Monday, November 21, 2011

Good People

Building a solid team of advisors and partners is the key to the success of Lho Mon Education and it's also the activity that makes this job most fulfilling. There are so many great people out there. If it wasn't for Katherine Riley volunteering her time during her sabbatical from teaching high school in Vermont, we wouldn't have the LME Framework document that is the basis for all the curriculum development we are now doing. She was so easy to work with, bright, experienced, supportive, creative, and ready to collaborate. And funny! I miss our daily work sessions.

It is encouraging to see the caliber of people that this project is attracting. Lately I have been seeking the advice and guidance of Professor Alex Lautensach, assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), Canada. He is providing invaluable feedback related to our teacher training program. It means the world to me whenever someone really takes the time to read through all of the documents that Katherine and I originally developed. Professor Lautensach's research expertise is broad: environmental ethics and human behaviour, determinants of human security in the areas of health and environmental support structures, science education and affective learning outcomes, teaching and learning for sustainability, and bioethics education and cultural safety. It's the perfect fit.

And now that Lho Mon Education is forming an alliance with the Bhutan Nuns Foundation, I have the honor and privilege to work with their founder and executive director Dr. Tashi Zangmo. To have a Bhutanese counterpart with such devotion to her work and with such an open mind is really a blessing. I've really enjoyed our brainstorming sessions and also finding out that we both attended schools in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. She's such an asset to the country and we are really lucky to be working with her. The hope is that we will train one teacher who will be dedicated to teaching the nuns and together we will create a curriculum specifically for them but based on the LME Framework. The curriculum will be implemented in at least one nunnery as a pilot, in tandem with the CGI pilot. She is also developing a resource center for nuns in Thimphu where we could conduct classes. Our first course of action is coming up with ways to teach teachers how to teach Life Skills and we are open to suggestion.

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