About the Author

Jonthon returns to Indonesia to explore the country’s educational spaces, which are increasingly affected by both foreign entrants and governmental decentralization. His particular focus is on the role education plays in the formation of identity, wherein Jonthon will examine how educational experiences lead religious and national identities to emerge, converge and diverge. In using education as a lens, Jonthon will look far beyond schools and schooling to the public pedagogies, endangered languages and subaltern knowledge that he hopes will offer others insight into “becoming-Indonesia.” The world’s fourth-most populous country (and largest population of Muslims in the world) remains a relatively unknown archipelagic nation that is changing rapidly—in ways that have implications for the regional and the global community. Jonthon has taken a leave of absence from his doctoral program at Columbia University Teachers College to accept the ICWA fellowship. He previously lived in Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar and U.S. State Department English Language Fellow.

The (Dis)Harmonies of Islam

Like any other spiritual or human endeavor, Islam is a plurality resounding in harmonies and, at times, disharmonies. I began learning about this faith and its people as a college freshman in 2001. As a journalism student at the University of Missouri, I was asked to reflect critically on media packages that paired footage of the terror attacks with

Change for the Sake of Change

“Every reshuffle brings about better results.” Thus spoke Indonesia’s Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, who may very well find himself being shuffled out of his position in three years’ time. For now, though, he has come up trumps, having just overseen the replacement of twelve (of thirty-six) ministers and the secretary of Indonesia’s Working

Reinvent the Wheel

One of the highest-ranked schools in America today, Horace Mann in the Bronx, is named after one of the early advocates for “common schooling” — the notion that we should pool our money to fund institutions of education that all children attend. These days, the school carrying his namesake charges an annual tuition of $43,300, which is just over

Beginning Where I Began

In the 2008 edition of the Lonely Planet guidebook, the village of Majene falls near the fold of the map, but is not mentioned anywhere else in that edition. I made this observation in July of that same year, having just learned I would be spending my next nine months there. As I didn’t speak any Indonesian, I took solace in this tiny dot in a tourist