Sources of information on Ki Hajar Dewantara and the Taman Siswa

by indonotes

Last week I discussed some aspects of Ki Hadjar Dewantara’s life and works. This week I have collated some of the most important English language materials relating to him and the Taman Siswa movement.

The good news is that three of the most important articles can be accessed free from the Indonesia journal site:

Ruth T. McVey, Taman Siswa and the Indonesian National Awakening, Indonesia. Volume 4 (1967), 128-149. (Locates the Taman Siswa in the broader political and cultural dynamics of a developing Indonesian national consciousness.)

Ki Hadjar Dewantara, Some Aspects of National Education and the Taman Siswa Institute at Jogjakarta [a translation], Indonesia. Volume 4 (1967), 150-168. (Translation of a key work by Ki Hadjar Dewantara).

Lee Kam Hing, The Taman Siswa in Postwar Indonesia, Indonesia. Volume 25 (1978), 41-60. (Provides analysis of the Taman Siswa’s development after Independence, including the relationship between the Taman Siswa movement and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI))

The next two articles above are not specifically about Ki Hadjar Dewantara and the Taman Siswa but give some important context, emphasising the plurality of political traditions in the archipelago and the reshaping of political traditions in different contexts.

One is available online at

Adrian Vickers “Asian Values in Indonesia? National and Regional Identities“. Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. 26 Jan, 2012.

And an article covering some similar ground will be available through many libraries with extensive academic journal subscriptions

Anthony Reid, ‘Political “Tradition” in Indonesia: The one and the Many’, Asian Studies Review, Volume 22 (March 1998)

For those wanting to go into more depth, the following specialist texts will probably only be found in academic libraries with large Asian collections

Kenji Tsuchiya (Trans. Peter Hawkes), Democracy and Leadership: The Rise of the Taman Siswa Movement in Indonesia (Honolulu, 1987). (In depth analysis of the cultural and political context for the development of the Taman Siswa movement up to the 1930s).

Savitri Prastiti Scherer, Harmony and Dissonance: Early Nationalist thought in Java (M.A. Thesis, Cornell University) (A comparative treatment of Ki Hadjar Dewantara, Cipto Mangunkusumo, and Sutomo).