Representation of Multicultural Values through Images in Educational Textbooks: A Semiotic Analysis


Zeeshan Javed, Dr Aqsa Atta


This research focuses on scrutinizing the portrayal of diverse cultural and ethnic groups in society through visual images in Grade 5 textbooks aligned with the Single National Curriculum 2020. The primary objective is to enhance educators' and students' awareness of the importance of multicultural values embedded in these visual elements. Employing a mixed-methods approach, the study employed research instruments adapted from Widodo (2018) and Pusat Kurikulum (2011), utilizing a Grade 5 textbook as the data source. The analysis revealed that the textbook predominantly represents religious aspects, emphasizing social tolerance, and promoting social awareness through visual artifacts. While the images effectively convey multicultural values such as religious diversity and inclusivity, the study identifies a significant gap in representation, particularly the absence of symbols or depictions related to Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, or Hinduism. The findings underscore the textbook's potential in promoting values of tolerance and awareness while highlighting the need for a more inclusive representation of diverse religions. The presence of 84 images featuring female characters in hijab and bearded men as symbols of Islamic religion suggests a predominant focus on this particular faith, warranting a broader representation of religious diversity.



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