Exploring Indonesia through studying Civics and Indonesian Studies

By: Ms. Jenita Nelmawaty, PPKN and Indonesian studies teacher


As a Civics and Indonesian Studies teacher, I have my own challenges in delivering these lessons to students with conditions such as children who have limited understanding of Indonesian vocabulary, as well as expatriate students who do not yet understand Indonesian culture.

For your information, Indonesian students study Civics while foreign students study Indonesian Studies.

Some tips that I do to make learning interesting are by doing case studies, paying attention to important incidents or incidents related to the learning topic. For example, grade 7 students have a learning topic about norms, namely that there are 4 groups of norms in social life. Students are asked to look for or record incidents they encounter in everyday life regarding incidents that violate or comply with each norm they have learn. In this way, students have a deeper understanding and comprehension of these norms.


Likewise in presenting material for expatriate students. We present Indonesian not only in the form of theoretical learning material so that it makes children bored while learning. However, we provide space for them to get to know it directly, for example in class 11 high school students studying intangible cultural heritage. They can understand the meaning of batik. The word batik comes from the Javanese ba and tik. Ba: “amba” or “ombo” which means width, tik means point. The dots that form a pattern on a cloth are called batik. They also learned why batik is an intangible cultural heritage and what the actual process of making batik is, starting from the equipment used, the materials needed and the manufacturing process.



Grade 7 Indonesian Studies students studying the culture in Java Island such as traditional cloth, language, traditional dance and traditional food. We had the opportunity to practice making one of the traditional Javanese foods, namely cassava lemet. In this learning process, students were able to understand the process and taste of the food. 

They also learned about traditional Indonesian games. They can practice it directly like engklek and congklak. So, that these children have the experience of learning to play not only digitally. Through traditional games, they can interact with each other to build communication and practice thinking skills, tactics and strategies.

Several topics are studied about how they can persuade and promote tourist destinations in one region of Indonesia. What is interesting about this place, is how to travel to reach this area. So students have their challenges in knowing the place geographically, making interesting photos or videos, and present it infront of their friends. 


Here are some of my students opinions: 

 “Learning PPKn is interesting for me to know more about the different cultures Indonesian people who are from different areas. I also get to learn and know more about Indonesian culture, norma-norma and the history of our heroes/president. “ – Mikaela Tuntang

We learn about Norms in Civics class. From these lessons, we can understand the right and wrong actions and we learn about manners. We can also learn about etiquette and morals towards other people. One of the interesting topics for me in the PPKn class is that we learn about all the differences that exist in Indonesian society and learn about Indonesian heroes.” – Kioko


Learning anything can be made fun with a little bit of creativity, preparation and the desire to think out of the box. 

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