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Ideolinguistics

Introduction to Philosophy
of Language and
Education
Reviewing and Digging Alwasilahs
Zainurrahman

2009

Table of Contents
Chapter I....................................................................................................................................4
Developing Knowledge .......................................................................................................4
Philosophy and language .....................................................................................................5
Philosophy of education.......................................................................................................5
Philosophy of language education ......................................................................................5
Chapter II ..................................................................................................................................6 2
Analytic Philosophy of Language .......................................................................................6
Language and Philosophy ....................................................................................................6
Cognitive function ................................................................................................................6
Emotive function ..................................................................................................................6
Imperative function ..............................................................................................................7
Ceremonial function .............................................................................................................7
Metalingual function ............................................................................................................7
Logical Atomism ..................................................................................................................8
Logical Positivism................................................................................................................8
Chapter III .................................................................................................................................9
The Mystery of Language....................................................................................................9
From meaning to the theory.................................................................................................9
Chapter IV...............................................................................................................................10
Language and Representation of the meaning..................................................................10
Sign .....................................................................................................................................10
Ideational theory of meaning .............................................................................................10
Meaning and Referent ........................................................................................................11
Chapter V ................................................................................................................................12
Education language and Language Relativity ..................................................................12
Language Relativity ...........................................................................................................13
Vocabulary and Translation...............................................................................................13
Chapter VI...............................................................................................................................14
Philosophy of Education ....................................................................................................14
Essentialism ........................................................................................................................14
Existentialism and Reconstruction ....................................................................................15
Existentialism .....................................................................................................................15
Reconstruction ....................................................................................................................16
Critical Pedagogy ...............................................................................................................17
Education as a Discipline of Science ................................................................................19
Education as an inquiry object ..........................................................................................20
Education as theoretical and rigorous study .....................................................................20
Chapter VII .............................................................................................................................21
Postmodernism and Education ..........................................................................................21
Deconstruction....................................................................................................................22
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Suing the structural education ...........................................................................................22


CHAPTER VIII ......................................................................................................................23
The Disregarded Education of Critical thinking ..............................................................23
Chapter IX...............................................................................................................................24
Critical Thinking Class ......................................................................................................24
Chapter X ................................................................................................................................25
Linguistics and Critical Thinking Ability .........................................................................25
Chapter XI...............................................................................................................................26
Read: Theory and Implication ...........................................................................................26
References...............................................................................................................................28 3

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Chapter I
Developing Knowledge
Why philosophy? This is the point that Alwasilah wants to share with the
reader. In this chapter, Alwasilah defines philosophy as the wise attitude on taking
decision in effort of experiencing life from time to time.
Philosophizing or doing philosophy is how to get knowledge by disciplined
conversation and by being intellectual midwife that always make people take all
problems in their mind seriously. By looking at this, in philosophy, question is more
important that answer.
In philosophizing, there are three strategies for interpreting problems; they
are: analyzing, evaluating and synthesizing. Starting from the uncertainties, then
come to material description, and then developing a universal concept for relating
human experiences, so that the concept be understandable based on human
experiential knowledge.
There are some branches of philosophy, they are: metaphysic that by
Aristotelian is the first philosophy, logic that systematically discusses the logical
argumentation rules, epistemology that discusses sources, attitude or behavior, and
the truth of knowledge, and ethic that discusses what true is and what wrong is, by
moral point of view.
Base on the view above, thus, studying philosophy is very important in order
to gain knowledge, although basically, philosophers believe that there is not an
absolute truth. Knowledge is not always the truth. The truth is what by people is
accepted, and in line with the norms that the people believe. So that, knowledge is
more important that the truth itself. Finding the truth is the same with stopping
thinking.

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Philosophy and language


The relation between philosophy and language can be considered by
understand what philosophy itself is. Philosophy, in this chapter, is also defined as
radical thinking about reality. Reality is what can be expressed by language. Thus,
language is the vital media in philosophizing, as the media for expressing idea and
relating the idea. Without language, people cant think anything. Even without
language there is not life. God created universe with language of kun fayakun, this
indicates that language is the most vital media in human thinking life.

Philosophy of education
Philosophy of education can be understood as theories that become the basis
of thinking about education. During the time, people believe that education is a glory
thing in human life. That is why an educated person higher positioned in society than
uneducated person one. Even in holy Koran God says that He rises educated persons
degree rather than uneducated one.

Philosophy of language education


This is defined as synergy of philosophy of education and philosophy of
language. Philosophy of language education is theories that become base of human
thinking about education of language.

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Chapter II
Analytic Philosophy of Language
Language and Philosophy
Word is a symbol of speech or writing for things or concepts those are called
referent as the object of the word. To my understanding, speech is way of speaking. It
is combination of symbols. Alwasilah should to write it symbol of sound and not
symbol of speech. Further, he stated that, because the symbols are used for
communicating, so that the symbol meaning must be permanent, if it is not,
communication will be wretched. Meaning of language is decided by social
convention. Because it is a convention, it may be changed sometimes. Meaning of a
word is always dynamic and can be changed and in line with the context. There is
always new word or renewed word we can find in reality. The meaning of a word is
dynamic, so that we can use it lively and because it is dynamic, it can document
history. You can understand something happened in a thousand years ago by reading
a history book, because of the language dynamic.

Cognitive function
By using language, human explain propositions in their mind. By this
understanding, we can see a close relationship or we can say it a unity of language
and idea. So that I agree if language is analyzed separately from the frame of idea, it
is a mistake. Grammar (except semantics) is analyzing language separately from the
frame of idea, in line with this, Krashen (in Griffiths, 2008:284) state that Error
correction, structural grading and grammar explanations are proscribed
Emotive function
Language has two emotive function, they are expressive and evocative.
Someone use language for expressing only and for evocating only? Language is also
used to permeating meaning, give meaning to something, or impressing. Suppose you
drink water, it is going in to your body, by using mouth. By using language,
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meanings of things come in to your mind. Expression and evocation are going-out
activity; meanwhile language has going-in activity such as permeating meaning or
giving meaning to something. So that, it is important to put impressive function
beside expressive and evocative.
Imperative function
By using language you can govern people, but you can force them by
language, because language cannot give a physical effect. You can influence people
psyche but not physic. Most of emperors in this world from earliest time, govern their
kingdom by power of physic, defeating enemy by war, but most of them extending
power region by using language, they empower their politic situation by language, by
what we say oration, handout, even threats.
Ceremonial function
Ceremony is not a language activity; of course, it tends to spiritual and belief
activity. Language is included in this because of the function as tool for have
expression. Language is used to express your spiritual calling, to express your
courtesy based on your culture, etc.
Metalingual function
One of the language excesses is metalingual function, where it can explain
itself. But I quite disagree if language is said able to explain itself. Even though,
language cannot explain anything, if there is no one use it. This is a critic for
everyone who speaks about language by separating it by idea, by human. To my
understanding, language does not exist without human existence as the speaker and
the listener. Language doesnt need to explain itself because it never asks whether it
exists or not. However, human do it.

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Logical Atomism
This precept was a reaction toward Idealism. The core of the Idealism is that
reality is consisting of ideas, thoughts, minds and not physical matters. In contrary
with this, Materialism stated that what real is physical; ideas are only support the
physical matters. Alwasilah stated that Empirism relies on ideas and not to
judgments, but to my understanding, Empirism relies on the experience. They believe
that experience is the source of knowledge.
The important information here is that reality is realized in language
expression which is propositions, not on ideas or human mind. Logic is very essential
in this philosophy (of course for all philosophy); metaphysic was not given place for
existing in philosophy field. These propositions make it clear that what real is what
can be expressed in language.
Logical Positivism
This precept stated that logical structure of the world is pictured or implied in
the logical structure of language, because metaphysic is something cant be realized
in language, so that this precept rejected the metaphysic. The main figure in this
precept was Alfred Jules Ayer. He stated that there are two kinds of verification, hard
and soft verification. It is called hard verified if it has been proven experimentally,
and it is called soft verified if it only can be stated as probability. In my opinion,
future is always possibilities, expectation, planning, etc. whatever that has been
happened certainty was in the past, and therefore, can we say that future is always
soft verified?

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Chapter III
The Mystery of Language
From meaning to the theory
In this chapter, I found that the role of philosophy is not as the art of thinking
but it was specified in the term of language philosophy that understood as function as
to explain the essence of know language and to explain several methods and
concepts for the success of language mastery. Alwasilah stated that language
philosophy appears as the solution for solving problems that cannot be solved by
linguistics. Alwasilah should to think that linguists arrange theory based on
philosophy. So that, philosophy becomes the start point for linguistic. Linguistic
problems are also language philosophys problem. Therefore, language philosophy
appears to solve its problems.
I also found that language mastery is depended on four keywords: usage,
symbol, meaning and communication. Meanwhile Saussure stated that language
mastery is depended on three keywords: signifier, signified and significance. This is
related to Alwasilah statement that the problem in language mastery actually is the
problem of meaning, and because language is the facility used by human for thinking,
so that the problem of language is the problem of mind. It can be based on the
Chomskys statement that Language is the mirror of mind
In Logika Scientifika, Poespoprodjo stated that there are two understanding of
language, they are Instrumentalism and Determinism. Instrumentalism view language
as instrument for expressing mind, idea, feeling, emotion etc. Meanwhile
Determinism believes that human only have perception, thinking and feeling because
human have language. In line with this Gadamer views that everything can be
understood (caught) as far as it can be expressed or impressed by using language
(Poespoprodjo, 1991:65) by understanding this, I can conclude that language and
human though, as a unity, is a place of reality event.

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Chapter IV
Language and Representation of the meaning
Sign
This chapter more focuses on the meaning of the symbols that used in human
language. In communication, interpretation of symbols meaning is very essential, we
call it decoding process. There are at least three kinds of meaning in the
communication process, they are (1) speakers meaning, (2) listeners meaning, and
(3) sign meaning. How can the meaning become different? Isnt that we call
something we use for writing is pen? To my understanding, the meaning cant be
divided, it must be intact. There is only one meaning, it is called meaning of symbol
(reference). We use symbols (words) when we are communicating or expressing, but
it doesnt mean that the meaning is become ours, because the meaning of symbol is
dynamic, it can be used by speaker, listener to refer to a reference. Meaning of the
symbol is a social convention. The meaning of speakers meaning is speaker idea,
listeners meaning is listener understanding, and the meaning is always inherent
with to the sign.
Meaning is not individual authority, but convention of a society. In language
study, discipline that analyzes meaning of the symbol is semiotics and not semantics.
Semantics analyze the meaning of words, phrases and sentences, whereas semiotics
analyzes the meaning of symbols that have been sounded or graphed.
Ideational theory of meaning
This theory was developed by John Locke (1633-1704). The base of this
theory is that the meaning is only patched to the word; language is only marker of
human mind. This theory is based on the Instrumentalism view that language is an
instrument used to report human idea. I agree that language and mind are not tied one
another only, but language itself is materialization of mind.

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Things are out of human body, but idea of the things is in human mind.
Language is materialization of idea. Language is a system of symbol, the symbol
meant in this is the symbol used to represent things that out of human body (such as
table, car, house, etc). Meaning of the symbol is convention of a society that used the
language. Things and ideas are independent, but ideas and language is not or cant be
separated one another, because what human said or wrote is what comes from their
mind and not from things.
Meaning and Referent
Words have meaning because they (as symbols) refer to particular referent out
of themselves. Meaning is the object of the symbolization. Meaning of the symbol is
decided by the language user. In communication, language as the instrument to
express idea, has different interpretation with language as the object than can be
analyzed, such what grammarians do. Meaning of the language cant be separated by
the intention of the speaker, understanding of the listener and the meaning that
inherent to the object. Alwasilah stated that human mind sometimes cant be bounded
with language power, because it wildness, fastness, but to my understanding, human
even cant use their mind if they dont have language. It is based on Determinism
theory that language function as obligation of perception, cognition and emotion
(Poespoprodjo, 1991:66). Human sometimes cannot express their though by using
language because they dont arrange their mind structurally. It is impossible to
materialize idea in language if human mind is not structured, because it is interfering
with the language behavior as the system.
Referent of a sentence is the truth value contained in the sentence. If the
sentence Indonesian president is bold is not containing the truth value, but it has
meaning, grammatically and intentionally. We say it meaningless if we relate the
sentence with the fact, if we use language and interpret it formally and stiffly. But if
we try to relate the situation when the speaker utters the sentence, may be the speaker
is joking, angry or something, it has a clear intentional meaning. Verification in

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language is applied in when we want to investigate the truth of a sentence, not to


understand the meaning of the sentence.

Chapter V
Education language and Language Relativity
Language, or perhaps it more appropriate if we call it expression act, whether
it is speech act or thought act, has several terms like proposition, statement,
prescription, principle, slogan, and definition.
Proposition is an act to express agreement to a position, an acceptance to an
understanding or statement. Meanwhile statement is a claiming act, but it tends to
speech act and not to thought act. Prescription is explicitly direct to someone about
what must be done. The difference between statement and prescription is that
statement is based on the knowledge about fact; meanwhile prescription is based on
empirical knowledge that found through experiment. Principle is a guide of action
and thinking. Slogan is utterance that able to give psychological effect, and definition
is a limitation of meaning of something, because it limit the meaning, it relate the
language with the concept, to make it match. In this, I dont find the writer write
judgment. In my opinion, all terms above are related one another, and they are can
be united in a word, expression. How about impression? Human use language to
gain knowledge, to understand object, to impress what they hear is, what they see is
and what they touch is. Language acceptance is important to be discussed; in other
word, linguist and grammarian cant be glued to how to product language but also
how to receipt language.
Language education, by what I understand from this chapter is how language
functions as instrument to educate human. Thus, every utterance must be verified and
matched with the truth.

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Language Relativity
Benjamin L.W. proposed three theses as follows: (1) all of thinking process is
performing by using language, (2) all language forms view of the reality of the
speaker, and (3) views of reality for each language are different. Three current theses
emphasize that language is dynamic. Who mastered language has better knowledge,
because we gain knowledge by using language. Human gain knowledge by two ways,
a-priori and a-posteriori (Immanuel Kant added a-priori synthetic). Language has an
important role in gaining knowledge. People think reality by using language; people
understand reality by using language too. Thus, the both a-priori and a-posteriori
needs language as the instrument.
Vocabulary and Translation
Vocabulary is one of the major elements in language. People cant study
language or using language or understanding language without knowledge of
vocabulary. The first thing studied in language studies is vocabulary, for instance
when someone start to study Sundanese, may be he will ask what is the meaning of
kabogoh he will not ask what is the meaning of abdi bade wangsul tehela it
means that word is studied before someone try to arrange sentence.
When language learner has mastered language, at least for daily
communication, the absence of a word will not make him stop speaking, because he
can look for the synonym of the word, but in thinking something, an absence of a
word influent the process of thinking itself. It maynt stop people think something,
but people will deal with some difficulties to arrange idea perfectly about something
thought. A word is produced by natural existence; it will be developed by developing
of environment. Sometimes new words come from particular environment. For the
example in Indonesian, internet is noun, but now we can find a new word that
changes the function of word become verb, by adding prefix nge, ngenet.

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Translation is the art of language conversion without message exchanging.


Translator is an interpreter that is tied by linguistics assumption and non-linguistic
assumption. However, to my understanding, meaning and message in the language is
the most important aspect in translation process. It is no matter when you change the
way of speech, but as far as to keep the main message.
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Chapter VI
Philosophy of Education
Essentialism
Essentialism is an education which is based on cultural values that was exists
since the beginning of human civilization. Essentialism arose in Renaissance era as
the reaction toward absolute symbolism and middle age dogma. This philosophy
believes that education has to be based on values that can give the selected values
stabilization, instead of the dogma.
Essentialism is constructed based on philosophy of Idealism and Realism.
Those philosophies empower Essentialism, the both Idealism and Realism considers
that education must be based on values that bring stabilization. However, the both are
not merged to become one and they still keep the origin of their philosophy
characteristics.
This sect of philosophy was labeled as the attempt to ground awareness to the
students about the essence of science and students characteristic building (against
intellectual building). This philosophy considered that school must educate traditional
moral value to student; therefore the student will be the role mode civilian.

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The philosophers in this sect are Georg Hegel (1770-1831), George


Santayana, William Bagley (1874-1946), Thomas Briggs, Frederick Breed and Isac
L. Kandell.
Existentialism and Reconstruction
Existentialism and Social Reconstruction are two understanding that focus on
the individual or personal ability. In education, these perceptive are very meaningful
and useful in order to develop students to be creative, innovative, independent and
responsible.
The most important issue in this report is the awareness that human (including
students or everyone) is unique and everyone has the role as the agent of social
change (in positive meaning).
Existentialism
Existential, according to Heidegger (in Adian, 2003:18) was a derivation from
Latin Existere, or taking distance. It means that human is the only one creature
that can take distance from their existence and asking about it. An English department
student can sometimes can say This is not my choice; actually I was interested to
literature. He can quest and think his existence.
By understanding this, human can change his condition, can plan his future
and this is the real difference between human and other creatures. Human is the only
one creature that realizes his existence or being.
Existential movements in education firstly come from philosophers such as
Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Sartre. However, Martin Heidegger also explained
existentialism very much in his tractate titled Being and Time (Sein un Zeit).
Alwasilah states that the core of this philosophy is the respect to the
individual on their unique. Further, he states that existence precedes essence. We was
born, exist and determine our essence freely (Alwasilah, 2008:106), Gaarder
(2004:493).

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In line with this, Sapp (2008) states that individuals are responsible for
determining for themselves what is true or false, right or wrong, beautiful
or ugly. For the existentialist, there exists no universal form of human nature.
However, human create it (www.jeffsapp.com), (Alwasilah, 2008:106).
Based on these theories, Alwasilah suggests that teachers have to be facilitator
and giving students opportunity to develop their self (ability, knowledge and skill).
Teachers have to motivate students creativity and imagination, not only imitate what
which there are. Individually, students learning should be accommodated with their
ability (Alwasilah, 2008:106).
Kierkegaard stated that we were unique individual; therefore, he rejected what
Hegel said objective truth, because it was not relevant with a personal life of an
individual. What is true for someone is not always true for someone else. What is
appropriate for a class is not always appropriate for other. What exists is the
subjective truth (Gaarder, 2004:411-413).
Reconstruction
This understanding (Social Reconstruction) tends to culture transformation
based on mistakes in education practice (Alwasilah, 2008:107). Student or learner
should to be the agent of change. Sapp stated that teachers who are reconstructivist
believe that they are responsible for social change and they model their students to be
agents of social change (Sapp, 2008).
Social Reconstruction was the continuation of Progressivism. This movement
was acted based on assumption that progressivists just though about current social
problems, but not to change it. Social Reconstruction emphasized the future
civilization. Thus, utopia approach was needed in order to stimulate the thoughts
about the future world that need to be created (http://fadhliyanur.blogspot.com)

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Critical Pedagogy
Pedagogy is the study of the methods and activities of teaching. One of
education stream is critical pedagogy. The key of this stream is critical. Geuss
expresses his aim to reach with this theory is:
at emancipation and enlightment, at making agents aware of hidden coercion and
putting them in a position to determine where their true interest lie.
The goal of the theory is to identify interest and political social motivation of
a power domination (in generally knowledge and cultural). If this theory will be
implicated in education field so that this critical theory will become critical pedagogy
approach. This approach emphasizes the important to build up and to educate students
to be solving the problem and to be able in critical thinking.
Critical theories have challenge and slander in curriculum study, especially in
US, Hlebowitsg said that, Critical theory in education aims to disclose all forms of
injustice and inequality in schooling by revealing the interests served by the
knowledge and the human action brought to bear in school settings. By probing into
the ideological and political forces that underlie the workday affairs of the school,
critical theorists are created new and unconventional ways of looking at school
phenomena.
From the above statement, there are interpretations such as:
Critical theory has high caring to social injustice in education system or
school.
In the opposite of the knowledge that learned in school and dominant cultural
in school system, in fact there are interest and vested interest from certain group.
In the opposite of the school system, dominant ideological must be seen
critically with alternatives ideological.
For the radical analyze, the educators must have the ability such as:
To analyze political system need critical language proficiency for perfect
understanding
To understand school system dominating in culture need understand from
three big groups, are schools, students, and teachers
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To challenge the dominant knowledge need a braving to build new knowledge


therefore the teacher have to prepare their class to facilitate students so they can
speak, write, and listen in multi-perspective language.
There are eight verses of critical pedagogy with his implicating in English
teaching context in Indonesia:
Education produces not only in knowledge but also in political area. For
example, English teacher obligating not only teach to have and to be; is, am, are but
also obligating to transform students become political society.
Ethics is understood as the central of education. The teacher teach not only
knowledge and skill but also teach what is true and not.
Education is tolerant to the differences in students and teachers in aspects of
race, ethnic, language, and gender-verses which really related with Bhineka Tunggal
Ika.
Curriculum could not be meant as a holy text illicit of interpretation and
various.
Education is hoped not only make critical to knowledge but also looking for,
formulating, and offering new formulations of knowledge.
Education is hoped to reformulate what is claimed as truth, for gaining
version and interpretation which more partial and special of knowledge, technology,
truth, reason, and natural existence.
Education must be placing not only in discourse, but also offering a best
vision for best future which properly fought without feeling tired.
The language teachers is hoped to look at their own selves, like Henry A.
Giroux said, as transformative intellectual, that intellectual belongs to a big
commitment to do social transformation for repairing.
Then, it easier to understand the eight verses above in:
Critical pedagogyrefers to the means and methods of testing and attempting
to change the structure of school that allows inequalities. It is a cultural-political tool
that takes seriously the nation of human differences, particularly those related to race,
class, and gender. Critical pedagogy seeks to release the oppressed and unite people
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in a shared language of critique, struggle, and hope to end various forms of human
suffering (Kampol in Alwasilah: 2000).
Education as a Discipline of Science
In describing the field of philosophy, and in particular the sub-field that has
come to be identified as philosophy of education, one quickly runs into a difficulty
not found to anything like the same degree in other disciplines. For example,
although there are some internal differences in opinion, nevertheless there seems to
be quite a high degree of consensus within the domain of quantum physics about
which researchers are competent members of the field and which ones are not, and
what work is a strong contribution (or potential contribution). The very nature of
philosophy, on the other hand, is essentially contested; what counts as a sound
philosophical work within one school of thought, or socio-cultural or academic
setting, may not be so-regarded (and may even be the focus of derision) in a different
one. Coupled with this is the fact that the borders of the field are not policed, so that
the philosophically-untrained can cross into it freelyindeed, over the past century
or more a great many individuals from across the spectrum of real and pseudo
disciplines have for whatever reason exercised their right to self-identify as members
of this broad and loosely defined category of philosophers (as a few minutes spent
browsing in the relevant section of a bookstore will verify).
Some people claimed that education is not a kind of discipline of science for
the following reasons:
- It is not objective
- It is not rigorous enough to be called science
- it is only an activity, not an inquiry
In this discussion, we must first differentiate between inquiry-oriented
education and practical education. When someone claims that education is not a
discipline of science, he considers education is not a practice. The study of education
is not the same with the study of physics, history, mathematics, and the like. The
most understandable part is that the education is placed as a profession like medical
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and law professions. The complex of art is involved in education. It needs quite long
time study to master this profession. Education is in the field of social science and an
applied discipline. Discipline in education covers applied and non-applied elements.
The more specific and the more problem based oriented, the less is a study called as a
discipline. Therefore, philosophy of education because it is not specific and problem
based oriented- is included in the category of discipline of education.
20
Education as an inquiry object
The educational research has the following characteristics:
1. The researcher not only involves or finds out the case, but also changes
the educational practices with his research findings.
2. The result of practical study is not a research or a proposition, commonly
known as conclusion, but it Is a decision or an action. It is clear that
education is not a study but it is only an intellectual activity.
3. Problems in education related to belief, attitude, satisfaction, and pleasure
are subjective problems of human in which the educational researcher
involved in. It is hard to say that educational research has objective
characteristics considering the above statement. To deal with this problem
the researcher must propose educational theories in his research using
objective criteria.
In order to be able to cope with the educational problems, the researcher must
possess experiences and personal involvement with the object studied. This will also
affect the objectivity concept in educational research.
Education as theoretical and rigorous study
Educational experts suggest that it would be better to use separate criteria
when discussing the theories of education without using the assumptions on the
physical theories. In positivism tradition the research results are at least better
theories and a set of nomothetic interpretation which has the sense in particular

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population as represented by the sample. The aim of prediction and control the
population can be achieved then.
The rigor of discipline of science is not stated with the mathematic criteria,
but how far it can fulfill the intellectual challenge of its experts, for example how to
solve problems based on the relevant sources in educational discipline. The
conventional criteria to assess the rigor of a research are by looking at the internal
validity, external validity, reliability, and objectivity. However, these set of criteria do
not suit with the constructivism approach to education. This approach proposes the
following criteria: credibility, transferability, dependability and conformability. By
using the criteria proposed, the study of education will be rigorous, and the scientific
criteria will be achieved too. The word science is derived from the Latin language
scire, means to know.

Chapter VII
Postmodernism and Education
In this chapter, by quoting Kaelan, Alwasilah state that human is influenced
by language, by I prefer to think that human, language and reality is influencing to
each other. Postmodernism arise as consequence of the modern failure that was
implied by the domination empiricism and rationalism and also capitalism. Human
was disoriented.
Postmodernism or after modernism offers two way of gaining knowledge, they are
social construction and hermeneutic mode of engagements. The both ways disagree to
empiricism and rationalism.
The core of the social constructions principle is that language is constructed
by experiences and not the contrary. This is interfering with what Alwasilah state that
human is influenced by language. Meanwhile, the core of hermeneutics principle
focuses on the meaning and not to the structure. By this way, language is believed as
the power of human. The word of hermeneutic is derived by Latin hermeneuein or to
interpret. There is a myth, at ancient time; Hermes is the interpreter of gods
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language. He undertakes as the interpreter. He interprets gods language to human


language. Thats why the study of interpreting language is named Hermeneutics,
because it is taken from Hermess name.
Deconstruction
The term of deconstruction comes from Jacques Derrida. Derrida, as
Heidegger and Levinas, they have commented almost whole of west philosophy. By
commenting it, he offers new texts, arranging own text and unloading other text. This
procedure is what Derrida said as Deconstruction (Lubis, 2003:97).
Heidegger stated that a philosophy construction must be followed by
destruction (Alwasilah, 2008:126). It means that when we want to construct a new
one, the old one must be destructed, criticized. Although the term of deconstruction
come from Derrida, but Culler (in Lubis, 2003:98) states that deconstruction, in fact,
has been conducted by Nietzsche, when he made the chronology inversion on the
principle of causality and moral, as what he writes in his book The Will to Power.
Derrida and Nietzsche assume that every text is rhetoric. It means that every
text contains implied persuasive meaning, so that, metaphors or fictive elements are
assumed as the basic figure in every text. Therefore the ambiguity of meaning in the
text can be a base for suing every intension applied in the text or word (Lubis,
2003:99).
Suing the structural education
Structuralism, as what Piaget stated in his book Structuralism, as approach
that considers the elements of the system and their regularity. In Indonesia system of
education field, this approach applied as what we see until now, there are many stages
must be followed by everyone. Elementary, to junior and to senior high school, etc. it
is very structural.
This approach tends to arrange human experiences. As we know that human
has separated experiences. The experience cant be said knowledge if it is still
separated with other experiences. It is important to construct experience as a system
of knowledge, make it to be regular. An elementary school student doesnt need to
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get experience from junior high schools text book, of course, because his/her ability
is still limited, etc. so thats why we need to arrange education stage, in order to
regulate human experiences.
Every stage in education has point or goal; it is implied in the Tyler design of
curriculum. Marginally, Tyler design of curriculum focuses on how to organize the
experiences of education, in order to reach the target or the goal of the education
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itself.
As does Bloom taxonomy, the both focuses to the system and the elements of
the system. They have a number of weaknesses and the most important aspect they
have disregarded is the human position. In their designs, human is not the core of the
system, but the elements or the rules are the core. Humans role as the experimenter is
disregarded, and this looks like robot that operates the system.

CHAPTER VIII
The Disregarded Education of Critical thinking
One of the aspects why Asian is quite degraded by European is the critical
thinking ability. There are at least two keywords behind this phenomenon, (1) feudal
behavior in educated person environment, and (2) malpractice in the national system
of education. I am not sure about what error exists in our education system, but I
realize that education system must be repaired and repaired, developed and developed
again.
In my opinion, everyone is unique and has their each interest, very personal.
Someone may be critical in one field but it doesnt mean that he or she will be critical
in other field. Thats why critical thinking is not skill but tendency. One day,
Mangunwijaya may say I am a literature critic (kritikus sastra) and I dont care about
politic issues. It means that he doesnt need to be critical in politic field, but when
you offer some art problems, especially literature, he will be very critical.
Psychologically, we will be critical to everything that menaces our freedom. You
need to get a job as a journalist; you dont need to be critical in cooking. If you are
not critical in writing, your freedom to be journalist is being menaced.
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One of the difficulties that Indonesian students are facing is how to explore
their idea critically, through a critical writing. I strongly agree with Professor
Alwasilah that our education planning has disregarded the writing skill and students
always spending (or may be wasting) their time to study theories but they are not
given opportunity to practice how writing well.
Traditional culture influence, in one side, is a factor of weakness of the critical
thinking. Lectures and teachers dont know how to teach students to be critical
thinkers, and this is caused of the lack of teacher quality. These are the factors of
weakness of the critical ability.
Language mastering (critical literacy) is close related with the creative critical
thinking ability. It is because language is a medium or instrument to express, to
explore and to impress idea, mind or understanding. Even reality is realized by
language. When someone improves his language skill, it is the same with improving
his critical thinking. Asking questions is more important in philosophy, but to my
understanding, solving problem is the most important in improving creative and
critical thinking. What is the meaning, if someone questioning and always
questioning (add the problem) but all of that dont solve any problem? And because
there is a close relation between language and critical thinking, language education
must be re-planned again, by considering the new or innovative paradigm and focus
to the creative and critical thinking improvement.

Chapter IX
Critical Thinking Class
This chapter more focus to how important the critical thinking lecturing. As
what we know that the factors make Indonesian student lack of critical thinking
ability, is because of the traditional culture influence and teacher quality. Thats why
teachers must be grounded with knowledge about critical thinking and how to make
students become critical. Therefore, it is very important to involve critical thinking in
the curriculum.
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In my opinion, critical is thinking a problem or issue form the surface to deep, from
consequence or effect to cause, from how it happen to how to anticipate or appreciate
it, radically, comprehensively, deeply.
Critical thinking, beside as positive and productive activity, it is also analytic
and innovative activity. Someone becomes critical because of many factors. It can be
rational factor or emotional factor. How to teach critical thinking? Problem-based and
debate-based learning strategy will be more appropriate to be used in the class.
Language as the instrument of thinking has an important role in improving
critical thinking ability. Language education should improve this kind of ability. We
agree that debate can improve critical thinking, because beside students must arrange
their idea, they must think how to explore it. Thus, they improve the both critical
thinking and language mastery altogether. Debate environment will develop or
increase their ability. Although they are under pressure to rebate their opposition, it is
a good learning environment, they will realize that they have to defend their idea, if
not, they will be eliminated. This makes them thinking hard, and of course this learns
them to be more and more critical.

Chapter X
Linguistics and Critical Thinking Ability
In linguistics, there is discourse analysis that can be a good instrument to
improve critical thinking ability. For making the discourse be critical, the discourse
must (1) contains ideology inherently, (2) gives resistance to internal critique (3)
becomes a position for interaction of other discourses (4) shows concept, ideas, and
perspectives, and (5) be related with social power distribution.
Critical thinking has components as follows:
-

Identifying and questioning the assumptions.

Questioning the importance of concepts

Imaging an exploring several alternatives

Being skeptic and reflective in facing problems


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In studying linguistics, students (people) have more opportunities to improve


their critical thinking ability, because linguistics and its branches are very complete.
Linguistics talks about structure (syntax), meaning (semantic-pragmatic), rule
(grammar), value, content, etc. Language, beside its function as the instrument of
thinking, it is also instrument for social interaction. Social phenomenon is also
realized, thought, shared by using language, although language is not thinking (but I
prefer to say language and idea are two united things and cant be separated), but
mostly, lack of language skill is a reflection of lack of the thinking ability.
I strongly agree with the writer that if language is believed as the instrument
of thinking, so that linguistics and literature should prepare lectures and students to be
competent and more critical.
It is important to be noticed that the planning of language learning must be
improved or added with critical discourse analysis (CDA). Therefore, students (and
also teacher and lecture) can improve and improve again their critical thinking ability.
What I understood from this that people can think something without speaking, or
writing, but by speaking, reading and writing, people can be more critical.

Chapter XI
Read: Theory and Implication
In this chapter, Alwasilah more talk about the implication of fasting in our
life. Of course, that cant be avoided fasting brings a lot of advantages in our daily
experiences. Alquran was brought down to Muhammad SAW by opening word
(command) READ! This Gods command is very powerful and endless of power.
Since Muhammad spread out his teaching until now, read is a keyword to get
knowledge.
Fasting brings a lot of advantages. Fasting, indirectly, teaches everyone who
is doing it. Teachings in fasting activity are astrology, Geography, Appreciating on
the differences of opinion, Sincerity, Discipline, Social sensitivity, Unity and
association. Fasting, if it is done by sincerity, solemn and right, will be a great
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changer, from worst to the best, from sinful to merciful. Thats why, I strongly agree
that the command read and fasting (and also other religious services) is the
education from God, this because, as Alwasilah states that actually, education is a
systematic changing.
Formerly, the command read has not object. What I have to read? Or I cant
read! These are sentences that Muhammad said when Gabriel asked him to read.
According to Ghazali in Ihya Ulumuddin, the object of iqra is everything in this
world, including you. God doesnt ask human to read text only, but also read the
universe and what happened in it. That is why God says that everything happened in
the universe, actually, are the guidance, clue, instruction and knowledge, for who
thinks it (ulil albaab)
Therefore, Alquran has grounded this teaching, read is the way to gain
knowledge. We have to read if we want to gain the knowledge. Read in this case is
not just read the text, but also universe and everything happened in it.

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References
Adian, Donny Gahral. 2003. Martin Heidegger. Penerbit Teraju
Gaarder, Jostein. 2004. Dunia Sophie: sebuah novel filsafat. Penerbit Mizan
Griffiths, Carol. 2008. Lessons From Good Language Learners. Cambridge
Lubis, Akhyar Yusuf. 2003. Paul Feyerabend : penggagas antimetode.
Penerbit Teraju
Poespoprodjo. W. 1991. Logika Scientifika. Penerbit Rosda Bandung.

www.jeffsapp.com

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