Reviewing teachers' and parents' perspectives towards fairness in primary education: a case of Indonesia

Year: 2013

Author: Restuningrum, Novi, Fridani, Lara, Suryani, Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Many countries have reiterated the importance of education fairness for students because of its benefits in facilitating students' well-beings at school.  Fairness is defined by Barrow (2001, p. 236) as "the belief that it is morally wrong, in itself, to treat individuals differently without providing relevant reasons for so doing". In Indonesia, there is an increasing attention for fairness in education among stakeholders, including teachers and parents. However, there has been little research that investigated teachers' and parents' perspectives in viewing fairness at primary school level in the country. This paper discusses the reasons why teachers and parents set particular standard including prioritized academic skills and bilingual ability for children who are going to enter and are studying in primary schools. Focus group discussions and interviews were conducted with several teachers and parents in Indonesia in order to explore their perspectives towards fairness in primary education. The findings showed that many children were expected to have academic skills including bilingual ability in order to be considered successful. The presentation provides useful directions for further collaboration between teachers and parents to set fair requirements and expectations for their children.