Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Gateway to Indonesia
--Anwar Holid

International observers are curious about Indonesia with regard to Islam vis a vis other religions, culture and its rich manifestations, as well as education that modernizes the population. As a multicultural and multireligious archipelago from Sumatra to Papua, Indonesia has distinctive features to examine. As the world’s fourth largest nation with 250 million people and largest population of Muslims of any country in the world, Indonesia is a melting pot where different cultures transformed into a modern Indonesian culture, making it so exciting to be enjoyed and reviewed.

In his latest book: Islam, Culture, and Education, A. Chaedar Alwasilah takes readers on an illuminating yet critical journey through religion, culture, and education to investigate how Indonesia stands out differently. In a down-to-earth manner, he is recurring issues such as radicalism, religious harmony and pluralism, mudik (Idulfitri exodus), interethnic conflict, bureaucracy, Malay culture, general election, corruption, as well as his pet subjects of writing, ethnic literature, EFL teaching, Indonesian language teaching, language democratization, liberal education and multicultural education are brought to public consciousness.

A. Chaedar Alwasilah---a professor at University of Education, Bandung, West Java---is one of well-known and respected scholar in Indonesia, especially as an educator with more than 30 years of teaching experience at the university level. Obtained his doctorate from Indiana University, US, he is currently leads the Liberal Studies Task Force Committee for the Indonesian Board of Higher Education. He also a prolific author. He is a regular columnist to local and national newspapers such as Pikiran Rakyat and The Jakarta Post. His books include Pokoknya Kualitatif (2002), Pokoknya Menulis (2004), Filsafat Bahasa dan Pendidikan (2007), Pokoknya Action Research (2011), and Pokoknya Rekayasa Bahasa (2012).

This book is not only useful for academics and researchers of Indonesian studies, but could also be of extensive guide for everyone who will visit Indonesia.

Islam, Culture, and Education - Essay on Contemporary Indonesia
Author: A. Chaedar Alwasilah
Hardcover; 437 + xxvi pp.
Publisher: Rosda International, 2014
ISBN: 978-979-692-453-0
Prices: Rp.107.000,- (domestic market); US$19,90 (international)

Purchasing: (062 022) 5200287 or

A. Chaedar Alwasilah and his book.
Some of early comments of the book:

Dr. Alwasilah is unmistakably the kind of intellectual his nation direly needs. He is as articulate in writing about issues on multiculturalism, democracy, Islam, political literacy, and literature as he is with his pet subjects of the English language and writing.
--Harry Bhaskara, Associate Editor The Jakarta Post

For anyone trying to come to some understanding of the problems which beset the Indonesian education system, this collection of essays is a good place to start. This book rehearsing for the reader what is actually occurring in schools and universities throughout the country year in year out, provides that synoptic view of the situation that allows one better to understand the situation on the ground in all its complexity.
--C.W. Watson, Em. Professor, School of Anthropology and Conservation University of Kent, UK

Both the Indonesian and non-Indonesian reader will find amply witnessed the importance of Professor Alwasilah work and will relish and benefit from a resulting essential interaction of close observation, local wisdom, and help for Indonesia.
--Don Faust, Ph.D. and Judith Puncochar, Ph.D., Northern Michigan University, US

Dr. Alwasilah reveals himself as a sage of the common people, a humane social philosophy that respects individual growth and diverse cultures while emphasizing higher levels of connectedness among all people.
--Sharon L. Pugh, Associate Professor of Language Education, Indiana University, US

Sure this book will provide insight into an Indonesian educational context that is unique while simultaneously sharing many of its obstacles and goals toward improvement with other national contexts around the world.
--Lauren Zentz, Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics University of Houston, US

Related Sites:
Chaedar’s profile at The Jakarta Post:

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