Introduction

In early 2008, a delegation from Teton Science Schools visited the Kingdom of Bhutan to ascertain the prospects of collaborating with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Education, Royal University of Bhutan, Royal Education Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Nature and others to design an approach to implement place-based education in schools throughout the country. This visit culminated with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and Teton Science Schools agreeing, among other objectives, that Teton Science Schools will accept two Bhutanese graduate students annually in its year-long graduate program and will develop and lead a two-week intensive program at Teton Science Schools in place-based education for teachers and school leaders from Bhutan.

Progress to Date

  1. Four graduate-level students enrolled in Teton Science Schools’ Graduate Program (August 2008 – August 2009 and August 2009 - 2010)
  2. Two graduate level-students preparing to attend the Graduate Program in 2010-11
  3. One Bhutanese graduate students completing Master’s Degree at University of Wyoming
  4. 15 Bhutanese educators and school leaders have participated in two two-week intensive Place-based Education Workshops at Teton Science Schools

Goals of the Workshop at Teton Science Schools:

  1. Observe place-based education and learning across the six program areas of Teton Science Schools;
  2. Plan strategies for implementing place-based education in the Model School in a structured and facilitated setting;
  3. Prepare a training regimen for Bhutanese educators to occur at the Model School in February/March 2010;
  4. Identify and prioritize key steps to strengthen the implementation of place-based education across all grade levels and in all teacher trainings in Bhutan.

In concert with its Bhutanese partners, Teton Science Schools have begun work in identifying and working with specific schools in Bhutan to showcase place-based teaching and learning techniques in-country. Characteristics of such a school include:

  1. A significant portion of the school’s teachers and leaders have participated in the two-week intensive Place-based Education Workshop at Teton Science Schools;
  2. The school is geographically situated so as to facilitate and support teachers from other schools in Bhutan to observe place-based teaching strategies first hand;
  3. The school will accommodate trainers and facilitators from Teton Science Schools to lead teacher workshops in place-based education;
  4. Teachers within the school are free to collaborate with one another to develop and lead interdisciplinary instruction;
  5. The school will have reasonable access to one or more of Bhutan’s teacher colleges.