materials Development

As growth and expansion of the curriculum and model of IHF are fast approaching it is important to the foundation to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum. Based on information collected from IHF pilot project monitoring and evaluation, IHF continually revise and develop its modules.

Developing new themes for elementary school integrated curriculum is in progress.

Developing character education modules for junior and high school students will be developed in the near future.

IHF is also developing children's story books.

4. Promotion for Model Dissemination
In June 2002, IHF and the department of Community Nutrition and Family Resources, Bogor Agricultural University, opened 5 SBB sites in some urban poor areas in Bogor, and the communities run these. Also, there are 27 SBB sites in the district of North Aceh that have been opened in August 2003, and more upcoming 48 sites in early 2004 (facilitated by the Exxon Mobil Indonesia and the local government). Most of SBB sites opened in North Aceh are located in very destitute areas where almost all children do not get access to the kindergarten. In January 2004, one SBB site is opened in the city of Depok, located in an urban slum where lots of street children exist. The new SBB site is expected to prevent preschoolers to become street children. In March 2004, IHF plans to conduct teacher training for setting up 10 SBB sites in other urban slums in the city of Depok.

Dr. Megawangi (kneel on the floor) with SBB children in North Aceh. and SBB children in Bogor West Java

One TK. Karakter will be opened in June 2004 in the city of Banda Aceh.

Outside the pilot project (in 3 sites), no elementary schools have adopted the model. However, after a one-day educational seminar facilitated by IHF in Depok city (December 27, 2004), in which 80 people attended (30 elementary school principals, teachers, and school superintendents), some school principals have expressed their interest to adopt the model in the near future.

Disseminating further the model is done through face-to-face advocacy and seminars.

5. Developing Products for Fund Raising

Educational Toys:

IHF produces educational toys for preschool children.

-9PILLAR Character puzzles (themes: politeness, no tell lies, independent, queuing,
tolerance, generosity, team work, sharing,
responsibility, and no littering).
-Feeling Puzzles
-Alphabet, number, animal, and fruit puzzles
-Wooden building blocks (115 pieces per packet)
-Wooden traffic signs
-Wooden mechanic tools
-Wooden scale

nsert pictures ----- only samples

Books, Periodicals, and Essays

A. Three-monthly SBB Bulletin featuring character building tips and activities (guide for parents and teachers):
As of January 2004, 8 thematic editions are available:

- Love and Attention
- Responsibility and Positive Discipline
- Honesty
- Respect and Good Manners
- Tolerance and Peace
- Hard Work and Perseverance
- Self-esteem and Creativity
- Caring and Sharing

All editions can be purchased at Rp. 3,000,- /edition

B. Six-monthly IHF Journal: describing activities of IHF in six months. Available for free.

C. Books:

ü Mendidik Karakter, Membangun Bangsa, by Ratna Megawangi (ISBN ---, IHF 2004; 180 pages). Price: Rp. 40,000,-

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ü Collection of Published Character-related Essays (Part 1, 2, and 3 -each part contains 25 essays written by Ratna Megawangi). Price Rp. 15,000,- each

Some essays can be read at Article

ü Belajar Mengajar Menyenangkan by Dewi Utama Faizah (Tiga Serangkai, 2003, 48 pages). Price: Rp. 12,500,-

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ü Membiarkan Berbeda? Sudut Pandang Baru Tentang Relasi Gender by Ratna Megawangi (Mizan, 1999/2001 -second edition, 288 pages). Price: Rp. 28,000,-

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ü Wanita Salah Langkah by Danielle Crittenden (Indonesian edition), foreword by Ratna Megawangi (Mizan, 2002, 264 pages). Price: Rp. 35,000,-

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ü Mari ke Laut by Dewi Utama Faizah (Adi Cita, 1999, 76 pages). Price: Rp. 55,000 (full color), Rp. 25,000 (black and white).

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ü Sell more than 100 character building story books published by various publishers


Mug with Wayang Character (Srikandi, Bima, Kresna, Arjuna, and Semar)..
Price: Rp. 10,000/piece

To purchase the above products, please contact IHF 021-8712022


copyright 2004 Indonesia Heritage Foundation