RSPN’s Environmental Education and Advocacy Program Coordinator, Ugyen Lhendup, is one of eight Bhutanese teachers participating in a unique educational exchange program based in Jackson Hole Wyoming, USA.
The program, centered on the concept of “place-based” education, is being conducted by Teton Science Schools (known in the U.S. as TSS) at Jackson Hole in the state of Wyoming, USA. Along with Ugyen, five teachers from Sakteng CPS and two lecturers from Samtse College of Education are also attending this annual training course, from January 12-26.
Place Based Education is a holistic method of education that focuses on a local community and its surrounding natural environment as both tools for learning (how people and nature can interact in positive ways) and as laboratories for study (how plants and animals adapt to the special conditions of their habitat in a given place). In Wyoming, the Bhutanese participants have made field visits to the National Elk refuge, Grand Teton National Park, a career-oriented Graduate Program run by TSS, a pre-K through 12 private school run by TSS, and a National Wildlife Art Museum. Upon their return to Bhutan, each of the eight teachers will have the necessary skills to implement their own plans for Place Based Education in their respective schools.
The 2-week training program is privately funded and carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education; RSPN was invited by TSS as a new partner in the program, based in its years of successful programming in environmental education in many Dzongkhags of Bhutan.
This TSS training course will provide RSPN and the other Bhutanese teachers with new tools and concepts in environmental education that will enhance the curriculum of Nature Clubs and science classes all across Bhutan for years to come.