About the Author(s)

Tasman Hamami Email symbol
Department of Islamic Education, Faculty of FTIK, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Zalik Nuryana symbol
Department of Islamic Education, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Ahmad Dahlan University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Institute of Curriculum and Didactic, Department of Education Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China


Hamami, T. & Nuryana, Z., 2022, ‘A holistic–integrative approach of the Muhammadiyah education system in Indonesia’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 78(4), a7607. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i4.7607

Original Research

A holistic–integrative approach of the Muhammadiyah education system in Indonesia

Tasman Hamami, Zalik Nuryana

Received: 06 Apr. 2022; Accepted: 22 Aug. 2022; Published: 07 Dec. 2022

Copyright: © 2022. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Islamic education curriculum in Indonesia tends to be partial and dichotomous. However, Muhammadiyah has reformed the holistic–integrative curriculum as a solution for the sustainability of education. This study aims to reveal a special curriculum reform in the holistic–integrative Muhammadiyah education system to solve the dichotomous problems and the inadequacy in the Islamic education curriculum in Indonesia. Furthermore, the study describes a specific curriculum model that includes all aspects of students’ personality and integrates science and technology with Islamic values. Data were collected from previous studies and special curriculum documents of Al-Islam, Kemuhammadiyahan and Arabic Language (ISMUBA). Curriculum documents were obtained from elementary, junior and Muhammadiyah senior high school, published by Primary and Secondary Education Assembly of Muhammadiyah Central Board in 2017. Data analysis used a content model with a systematic and rational framework. The results showed that the special reform curriculum based on the holistic–integrative model develops students’ potentials, including spiritual, emotional, intellectual and transcendental intelligence, in an integrated manner.

Contribution: The holistic–integrative curriculum is a future Islamic education model for the sustainability of private Islamic education system in Indonesia that can form a good, faithful, pious and a noble community.

Keywords: sustainable education; integrated curriculum; curriculum development; special curriculum; Islamic education system; Muhammadiyah.


The modern Islamic education reform in Indonesia is attributed to the Muhammadiyah movement (Fanani 2019). Muhammadiyah refers to an Islamic social organisation founded by K.H. Ahmad Dahlan in 1912 to develop modern Islamic education (Sutarto, Sari & Anrial 2020). Nakamura stated that the influence of Muhammadiyah school development includes increasing national awareness about Islam, spreading reformist ideology and promoting modern science (Birchok 2016). According to Peacock (2017), it is a combination of religious and secular education, moral responsibility and tolerance. Aljunied (2011) stated that the Muhammadiyah movement contributes to the sustainable development of the social, political, economic, educational and social entities through its hospitals, universities and schools.

Muhammadiyah is an Islamic reform movement that concentrates on education, health, economy and community empowerment. Muhammadiyah has carried out reforms in the field of education through three things and one of which is the curriculum. Muhammadiyah education teaches religious studies and general studies. At the same time it follows the holistic integrative education paradigm (Dikdasmen 2022). Moreover, it also transforms learning methods from the classical to modern paradigms. There is also institutional reform, which is a combination of the pesantren and school education systems. The reform will certainly continue to be dynamic following the fast-paced changing times (Nuryana 2019). Muhammadiyah consistently organises modern Islamic education based on a holistic–integrative paradigm in schools and madrasas (Widodo 2019).

Based on official data from the website1, Muhammadiyah has 3334 schools consisting of elementary schools (1094 schools), junior high schools (1128 schools), high schools (558 schools) and vocational schools (554 schools). For Madrasah, Muhammadiyah has 1908 units consisting of Madrasah Ibtidaiyah or elementary school (1209 madrasas), Madrasah Tsanawiyah or middle school (521 madrasas) and Madrasah Aliyah or high school (178 madrasas). Muhammadiyah also owns and organises 326 Islamic boarding schools or Muhammadiyah boarding schools. The data show that Muhammadiyah has full attention in efforts to educate the nation’s life through the development of a holistic–integrative education system. Muhammadiyah education has an Islamic perspective including Kemuhammadiyahan, nationality, unity and excellence. These principles are an integral unit that should be developed in every Muhammadiyah educational institution, which is why this study focuses on the holistic–integrative concept of Muhammadiyah education system.

This movement addresses the variation between traditional Islamic and the modern neutral Gubernamen education model (Azra 2015). After Indonesia’s independence in 1945, the national education system began to accommodate Islamic learning curriculum content. In 1946, the government officially implemented Islamic education in people’s schools since Grade 4. After 1950, Islamic education was taught from Class I in People’s Schools, where most of the population were Muslims (Hatim 2018). Currently, religion is part of the national curriculum and must be taught in all types, pathways and levels of education (Perpusnas 2006). In public and elementary schools, Islamic Education subjects are taught two and 4 h per week since 2013. Religion and Character Education subjects have been taught three and 4 h per week in junior high school, senior high school and vocational high school. However, the allocation of teaching hours for Islamic and Character education is inadequate (Manizar 2017; Rouf 2016). Therefore, to achieve the goal of education or form, a holistic individual requires a balance between religious education and science subjects. An unbalanced curriculum is a crucial problem in education because the long-term goals cannot be achieved. The main objective of implementing Muhammadiyah is to develop a curriculum model that integrates science with Islam in a balanced manner. The integrative curriculum shapes students into true Muslims who are faithful, pious, virtuous, devoted have broad insight, understand science and are willing to fight for society’s progress (Ali 2016).

In some countries, the Islamic Education curriculum depends on the curriculum used, so the problems in different countries are relatively different (Douglass 2021). In Malaysia, for example, until a decade ago, the landscape of primary and secondary level Islamic education consisted of five types of religious schools: federal religious schools (federal schools of religion and schools of national religion), state government religious schools (state religious schools), schools run by the Islamic Religious Council, people’s religion schools (schools of people’s religions) and state private religious schools (private religious schools). Of these, people’s religion schools and private religious schools are managed independently but they use the national curriculum so that graduates can continue their studies at formal higher education institutions (Hamid & Fauzi 2017). In contrast to Iran, one of the initial efforts of the Iranian post-revolutionary government was to adapt the curriculum to the principles of revolutionary Islamic ideology. As part of the Islamisation process, major changes were introduced to curriculum content and the proportion and hours devoted to religious subjects increased substantially (Arjmand 2018a). In Egypt, religious education is mandatory in the formal education curriculum. This amounts to approximately 3 h per week at the elementary level (six years, children aged 6–12 years) and 2 h per week at the preparatory level (three years, children aged 12–15 years) and intermediate (three years) (Arjmand 2018b).

The dynamics of Islamic education is certainly interesting to always be developed. This is considering that Islamic education has long- and short-term goals. Ideally, the national education curriculum can accommodate these goals. However, the national curriculum standards are not sufficient to achieve these short- and long-term goals. Therefore, a curriculum model that integrates science and Islam proportionally needs to be developed and accommodated by the national system. Baidarus et al. and Huda stated that the Muhammadiyah was updated to a special curriculum for Al-Islam, Kemuhammadiyahan and Arabic Language (ISMUBA) integrated with science (Baidarus et al. 2020; Huda 2018). Mukminin discussed the national standard curriculum applied exclusively to all students regardless of their uniqueness (Mukminin et al. 2019). It has not been able to provide appropriate educational services for students optimally. This is because the curriculum is incompatible with the uniqueness and diversity of children’s social, cultural, ethnic, racial and environmental aspects. Therefore, an inclusive curriculum is an alternative solution to allow children to develop to the highest potential. Facer revealed the importance of an area-based or contextual curriculum (Facer 2009). There should be a mutual understanding and harmony in developing and implementing curriculum between regions and schools. Mølstad, Priestley and Pietarinen concluded that the local, regional or special curricula had a positive impact on schools, students, teachers and society (Mølstad 2015; Pietarinen, Pyhältö & Soini 2017; Priestley, Minty & Eager 2014).

Previous research confirmed that the renewal of the ISMUBA special curriculum in the Muhammadiyah education system is based on a holistic–integrative paradigm (Mayarisa 2018; Widodo, Sutrisno & Hanum 2019). Therefore, this integration is interesting and an important phenomenon to study to offer guidance on bettering the strategies and meeting long-term educational goals. This study proposes a different integration model between science and religion curricula. Most of the integrated models offer limited learning methods (Fogarty 1991), while this study’s ISMUBA is related to education and learning philosophy aspects. The ISMUBA curriculum was developed in accordance with the provisions of Law Number 20 of 2003 concerning the Indonesian National Education System. The ISMUBA curriculum is structured according to the level of education within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia by taking into account: (1) increasing faith and piety; (2) improvement of noble character; (3) increasing the potential, intelligence and interest of students; (4) the diversity of regional and environmental potentials; (5) regional and national development demands; (6) the demands of the world of work; (7) the development of science, technology and art; (8) religion; (9) the dynamics of global development and (10) national unity and national values. However, the concept of Islamic education in public schools in Indonesia does not conflict with the development of the ISMUBA curriculum concept, and this is because in its development the curriculum is integrated and interconnected with national policies in order to support and jointly educate the nation’s children (Dikdasmen 2017).

Practically, this study discusses a holistic–integrative development curriculum that can be an alternative solution to current and future modern Islamic education challenges. The research’s results provide a new perspective on holistic–integrative curriculum reform to prepare young people to master science with a strong religious foundation. This integration model has a novelty that can be an example of several countries with a religious education system in their country, such as Indonesia, by applying a holistic–integrative model to develop students’ potential, including spiritual, emotional, intellectual and transcendental intelligence, in an integrated manner. This study provides a complete idea of integrating the education curriculum, managed by the private sector, to design education sustainability.

Literature review

Curriculum development paradigm

The real world’s accelerated growth necessitates a curriculum development paradigm that addresses the demands of students (Fragouli 2020). There are three curriculum planning frameworks based on period: contemporary, postmodern and the paradigm proposed by actor–network theory. These curriculum models were created in response to social changes and education. The programme is an essential component of schooling. It is continually expanding and represents the total stuff that students take from school. The words curriculum and curriculum growth are often troublesome because they suggest two separate curriculum development and curriculum completion stages. There is no dividing line between the two. Curriculum creation is neither an entity that ends before it reaches the classroom nor is curriculum a package that ends after it enters the classroom. It is a continuous method of construction and alteration. Governments, advertisers, parents, instructors and students are all interested in this process.

A curriculum is an essential element in education because it guides all stakeholders to achieve short- and long-term goals (Stabback 2016; Su 2012). An educational curriculum is a fundamental reason why the government is concerned with development and implementation. According to Mahfud, every curriculum update is related to government political policies (Mahfud 2019). Studies on the relationship between government policy and curriculum development show that reforms can be used for various political interests (Lawton 2012; Schreurs 2008). Therefore, the government influences the curriculum’s style and orientation because the update is based on academic considerations and adapted to political policies (Kasuga 2019; Raihani 2007). Furthermore, the government establishes a national education policy exclusively for public and private schools to implement a standard-based curriculum model (Suyadi et al. 2022). It shows the relationship between centralised and decentralised educational systems. The ISMUBA curriculum considers the principles of: (1) increasing faith, piety and noble morals; (2) future competence needs; (3) increased potential, intelligence, and interests in accordance with the level of development and ability of learners; (4) diversity of regional and environmental potentials and characteristics; (5) regional and national development demands; (6) development of science, technology and arts; (6) religion and global development dynamics; (10) national unity and national values; (11) socio-cultural conditions of the local community; and (12) gender equality and characteristics of education units (Dikdasmen 2017).

The decentralised education system allows regions to develop curricula based on environmental needs, philosophical and ideological considerations. According to Yamin, the regional curriculum bridges the national with local wisdom (Yamin 2017). The local curriculum concept was developed in 1994, 2004, 2006 and 2013 curriculums (Andrian, Kartowagiran & Hadi 2018). Bjork stated that regional curriculum development refers to flexibility in education decentralisation and autonomy (Bjork 2003). Moreover, it is an inseparable part of the national curriculum because it improves student learning achievement and shows education’s relevance to a unique environment (Chunwadee et al. 2015). Masub and Saputra concluded that the local wisdom-based curricula solve problems and change attitudes and mindsets (Bakhtiar 2016; Saputra 2013). Furthermore, it changes behaviour and increases knowledge, skills and awareness of various societal problems to make a significant contribution to human life. This study is in line with holistic education principles that emphasise the connection and reconciliation of children’s personalities into a broader context of meaning (Mahmoudi et al. 2012).

Al-Islam, Kemuhammadiyahan and Arabic language curriculum based on holistic–integrative education

Indonesia is an archipelagic country, which is highly diversified. This diversity gives rise to different development needs and challenges between regions in order to improve quality and educate people’s lives. Related to the development of education, each region requires education in accordance with the characteristics of the region. Likewise, the curriculum as the heart of education needs to be developed and implemented contextually to respond to the needs of the region, education units and students. Muhammadiyah institutionally responds to the needs of the community by creating a holistic–integrative modern Islamic education system, in the form of public schools that integrate Islamic religious sciences and madrasas that integrate general sciences. This Islamic education system is supported by a curriculum that is always developed according to internal and external factors (Dikdasmen 2017).

Muhammadiyah updated the ISMUBA special curriculum based on holistic–integrative education and the K.H. Ahmad Dahlan model (Fanani 2019). The basic idea in K.H. Dahlan’s model integrated science and religion in the modern Islamic school or madrasah system. Also, the model supports modern Islamic education thinkers in the integration of science and religion popularised by Ismail Raj’i al-Faruqi (Amir et al. 2015; Arifuddin 2015), Naquib al-Attas (Bocca-Aldaqre 2019; Martanegara 2017) and Amin Abdullah (Puspitasari 2020; Suyadi & Sutrisno 2018). The transformation of the Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan curriculum in Muhammadiyah education encourages the improvement of school quality (Aly 2019). Al-Faruqi developed the science of Islamisation concept with the paradigm of the unity of knowledge to build a structure based on religious teachings (Amir et al. 2015; Khuza’i, Safrudin & Suhendi 2020). According to Abdullah, constructing an integrated relationship between religion, science and culture solves complex social problems (Abdullah 2015). Furthermore, Khasri and Mustansyir and Masduki recommended the paradigm of social science integration with Islam (Khasri & Mustansyir 2020; Masduki 2011). This is in line with Sunhaji and Hasyim who stated that Islamic education plays an essential role in creating the next generation’s personality (Hashim 2006; Sunhaji 2016).

The integration of science and Islam might help to overcome educational institutions’ failure and grow or shape a noble character among learners (Chowdhury 2018). However, systems have not succeeded in forming the ideal human because the educational process is partial. Also, it has not been able to facilitate the development of the student’s potential holistically. Drake and Reid concluded that academic learning outcomes with an integrative approach model are better than traditional partial learning (Drake & Reid 2018). This is in line with Muhammadiyah education, which develops a holistic–integrative model by combining science, technology and Islam to develop students (Fanani 2019). The application of Muhammadiyah education needs to be institutionalised in a modern school system that uses the ISMUBA special and the national standard curriculum.

Research method

This research used a qualitative approach based on literature and documents in accordance with the data containing narrative curriculum concepts (Denzin & Lincoln 2011). It develops a deep understanding of the specific reform model of the ISMUBA curriculum based on holistic education that integrates science and Islam. This method was chosen as an effort to find information relevant to the ISMUBA curriculum in the form of curriculum documents. From history, it appears that documents play an important role in the continuity of social science. In the beginning, documents were simply treated as data, but over time, this perspective began to change. The intellectual journey has shifted from the mere reconstruction of personal experience to epistemology and text production. The struggle of content analysis and narrative analysis is increasingly enriched by contextual issues or by the embedding of stories or texts in individual or group experiences. This ISMUBA curriculum document will be the basis for the development of Muhammadiyah education in the future because of the sustainability of the Muhammadiyah-style Islamic education system, which until now has become a reference for the development of Islamic education.


Data were obtained from ISMUBA documents and other relevant sources, which are relevant as a research field (Cohen, Manion & Morrison 2018). The ISMUBA curriculum documents were obtained from Elementary, Junior and Muhammadiyah Senior High School, published by Primary and Secondary Education Assembly of Muhammadiyah Central Board in 2017. The curriculum document2 is freely available. The research stages included searching and reviewing documents and literature, classifying contents, preparing themes, analysing information, writing results and validating data using the source triangulation method. The search for supporting documents in this study uses Internet searching. The Internet has become one of the media as a tool for more flexible and efficient data collection.


Data were analysed using content techniques that critically examine concepts of written material to interpret all data and determine meaningful results. Content analysis is generally defined as a method that includes all analysis of the content of the text, but on the other hand, content analysis is also used to describe a specific analytical approach. According to Cohen, qualitative content analysis is one of the various research methods used to analyse text data (Cohen-Mansfield et al. 2016). Also, data were interpreted through classification, coding and theme identification (Hsieh & Shannon 2005). The analysis process used a rational-systematic mindset to emphasise logical arguments built on authentic data and understand concepts written in official documents. Systematic thinking emphasises the relationship between the various elements of research as a whole (Sabarudin 2015). This approach is used because ISMUBA curriculum documents are documented and can be accessed by anyone. Furthermore, there is complementary information or certain theoretical frameworks that support the analysis, which is also used as an approach method to the ISMUBA curriculum.

Results and discussion

The integrative paradigm application in Muhammadiyah education has implications for updating the ISMUBA special curriculum in schools. For instance, ISMUBA special curriculum reform allows Muhammadiyah schools to get more value than institutions that apply the National Curriculum minimum standard. Therefore, the ISMUBA curriculum is a specialisation and a competitive advantage characteristic for Muhammadiyah schools. This is necessary to respond to global developments and strengthen Muhammadiyah schools that are competitive in the sustainability of private schools in Indonesia.

Muhammadiyah education, which was founded by K.H Ahmad Dahlan in the form of a modern educational institution, is a synthesis of the reality of the existence of a dichotomous education system. At that time, there was an Islamic education system with a traditional boarding school system, which only taught religious knowledge and on the other hand, a modern, colonial-style education system was held. Seeing the dichotomous education system, K.H. Ahmad Dahlan creatively builds an integrated–holistic modern Islamic e ducation system (Hamami 2021) in the form of public schools that integrate Islamic religious sciences, and madrasas that integrate general sciences. This education system is characterised by Islamic religious knowledge and Arabic language, and in its development, it also taught Kemuhammadiyahan subjects. These three subjects, namely Al-Islam, Kemuhammadiyahan and Arabic, are commonly called ISMUBA for Muhammadiyah schools and madrasas, which characterises its excellence. Since its inception, Muhammadiyah Schools and Madrasahs have been designed with an integrative–holistic modern Islamic education system, to produce graduates who master general science according to their level, and the religion of Islam, Kemuhmammadiyahan and Arabic. People in general have high hopes for Muhammadiyah education because of these special characteristics and advantages (Dikdasmen 2017).

Expected holistic–integrative goals

Special curriculum reform develops students’ full potential spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, kinesthetically, socially and improves their fighting and transcendental power (see Table 1). Also, the curriculum develops faithful and pious servants and caliphs of Allah who have an understanding science. The ideal targets developed into operational objectives include, firstly, upholding faith and piety to students through learning, guidance, training, practice and habituation of Al-Islam, Muhammadiyah and Arabic to form believers and pious people who believe in Allah Swt. and have noble character. Secondly, educating students to be religious, sociable, noble, intelligent, creative and productive. Furthermore, the models seek to instill and increase the awareness and responsibility of students to participate in evil prevention (amar ma’ruf nahi munkar). Finally, it instills love and shapes students’ Arabic language skills as a means of understanding the sources of Islamic teachings and means of communication.

TABLE 1: Graduates’ competencies.

Scope of content holistic–integrative curriculum includes four competencies, namely spiritual attitude, social attitude, knowledge and skill (see Figure 1). All that aims to develop students’ competencies designed from the ISMUBA curriculum. Figure 1 shows that each aspect has different competencies. Firstly, spiritual attitudes include believe, accept and carry out Islamic teachings following the Alquran and reliable Hadith. Secondly, social attitudes include noble morals: honesty, fairness, discipline, politeness, care, tolerance, being cooperative, confidence, diligence, intelligence, productivity, creativity, innovativity, responsibility and a fighting spirit. Thirdly, knowledge includes understanding the types of Islamic religious knowledge that are factual, conceptual, procedural, metacognitive and supra-rational through faith, guidance from the Quran and Hadith and science.

FIGURE 1: Special curriculum core competencies developed in the ISMUBA curriculum.

The three skills include presenting factual knowledge in a clear and logical language, in aesthetic works, in movements that reflect healthy children and in actions that reflect the behaviour of students who are faithful and have noble morals that reflect Muhammadiyah cadres. To achieve graduate competence, a curriculum structure is developed and allocated time in accordance with each school level. The curriculum structure and the allocation of elementary, junior and senior high school learning time are presented in Table 2 and Table 3, respectively.

TABLE 2: Curriculum structure and time allocation of elementary school.
TABLE 3: Curriculum structure and time allocation of junior and senior high school/senior high vocational.

The allocation of time and learning load for ISMUBA education at Muhammadiyah elementary schools is arranged in the learning organisation: (1) the allocation of 5 h per week for elements of Al-Islam Education subjects includes four and 1 h face-to-face and co-curricular, habituation and deepening of learning material activities, respectively; (2) the allocation of worship practice time for Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 are 2 h, while Grade 4, Grade 5 and Grade 6 are 1 h. Religious practice activities can be conducted in classrooms and religious laboratories; (3) the time allocation for elements of the Alqur’an subjects including tahsin, recitations and tahfidz was 3 h lesson consisting of 2 h for intracurricular activities and 1 h is read and memorise the Alquran; (4) the Muhammadiyah subject is assigned 1 h per week used for intracurricular activities strengthened by habituation, programmed guidance and school culture. Kemuhammadiyahan is studied starting from Grade 3, but schools can teach it from Grade 1 depending on the school’s needs and conditions; (5) learning Arabic was allocated 2 h per week for intracurricular learning activities reinforced by structured and independent exercises and assignments. Learning Arabic begins in Grade 4 but can be taught from Grade 1 depending on the school’s needs and conditions.

The curriculum structure and the learning time allocation in junior and vocational high schools are as follows: (1) the allocation of Alqur’an learning time (Tahsin, Tilawah, Tahfidz) is 3 h per week, including two intracurricular learning activities and recitation of tahsin and tahfidz activities with teacher guidance for Grade 1; (2) Aqidah Akhlak had a time allocation of 2 h of intracurricular lessons strengthened by exemplary and habituation activities through programmes and school culture, as well as structured and independent assignments; (3) the time allocation for the elements of fiqh lessons was 3 h per week with intracurricular learning for Grade 1 and Grade 2 for worship practices. Religious practice activities can be conducted in the class or in the laboratory. The elements of fiqh subjects are strengthened by exemplary and habituation through school programmes and culture, as well as structured and independent assignments; (4) Tarikh was allocated 1 h per week for intracurricular learning strengthened by exemplary and habituation activities through programmes and school culture; (5) Kemuhammadiyahan was allocated 1 h per week for intracurricular learning activities strengthened by habituation, training and school culture; (6) The time allocated for Arabic subjects’ elements is 2 h per week, including intracurricular learning activities that were strengthened by guidance and training.

Holistic–integrative learning model

Learning special curriculum at Muhammadiyah schools used an ‘integrative–interconnective’ pattern between subjects, school activities, positive habituation and culture. This learning pattern integrates ISMUBA with the national curriculum (Islam and science). Interconnection patterns between lessons are made through materials, methods and values contained in lessons. The contents of science and Islam in the learning process are interconnected, mutually reinforcing and complementary. The integration–interconnection learning model is shown in Figure 2.

FIGURE 2: Integration–interconnection learning model.

The ISMUBA learning design refers to the model describing developing students’ potential in spiritual, emotional, adversity, intellectual and transcendental quotient. Comparably, the integration–interconnection learning model allows students to develop all aspects of these abilities holistically and form one’s personality. The ISMUBA learning is also oriented to the knowledge and deeds development to attain results. The cultivating values process uses a good exemplary strategy for all school members, extracurricular activities, culture, scouting ‘Hizbul Wathan’ and ‘Tapak Suci’ martial arts. Furthermore, the integration–interconnection model conditions the social environment, interaction, attitude and behaviour patterns, school rules, positive habituation and exemplary practices to instill Islamic teachings and values and develop personal behaviour.

Continuous monitoring and evaluation

To ensure a meaningful learning process, monitoring is conducted through supervision, evaluation, reporting and follow-up activities. The principal is responsible for monitoring the learning process objectively and openly to ensure improvements in student outcomes quality. Monitoring is also conducted by the supervisor of the education assurance unit to ensure a quality learning process. Monitoring and evaluating learning in the ISMUBA special curriculum includes four activities: (1) monitoring, planning, implementation and learning outcomes assessment are conducted by observation, recording, interviews, documentation and focus group discussions; (2) supervision of the learning process is conducted through providing classroom learning examples, discussions, consultations and training; (3) reporting monitoring, supervision and evaluation results is an accountability and consideration for continuous improvement and development of teacher professionalism and (4) follow-up supervision results are completed to strengthen and reward teachers who achieve good performance and provide opportunities to participate in continuous professional development programmes. The ISMUBA learning assessment used the authentic model to collect information about the preparation, process and overall student outcomes. This assessment described students’ learning outcomes’ capacity and achievement, which can have an instructional and nurturant effect on knowledge, skills and attitude aspects. During the process, the learning process evaluation was conducted through observation sheets, peer questionnaires, anecdotal notes and reflections. Results from the authentic assessment are important in planning remedial, enrichment and counselling services. Evaluation of outcomes was conducted during the learning process, at the end of the lesson, semester and education level through exams using written, oral and action test instruments. To determine students’ learning success, the model used authentic assessment and test results.

The special curriculum integrated with local and regional wisdom attracts the experts’ attention. Several previous studies showed that special curricula and local wisdom positively impact schools, students, teachers and communities (Musanna 2010; Priestley et al. 2014). Local wisdom curriculum builds closer school and community relationships, which increases parental and community participation. Aly and Nurhakim stated that special Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan curriculum transformation in Muhammadiyah schools encouraged school quality improvement (Aly & Nurhakim 2020). This is in line with this research, which revealed that the ISMUBA curriculum reform based on the holistic-integrative paradigm allows Muhammadiyah School to achieve long-term goals and produce better graduates (Sutarto et al. 2020). The integrative, interdisciplinary model in education achieves a more comprehensive understanding by conceptualising and reconstructing the teachers’ and students’ roles from traditional learning (Klein 2005; Suyadi 2019). On the other hand, the implementation of religion and science integration in Islamic educational institutions has tremendous challenges (Suyadi 2022; Umam 2018). Therefore, ISMUBA special curriculum reform based on the holistic-integrative education paradigm offers alternative ideas to break the deadlock in developing Islamic education. This is a very crucial implementation because the curriculum is an essential element of education effectiveness. Curricula designed for talented students using an integrated curriculum model significantly influenced the nature and level of learning (VanTassel-Baska & Wood 2010). According to Das, integrative education is a good, ideal and real Islamic education model in the globalisation era (Das, Halik & Amaluddin 2016).

Effendi stated that the curriculum model and integrative learning shaped students’ creative abilities (Effendi 2017). The ISMUBA special curriculum requires a systematic internalisation of values into the school curriculum, lessons, school culture and identity to achieve long-term goals (Fatimah 2019). Consequently, ISMUBA helps graduates achieve goals and competencies of becoming cadres who have clear and straight ideologies, high militancy, moral and performance character, the ability to preach and contribute to community life (Muslam & Santoso 2018). The curriculum combined Islam with science integrated with the development of religion, ummah and people’s lives. The holistic–integrated curriculum model in Muhammadiyah education includes a comprehensive and integrated objective dimension, learning materials that emphasise the reality. According to Zamroni, learning is student-centred, problem-based and environmentally oriented (Zamroni 2018). The ISMUBA curriculum reform in Muhammadiyah is related to school functions such as education, preaching and cadre activities. Therefore, Muhammadiyah ideology is instilled in students in their educational activities. Students are cadres needed to understand and practice the Muhammadiyah movement ideology (Suyatno et al. 2019).


The ISMUBA curriculum learning orientation developed competencies for students of class 5 holistically, including spiritual, emotional, adversity, intellectual and transcendental quotient. This concept connects the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s four pillars of learning, including learning to know, do, be and love together, to produce students’ competence. The integrative–interconnective learning model connects ISMUBA with social realities and school environments. Interconnection in learning can be conducted through material, methods and values in the subjects or extracurricular activities, positive refraction and school culture. Good school culture plays a major role in improving learning quality in holistic learning. Holistic–integrative Islamic education emphasises the process of developing a complete children’s potential. This goal can only be achieved through an education system that integrates science and religious knowledge. Therefore, the holistic–integrative-based ISMUBA special curriculum in Muhammadiyah education can be an alternative solution for the sustainability of the education system in the future.


The authors would like to thank all supporters and reviewers who provided feedback on the draft that improved the quality of the article. The authors would also like to thank Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, Indonesia (UIN Sunan Kalijaga) for their support in conducting this research.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Authors’ contributions

T.H. and Z.N. contributed to the design and implementation of the research, to the analysis of the results and to the writing of the manuscript.

Ethical considerations

This article followed all ethical standards of research without direct contact with human or animal subjects.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.


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1. https://dikdasmenppmuhammadiyah.org.

2. https://dikdasmenppmuhammadiyah.org/kurikulum/.

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