At the closing ceremony, each group had 20 minutes to demonstrate what they had learned and detail their implementation plans. Even though we had provided ten days packed with sessions on a variety of relevant subjects—the importance of project based learning, methods of integration, mindfulness in the classroom, using theater/improv in the classroom, the four levels of listening, the Four Nobel Truths as a lesson planning tool, infusing values, using the local environment, distinctions between need and wants, combining art and math, active learning strategies, identity and storytelling, multiple intelligence—and even though they had spent ten days of hard work with intensive guidance by our facilitators, we didn't know what to expect.
In short, the presentations exceeded our wildest dreams. It was a most inspiring afternoon. Over the course of the workshop, each group had narrowed down their objectives, honed in on what was needed most, adjusted the assignments to suit their needs, ultimately coming up with strategic plans for how to change the way they are educating, some in small important ways, and others with a major overhaul.
|Dawa and Lopon Dechen|
Chokyi Gyatsho InstituteThe two monks from CGI, Tshering Darje and Lopon Dechen, were a wonderful complement to our eclectic group. They worked with the voluntary assistance of a senior education student at Paro College named Dawa who was a last minute addition to our roster but who turned out to be a major contributor to the workshop with his enthusiasm and active participation.
The CGI plan is to start implementation of a new curriculum in February 2012. There will be 6 units taught per year, each taking about 5 weeks, 3 hours a day, 6 days per week.
It was a multi-faceted presentation and the whole group was actively engaged in Dawa's instruction. He will make a fine teacher and we hope to continue our work with him. The monks are heading back to eastern Bhutan to share what they learned with the others. In November I will be heading there myself to oversee the implementation of the curriculum alongside the teacher we hire (details to come!)
Nonformal Education Programme
|Yeshi, Rinzin, Norbu and Dorji Wangchuk|
working on their presentation.
There was no one from an administrative level with them to help devise a long term plan but they went ahead and created lesson plans that could be used within their existing syllabus. Their focus was on linking language instruction with life skills and health awareness. They took the lead from Pawan Gupta and focused on project based learning that gives value to local wisdom and culture by using the local environment. Also drawing from Dr. Havinh Tho's presentation on multiple intelligence, they chose a project that would let people with various skills participate.
Their final lesson plan was to create a local dictionary of traditional health remedies and bioindicators (i.e. when a certain bird begins roosting, it's time to plant potatoes). Those with visual intelligence can help design and illustrate the dictionary, those with strong verbal intelligence can help translate it into Dzonghka and English, and those with strong logic skills can help figure out what it would cost to print and sell the dictionary, thus developing their basic math skills.