Sunday, June 22, 2014

Character Education Research

Conference Stream: Communication and Youth

Communicating Character Education 
(Case Study: Student in Darul Marhamah 
 Islamic Girls Boarding School Cileungsi)

Presented  in  Asian Media Information and Communication Centre
22nd International Conference
4-7 July 2013

By: Leila Mona

Although Indonesia has been independence  for sixty eight years ago,  there are still alot of problems  such as corruption, violence, and mass fights. Those problems could be related to character building. According to the National Policy of National Character Development (2010), based on its complexity, the development of national character encompasses seven domains: 1) the scope of the family, 2) the scope of the education unit, 3) the scope of government, 4) the scope of the civil society, 5) the scope of the political community, 6) the scope of business and industry, and 7) the scope of the mass media. This study focused on the development of character through the scope of the education unit.  The reason is because human consciousness, the 'me', should be built and nourished through the use of learning opportunities. The development of character through education has a significant progress.

Lickona (1991), Berkowitz (2008) and Ganiem (2012) are among the researchers who confirm that character education is a powerful remedy to address moral decadence. Character education improves school climate; students become more polite and social; the use of drug and violence decrease; academic motivation increases; emotional competence increases.  Those results are gain through inculcating the character targetted.

Inculcating character is inseparable from communication. The effects of communication are cognitive, affective, and conative (Petty and Cacioppo, 1980).   According to Hovland (1953), attitude change should be understood as a response to the actions of persuasive communication.  Selected efforts such as integrating the concept of character in teaching moduls in class and school programs, are some strategies used by teacher or management of school, but this is not enough. The synergy between all stakeholders include the students themselves will be positive to expedite the result.  This study propose to focus the optimalization of peergroup of students to inculcate characters among themselves. The strategy used is mentoring and monitoring. 

Mentoring is an activity  done by a person (mentor) for another person (mentee) so that the character values is ​​internalized. This process is in line with the group communication. The research of Dickens and Heffernan (in Golberg and Larson, 2006:31-32) confirms the positive results through the mentoring process. 

Monitoring concept  for inculcating the character education is inspired by panopticon (Foucault, 1977). The concept is taken from the field of architecture that allows prison guard to oversee prisoners without being noticed by the inmates. The discipline is also the key to implement character education. The students is  suppported to follow the rules which reflect values. The student  will find himself  or herself constantly monitored for the implementation of the values of characters through disciplining his/her body. The people who monitor  the students is their peergroup.

The research was done in Darul Marhamah Islamic Girls Bording School, Cileungsi.  The main issue resided in the character implementation in school institutions. It involved various strategy to implement the character values (discipline,caring, fairness, trustworthiness, neatness,  creativity,  religious, honest, patience, smart, leadership and friendhip).  Data was collected by participant observation, interviews, focus group discussions, and secondary data.

In conclusion, the result of the study is that the internalization of character is effective by using mentoring and monitoring. The students was supported to be discipline to create a docile body in order to implement the character values.  Inculcating character value involves peergroup is effective because between friends, students  have certain agreed rules, so it has a high value of persuasion.  The sharing of  values  are more convincing because it is provided by the peers themselves. Therefore, strengthening through peer mentoring and monitoring  are significant to inculcate the character values. The effect of communication is more to the cognitive and affective, and those leads to the conative effect.

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