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Bridging the Worlds of Tibet and K-12 Education: A Special Program for Teachers comes to New York

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/06/15; June 15, 2001.]

By Jon Garfunkel

(June 12, Seattle) A special teacher institute for K-12 education called Landscapes and Lessons of Cultural Survival: The Study of Tibet will be held this summer in New York City from July 9-13, 2001. This Institute will offer educators access to a mosaic of voices and presentations from which to explore Tibet from multiple perspectives and curricular approaches.

This is the sixteenth professional development program in an on-going national series presented by Tibet Education Network at Global Source (TEN), a non-profit educational outreach organization that is working to build bridges between the world of education and the world of Tibet, and support learning about Tibet in K-12 and community education.

The primary objective of Landscapes and Lessons of Cultural Survival is to offer educators the content and context to bring the study of Tibet into their classrooms, while encouraging cultural competency, cross-cultural studies, arts education, and human rights education. A major theme of the program will be the learning about the educational and cultural issues facing Tibetans in Tibet and the Diaspora. There will also be a special focus on meeting the needs of ethnic, immigrant, and refugee students.

The teacher institute will have exciting line up of educational presentations focusing on a variety of Tibet related topics and issues relevant to K-12 education. There will be sessions focused the modern Tibetan experience, the Tibetan Diaspora, Tibetan art, culture and Buddhism, Tibetan literature, voices of action, along with film screenings, tours of Tibet-related institutions and sessions that help participants integrate the study of Tibet into a teaching practice. Guest speakers include: Nawang Rabgyal, Representative for His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Office of Tibet New York; Mark Handleman, New York Association of New Americans; Pema Bhum from Himalayan & Inner Asia Resource Library; Mickey Spiegel, Human Rights Watch; Ben Brinkley, Rubin Museum of Art; Ganden Thurman, Tibet House U.S.; and Thubten Tsering, co-director and screenwriter for “Windhorse”. The program will be facilitated by staff from Tibet Education Network at Global Source.

In an attempt to introduce educators to the wealth of living Tibetan resources in New York and the geography of the Manhattan, the Institute will be hosted in different daily locations throughout the city, including the New York Association for New Americans, Tibet House US, Offices of Rubin Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, and a Tibetan restaurant.

The Institute is open to professionals and volunteers in K-12 education, including teachers in the Social Studies, Humanities, and Arts, administrators, curriculum specialists, museum educators, community educators, and activists. This program will be especially valuable to ESL instructors and educators who work with Tibetan youth, and other immigrant and refugee students. Participants will receive an extensive course handbook and starter library on Tibet, featuring books such as “In Exile from the Land of Snows” by John Avedon, “Our Journey from Tibet”, by Laurie Dolphin and Nancy Jo Johnson, “The Fourteenth Dalai Lama” by Whitney Stewart, and the videos “Tibet in Exile” by Barbara Banks & Meg McLagan and “Tashi Jong” by Barbara Green. These materials are included in the cost for the program, which has been under-written by Global Source and public support.

Since 1995, TEN has assembled the most extensive collection of curricular, reference, and resource materials for the study of Tibet in K-12 education. TEN is a special project of Global Source, a non-profit, independent, educational outreach organization, based in Seattle, WA, whose mission is to provide professional development, curricular and educational support materials, and other services to make global topics and issues more accessible and meaningful to K-12 and adult education.

In 2000, TEN led the first national teacher institute on the study of Tibet in K-12 education, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. In March, in advance of the visit of His Holiness The Dalai Lama to Minneapolis and Portland, TEN worked with local Tibetan communities, schools, and event organizers to present regional K-12 teacher workshops about The Dalai Lama and Tibet.

Here is what a teacher of English as a Second Language at the Field School, Minneapolis, MN had this to say about the first national Tibet institute, “To be part of this program was like accepting an invitation to dinner and then being ushered in a feast of unimagined richness. Just when we thought we had sampled it all, another course would arrive. Then we’re sent off with the world’s most impressive doggie bag

(in the form of extensive resources)…it was really a gift & privilege to be part of this experience.”

For a program itinerary and registration information, visit Tibet Education Network on the web at www.GlobalSourceNetwork.org, or contact TEN at Info@GlobalSourceNetwork.org or (206) 781-8060.

Jon Garfunkel is founder and director of Tibet Education Network and Global Source Education.

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