On unstable ground? Teachers' work in a context of policy reform and disaster vulnerability in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Christopher J Henderson

MEd(RES) thesis, conferred 2016

Indonesia's education system, fragmented across 13,000 islands, includes 3.3 million teachers and some 168,220 schools. (Suharti, 2013) Whilst Indonesia has enjoyed relative political stability in recent years, Indonesia's teachers regularly experience the disruption of policy shifts and the destabilising impacts of natural disaster. This research develops a critical appreciation of teachers' work within an environment of policy reform and disaster vulnerability, and in doing so constructs a foundational understanding of the not-altogether incongruent influence of policy reform and recurring natural disaster on Indonesian teachers' performance.

Investigation into the roles of local teachers in internationally defined emergency education initiatives resulted in the formation of a conceptual nexus with the donor driven nature of policy reform, and associated demands on teachers' performance in local classrooms and communities. To understand this nexus further, qualitative fieldwork in Yogyakarta explores the perspectives and experiences of teachers as they negotiate notions of performance alongside changing national and international policy expectations and the constant threat of natural disaster.

This research therefore informs a teacher-centred analysis of how governments and NGOs alike can accommodate and enhance teachers' capacity to perform in an unstable environment of reform and disaster vulnerability.

Supervisor: Dr Alexandra McCormick