Dalai Lama Inspires SFU Teaching Practicum in India

Dalai Lama meets with SFU Practicum Teachers in Training

Since 2009, student teachers in Simon Fraser University’s Professional Development Program (PDP) International Teacher Education Module (ITEM) have completed their teaching practicums in Dharamsala, India, which is home to Tibetan refugees who live under the leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. For the past two years, the student teachers have been fortunate enough to have an inspiring audience with His Holiness, who also makes his home in Dharamsala.

Long an advocate for re-balancing formal educational practice to educate both the heart and the mind, the Dalai Lama’s progressive vision for 21st Century education is the reason the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education was created in Vancouver in 2005. His vision, backed by a growing body of scientific research, is helping to guide formal education systems to rethink the predominantly academic/cognitive approach that has dominated for many years.  

Ashley Faber, one of the SFU practicum students, was inspired by the Dalai Lama’s message: “He emphasized teaching compassion and patience for children and how we need to teach moral ethics and emotional intelligence in schools.” Faber said the Dalai Lama spoke to them about “how we’re all different in what we believe, but we all have a human tendency for love and compassion. We all want the same things.”

To read more about the visit to Dharamsala, see the Vancouver Sun’s article, and SFU’s Faculty of Education news bulletin.

(photo courtesy of the Vancouver Sun)