The Internalization of Democratic Values into Education and Their Relevance to Islamic Education Development

The Internalization of Democratic Values into Education and Their Relevance to Islamic Education Development
(Synthetic, Analytic, and Eclectic Implementation of John Dewey’s Thoughts)

UIN Ar Raniry, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Telah terpublish pada 2301
Copyright © 2015 American Scientific Publishers Advanced Science Letters
All rights reserved Vol. 21, Number 7 July, 2015
Printed in the United States of America
Author ID: 56958212300

Democracy is not only used as a political tool or instrument, but it can also be used in a broader context: as a concept which projects ideal fundamental values and ways of life that have historical significance, which need to be inherited into education. Islamic education, so far, has paid attention only to the normative-theological territory alone, and ignored the socio-historical dimension. Thus, there is a need for a richer and more critical view on the issue. This study aimed to shed light on the viability of the concept of the internalization of John Dewey’s democratic values and to examine the relevance of his thought. This study used the text interpretation or hermeneutics approach employing descriptive, synthesis-analysis, and eclectic methods. The findings show that the internalization could be done through impulse, experience, communication and action. The findings also show that the relevance of John Dewey’s thoughts to the development of Islamic education could be established in the following aspects: the development of the basic philosophy of Islamic education, the development of the role of human in Islamic education, and the development of an Islamic education-based curriculum.

Keywords: Democracy, Islamic education, internalization, relevance, John Dewey.


The idea and meaning of democracy is broader and more complete than the one that has been simply interpreted as political ideas associated with a particular country. The ideas, meanings, and values contained within the broader meaning of democracy can be realized in all models of human life and associations, such as in family, schools, industry, occupations, and religions (Boydston, (ed.), 1969: 325).
Besides, Dewey (in Gerald L. Gutek, 1988: 85-86) confirms that the role of democracy can be tied to the following two notions: first, as an ideal concept, which requires an educated society to understand the social tasks and the responsibility of political life. Second, morality and values must be applied in their daily personal or individual, political, social, and behavioral educational life.
Democracy as a way of life has values that must be transferred and passed on to the following generations. These values can be used as a guide in our efforts to revise the systems that are deemed incompatible with the dignity of human beings. Such democratic values can only be seen or observed in the arena of our social life. When social inheritance is adequate, human dignity across generations will be preserved. Similarly, the inheritance of democratic values through an applicable and effective corridor becomes necessary. It is in this context that the concept of democratic education is needed. For Dewey, an educational institution is one of the most effective places in which the inheritance of democratic values can be accommodated (Boydston, (ed.), 1969: 99).


This study focuses on the process of the internalization of democratic values, which are universal in nature and on ways to look at the nature of this process in detail. In addition, this study also focuses on the relevance of the internalization of the values to the Islamic education development.

This study used the descriptive, synthesis-analysis, eclectic methods of inquiry together with hermeneutic approaches.
The use of descriptive, synthesis-analysis and eclectic methods was intended to see and understand the way of thoughts, concepts or meanings found in John Dewey’s views. The views were analyzed critically for the purpose of locating complementary and coherent concepts, which were actual and relevant to the Islamic education context using inductive thoughts. It was hoped that more complete and more united opinions about the issue could be found.
Finally, using eclectic methods, the writer summarized the ideas or concepts, which were found to be relevant to the purpose of this study, which is to promote the healthy development of Islamic education by integrating relevant democratic values, especially those in line with John Dewey’s line of thoughts.

The internalization of democratic values into Islamic education can be done in four stages, namely: impulse (encouragement from inside), experience, communication and action. In short, the integration of democratic values into Islamic education development can be realized through the development of the basic philosophical underpinning of Islamic Education, improving the role of humans in education including the maximization of the essence and functions of an educated man as a creature of God, or the development of a relevant Islamic education curriculum.
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