Developing Creative Students Who Embrace Malaysian Diverse Cultures: The Case of Learning Art through Wall Mural Activities
The program called Program Sekolah Penyayang Setia: Alam Semula Jadi, Persekitaran dan Sekolah was an activity-based project that focused on the ‘caring for school’concept, the aims of which were to instill the feeling of love and caring, nurture a sense of togetherness, create an awareness of the importance of virtuous values, and develop strong unity among students. In this program, a series of activities called Wall Mural: Integrated Cultural Activity was carried out to create murals by focusing on aspects that would help enhance a sense of strong appreciation and respect of the major races in Malaysian, namely Malays, Chinese, and Indians by learning and using relevant cultural symbols of motifs for murals. This study was based on a qualitative approach involving a study sample consisting of several primary school students of the second level. They were briefed of the objectives of this program and were given exposure to the use of various symbols and motifs to help them understand the importance of national integration of diverse cultures of various races of Malaysia. Through this program, these students were able to learn the cultural symbols of design motifs of the diverse cultures of Malaysia and to gain first-hand aesthetical experience in using such symbols in the mural activities. By displaying such artistic works, their teachers and friends would also be able to learn and appreciate the various symbols of motifs and their cultural meanings. In summation, all involved in this creative program, either directly or indirectly, would have learned some cultural aspects of the various races of Malaysia, the appreciation and respect of which could help create a caring, respectable community at the school level.