What Do Moral, Citizenship and History Education in Malaysia Play Their Role in Constructing the National Identity

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(a) Summary 1. Title: Re-image our Country: What do Moral, Citizenship and History Education in Malaysia Play Their Role in Constructing the National Identity 2. Abstract This paper examines the politics and practice of the social education implemented in Malaysia. Our goal is to provide an overview of theoretical conceptions of social education, which we examined the policies and content of the Moral Education, Citizenship Education and History Education within the context of ethnicity, social cohesion and nation-building. History can construct one’s past, while history education takes full responsibility in building the nation identity and social memories. Moreover, Moral Education and Citizenship Education play a role in cultivating the sense of patriotism through the pedagogy in the classroom. Public education in Malaysia is promoted as a nation-building tool, intend to inculcate a sense of Malaysian-ness and patriotism. This paper seeks to look at the development of the policies of social education in Malaysia, which includes Moral Education, Citizenship Education and History Education. In particularly, I examine the contents of Malaysian state-approved textbooks.

3. Descriptors: POLITICS/POLITICAL CHANGE; MORAL EDUCATION; HISTORY EDUCATION; SOCIAL MEMORY; ETHNIC COHESION; ETHNIC RELATION; CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION; MULTICULTURALISM, DIVERSITY AND MINORITIES; SECONDARY EDUCATION. 4. Region and country: Southeast Asia, Malaysia. 5. Special requests: none. 6. Preferred session format: 1st preference: Paper session; 2nd preference: Roundtable; 3rd preference: Poster session. 7. Audiovisual request: power point projector. (b) Full proposal of 1000 words (excluding references) Objectives or purposes of the study This paper aimed to picture theoretical conceptions of Malaysia’s current secondary school’s social education, which are aimed at constructing the sense of patriotism and building a “true” Malaysian at the secondary school level with the implementation of three main subjects: Moral education, Citizenship Education and History Education.

Malaysians are not alone in developing a more urgent sense of national identity in recent years. We can observe the anxieties about national identity around many states, especially those who gained independence after the World War Two. Like other peoples around the globalizing world, Malaysians have witnessed some controversies about what should be thought about “our country” within government- sponsored educational system. Whose point of view should be emphasized? This issue became more complicated when the country itself was dealing with multi-ethnic groups, multi religions and multi- culture. This paper intended to ask a question and try to find an answer: how would social education taught in the secondary school classroom play the national-identity-building role, and what is the impact. In addition, this paper discusses recent comparative education research on political socialization and its implementation in classroom, and also its implications for future studies especially in countries like Malaysia which is a multi-racial, multi-culture region. Thesis statement Controversies do happen in Malaysia’s social education. All of these controversies are not simply about the content of the textbooks, according to Michael W. Apple in his overwhelming book, The Politics of the Textbook, the controversies involve profoundly different definitions of the common things, different view point about our society, as well as different culture and different values (Apple & Christian-Smith, 1991). At this point, people of all races in Malaysia started to concern about the content of the textbooks. Although they vary considerably in their focus and emphasis, which each ethnic groups concern about their history on this land, the discussions all based on the bigger questions of social education: Do we have out national history? What should we learn about each other to create a cohesion society?...
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