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Traditional Buddhist Knowledge & Tibetan Secular Education in China: A Conversation with a Leading Tibetan Educator, Ven. Dong Yonden Gyatso

March 19, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This conversation between Ven. Dong Yonden Gyatso and Professor David Germano will explore how Dong YondenGyatso adopts Buddhist teachings and Tibetan traditional knowledge for the secular schooling of younger generations of Tibetans. Their discussion will focus on the Tibetan experience of creating culturally relevant education that can cultivate confidence and competencies among rural minority school children.

Ven. Dong Yonden Gyatso is one of the most respected modern scholars and public educators in eastern Tibet. He is a prolific writer and experienced practitioner in areas such as educational reform and culturally relevant pedagogy in Tibet. Dong Yonden Gyatso has traveled throughout Tibetan areas, China, and overseas talking to educators at all levels about the importance of preserving Tibetan language, culture, and tradition in education. This is his first visit to the United States.

Dong Yonden Gyatso is vice principal and curriculum developer of the largest private, tuition-free Tibetan school in China. The school was established in 1994 in eastern Tibet out of a desire to make education accessible to rural Tibetan children, logistically as well as through curricular content and pedagogical methods. The curriculum is unique because it integrates traditional Tibetan topics such as Buddhist logic and debating, Tibetan classics, Tibetan medicine, and thangka painting into the national standard curriculum. The school started with only 30 students but has rapidly become the most popular school in China for rural Tibetans. In 2005, they opened a second school specifically for girls. Today, both schools enroll over 1600 students, and to date they have had over 1,400 graduates. Of these graduates, almost 500 have gone on to university, and over 400 have become Tibetan educators themselves.


March 19, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Monroe Hall 116


Tibet Center