Research shows energy education can be brought to life through religious lessons


Energy education or energy saving education in a global context has developed rapidly in various countries, for example in the United States (US) , Europe , and Japan . Energy education research is increasingly offering various perspectives, such as integrated energy education learning in schools and homes , learning by delivering messages of energy-saving social norms , and integrated geospatial curriculum learning with energy topics .

Unfortunately, from the existing research, not many have seen energy saving from the perspective of religious ethical values. As a result, the internalization of the ethical values ​​of energy saving that are practiced only focus on natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Our research in Bandung, West Java , shows that by including religious ethical values ​​in energy education, the orientation and goals of energy saving can be more internalized in attitudes and behavior because they are directly related to the religious teachings that students believe in.

This research also develops a conceptual framework for integrating energy saving education with Islamic ethical values ​​in Islamic secondary schools or madrasahs integrated with the boarding school system .

Empirically, Islamic boarding schools as unique traditional educational institutions have contributed a lot in solving problems in society, including in terms of energy conservation and the environment. Islamic boarding schools are able to strengthen the role of religious values ​​in educational institutions and the community environment, to formulate solutions to environmental problems theoretically and practically. For example, the Al Ittifaq environmental-based Islamic boarding school (ekopesantren) which is a model for empowering the agribusiness economy.

Energy literacy in religious studies

Energy-saving education, when integrated into the energy literacy framework , includes at least an understanding of basic energy concepts, the development of positive attitudes toward energy consumption, and the development of energy-saving habits.

1. Understand the basic concept of energy with ethics

In the tradition of Islamic boarding school and madrasah education, the ethical guideline book Ta’lim al-Muta’allim by Imam al-Zarnuji is an inseparable part of the curriculum in the learning and teaching process. This book explains many ethical guidelines that have horizontal dimensions (relationships between humans and other creatures) and vertical (human relationships with Allah) to achieve blessings and benefits after obtaining the knowledge they have learned.

Based on our research findings , schools teach several Islamic ethical values ​​that can be internalized through energy-saving behavior. Some of these include a simple lifestyle, expressing gratitude, being serious ( man jadda wajada ), maintaining balance ( tawazun ), avoiding going beyond the limits ( tatharuf ), and preventing waste ( isyraf and tabzir ).

The value of tawazun , for example, is related to frugal behavior or iqtishad . This behavior is generally interpreted as using everything available—property, time, and energy—as needed. Iqtishad is the middle way between wasteful and stingy behavior.

2. Positive energy consumption

Religious ethical values ​​can also be a source of inspiration for positive energy use—not wasteful or in vain.

Environmental damage as a result of energy waste, for example, can be explained using a quote from the Qur’an, Surah Al-Rum, verse 41 , which states that humans will feel the consequences of their own actions on the environment.

The material of purification in Islamic Religious Education (PAI) learning can also be taught by providing awareness to students about the importance of efficient water use. When performing ablution, students are always reminded to avoid waste. This is because ablution requires at least two sources of energy that can run out, namely water and electricity—which are widely used to operate the pump engine. That way, internalization of positive energy consumption will be achieved.

In addition, teachers can also internalize the Islamic ethical values ​​of energy saving when discussing energy saving material which is often found in Natural Sciences subjects so that religion and science strengthen each other.

3. Save energy as a habit

Awareness of the wise use of energy in the equipment used ( device energy literacy ) must be instilled from an early age through educational efforts with habituation and role modeling.

This habit can start from small things, such as turning off the lights, unplugging the power plug, and adjusting the air conditioner temperature . If this behavior has become a habit, then energy education can be said to be successful.

Wider application

Our research does focus on Islamic schools or madrasahs in Islamic boarding schools. However, this model can also be applied in religious schools with other systems, even in public schools. Because, the ethical value of saving energy is a universal value that can be explored from traditions and teachings of other religions.

The integrated-thematic energy-saving learning that we build can also be further developed using an inter-religious learning model. This means that the ethical values ​​of energy saving that are the central theme of learning do not only come from one particular religious perspective. There is a dialogue of values ​​and views of religions related to ecology and energy. Thus, this concept becomes a universal model in its application.

Author Bio: May Allah have mercy on you is a Lecturer BPSDM ESDM at the Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources