Curriculum development in an Islamic university in Indonesia: addressing government policy (UUPA) and graduate employability

Author: . Habiburrahim

Habiburrahim, ., 2014 Curriculum development in an Islamic university in Indonesia: addressing government policy (UUPA) and graduate employability, Flinders University, School of Education

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ABSTRACT The endorsement of UUPA (Undang-Undang Pemerintah Aceh) on August 1st, 2006 in Aceh province, Indonesia has enabled local government throughout the province to develop and manage its own governmental policies and systems, including re- considering its educational and school curricula conceptions. The enactment of this legislation has inspired the researcher to examine how Islamic higher education curricula could be designed and developed systematically. The overarching objective of this study is to contribute to the understanding of developing the English Education Department's curriculum at UIN Ar-Raniry, previously IAIN Ar-Raniry (an Islamic higher education institution in Aceh, Indonesia), by considering Islamic values, local context, and graduate employment prospects. As such, to attain this goal, three groups of research participants (consisting of 112 people)-the government policymaking authority, institutional academic community, and community graduate employers-were approached to seek their perspectives regarding an ideal curriculum for the Department. Data collection was conducted over five months from February-June 2011. A set of interview, focus group discussion, and survey questions was prepared to answer the main research question: "What is required to comprehensively develop the English Education Department's existing curriculum attending to UUPA, local context, and concerns for graduate employability"? The following questions were also asked to explore this main question: 1. What are the values and expectations underpinning the existing curricula? 2. What are the stakeholders' curriculum outcome expectations? (Leaders, lecturers, students, teachers) 3. What graduate attributes should be accommodated in developing curricula to prepare English language teachers and English language professionals as well as good Islamic citizens? This study employed an interpretive qualitative research approach to answer the questions. Twenty-six participants were interviewed, 86 students were surveyed, and Abstract viii seven important government policies/regulations were analysed. The objective of applying this interpretive research approach was to capture the perceptions of key stakeholders regarding the English Education Department's curriculum. In a social context, the implementation of interpretive research can be an appropriate approach for locating numerous assumptions that a variety of interested parties believes (Denzin, 2001). In this context, the diverse interested parties are the three above-mentioned research participant groups. Thematic data analysis using the open coding method was applied because the research employed a qualitative approach (Corbin & Strauss, 2008; Monette et al., 2005; Richards, 2005). A basic statistics software program (SPSS) (Field, 2013) was used to analyse the survey results. The research findings reveal the need to provide a space in the curriculum to address students' diverse learning objectives and to introduce subjects that prepare them to engage in more than classroom teaching. Students need to be prepared to become technologically literate as befits a modern world leader and scholar. Ultimately, the findings reveal that the English Education Department's curriculum needs to be designed and developed to meet specific professional requirements as well as general graduate capabilities to assist students to transfer their experiences and skills into wide employment arenas, not limited to teaching sectors. This means that the achievement of students' educational objectives must have the potential to assist them to attain their goals in work and life.

Keywords: Curriculum,curriculum development,higher education,Islamic education

Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2014
School: School of Education
Supervisor: Prof. Janice Orrell