Developments in History Education in Indonesian Schools

Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Chair of History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, would like to invite you to contribute to an informal lunchtime discussion on Developments in History Education in Indonesian Schools, to be held on Monday 18 August 2014 at from 12.30-1.30pm in the Atrium (room 213), Old Arts, the University of Melbourne. Lunch will be provided.

Significant shifts have taken place within the Indonesian primary and secondary school history curriculum since the fall of the New Order regime in 1998. The pragmatic tendencies of the former regime meant that the nation’s historical narrative was a strongly nationalist, anti-colonial, regime-oriented version of the past, and school history education curriculum replicated these tendencies. The 2006 curriculum (and the soon-to-be-released 2013 curriculum), has indicated a shift in the focus, scope and method of history education. These reforms have also suggested a re-positioning of the discipline of history to become a central component of primary and secondary school education in Indonesia.

This discussion will be based on a preliminary report written by Professor Bambang Purwanto, Department of History, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, who is visiting the University as part of the Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative. The report, which was originally prepared for the 2013 UNESCO Bangkok Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education conference, ‘Promoting intercultural dialogue and a culture peace in Southeast Asia through shared histories’, explores the nature of history teaching and learning among Indonesian school children by analysing the curriculum, textbooks, teaching methods, and teachers. In particular, the report highlights the increasing importance of history as a subject within Indonesian schools, but considers how it is being implemented and the extent to which Indonesia’s position within the Southeast Asian region is being considered.

This discussion is sponsored by the History department, the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, the Asia History Hub and the Indonesia Forum. If you are interested in attending this discussion, could you please RSVP to Hannah Loney ( by Friday 1 August 2014.