Higher-degree research being undertaken by Elga Andriana




Associate Professor David Evans and Dr Nicole Mockler

Thesis title:

Hearing voices: an art-based participatory study on children's experiences of inclusion in primary schools in Indonesia



Project description

Student diversity in Indonesian regular public schools has undergone changes since the regulation of inclusive education for children with special needs and with talent and giftedness introduced in 2009. Following this, school level reviews have examined the impact of this regulation on practices in school and on the attitudes and beliefs on members of the school community. These reviews have focused on the experience of adults using questionnaires and surveys. However, investigating the voice of the children about current inclusive practices has rarely been used in the Indonesian context.
This study aims to understand current inclusive practices in three public primary schools in Indonesia through the lens of the children. A phenomenological inquiry is employed to examine children’s experience about inclusion at their schools. Individual drawing, group drawing, collections of school photos taken by the children, and their diaries are used to encourage the individual child and children in groups, with and without special needs, to talk about inclusion; exploring what inclusion may mean for them, how they feel about it and how they enact it. Furthermore, the activities were used to explore barriers, exclusionary practices, support and resources that the children may have received and experienced.
In the analysis, significant meanings will be highlighted, brought into themes and used to represent textural and structural descriptions, then culminated as the essence of the phenomenon. It is essential to listen to children’s experiences, their suggestions for change and their ideas in order to help our understanding of what helps and hinders inclusive practices in the Indonesian context.

Elga Andriana is an Australia Awards scholar from Indonesia. Her research interest is in inclusive education including student voice, democratic education and universal design learning. Her PhD project focuses on children's voices and children as co-researchers to uphold the principles of inclusive education in primary schools in Indonesia. Elga graduated with a Master in Education from Monash University. In 2005, she co-founded Sekolah Tumbuh in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which comprises schools catering from K-12 and a Center for Studies on Inclusive Education whose mission is to develop research and practices to improve education for all learners.


  • Australia Awards Scholarship (2013-2017)
  • SSEAC Conference Grant (2015)
  • Australia Partnership Scholarship (2006-2008)

Professional and community roles:

  • Member – Sydney Southeast Asia Centre
  • Member – Australian Association for Research in Education

Research reports

Conference presentations

  • Andriana, E., Evans, D. (2016). “He can go back to special class if he wants” Children’s Voices on Inclusive Education Practices in Primary Schools in Indonesia. Presented at the Inclusive Education Summit 2016. University of Canterbury, New Zealand. 8-10 July 2016.
  • Andriana, E., Evans, D. (2015). Hearing voices: An art-based participatory study on children’s experiences of inclusion at a primary school in Indonesia. Presented at the 1st International Conference on Special Education (ICSE). Bangkok, Thailand. 28-31 July 2015.
  • Andriana, E. Evans, D. (2015). Hearing voices: Children’s experiences of inclusion in Indonesia. Presented at the Inclusive Education Summit 2015. Victoria University, Australia. 31 July-2 August 2015.