A Residential Summer Institute for K-12 Educators

Gandhi, Nonviolence and the 21st Century Curriculum
July 15 - 28, 2007
PDF IconDownload the PDF version of this page

Application Deadline:
Monday, March 19, 2007

"If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore Gandhi at our own risk."
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ahimsa Center ’s 2007 Summer Institute for K-12 teachers—the second one in a series on Education about Nonviolence—will focus on Mohandas K. Gandhi and the relevance of his life and legacy in the 21 st century school curricula. Gandhi’s enduring significance is anchored in his unwavering commitment to ahimsa or nonviolence as the foundation for his vision of humanity and as a powerful force to question, reform and transform the unjust establishments of authority. Gandhi called this force satyagraha—an active pursuit of truth and justice through love and nonviolence and used it, among other things, for mobilizing the largest nonviolent mass movement known in history . Satyagraha has become a source of power to the powerless and of hope to the hopeless as Gandhi became a catalyst for nonviolent campaigns dedicated to social and political change in scores of regions around the world.

Purpose return to top

This institute will provide a select group of forty K-12 educators an extraordinary opportunity for educational leadership by integrating in school curricula the lessons based on critical understanding of Gandhi’s thought and actions. The two-week residential program will—

  • Provide in-depth understanding of Gandhi’s historic role in nonviolent social transformation in the face of oppression, injustice and violence.
  • Examine the practical applications of Gandhi’s philosophy and strategies to current socio-economic and environmental challenges, and to the resolution of conflicts through nonviolent means.
  • Explore the relevance of Gandhi’s life for positively enhancing the learning environment for students and for inspiring them with the power of satyagraha.
  • Facilitate the development, implementation and dissemination of standards-based interdisciplinary curriculum on Gandhi and his intellectual and practical legacies.

Program Focus and Format return to top

Participants will work with expert faculty and scholars to learn, reflect and critically assess Gandhi’s significance in his own times and in ours, as a leader of the masses, and also as a thought-leader who seems to have anticipated so many of today’s critical issues and vexing problems. Themes and topics covered in the Institute will provide a solid foundation for curricular innovations that will help students gain critical insights into Gandhi’s relevance for them. Institute themes will include:

  • Gandhi: From Mohan to Mahatma (the great soul)
  • Gandhi’s ashrams (communities): his private and public life
  • Gandhi’s integrity of thought and action
  • Gandhi on conflict resolution
  • Ethics in politics and economics
  • Gandhi on civilization and globalization
  • Gandhi on poverty and violence
  • Sustainable development and sustainable consumption
  • Gandhi as a role model for today’s youth
  • Gender roles and social inequities
  • Gandhi on education
  • The “inescapable” Gandhi

The program will also offer educators a valuable perspective on how did Gandhi “recharge” himself given the enormous scope and the crushing pace of his movements and his life-long work for the humanity.

The program format of the Institute will draw upon an interdisciplinary approach and include a combination of lectures and seminars by Gandhi scholars, group discussions, curriculum development workshops , documentary/film discussions, hands-on experience with multimedia technologies, and weekend programs. In addition, the program will include follow-ups and dissemination activities.

Fellowship and Benefits return to top

  • Fellowship. Each participant will receive a Fellowship award covering the cost of instruction plus room and board for two weeks, books and materials, the use of Cal Poly Pomona Library, and special weekend programs.
  • Course Credit. The Fellowship will also cover the cost of 8 units of course credits (see below).
  • Professional Developmentand Career Advancement. Institute training will qualify the participants for eight units of graduate course credits. These credits may be used toward a Master’s degree and/or salary advancement.
  • Curricular Innovation. Opportunity to develop standards-based, interdisciplinary lesson plans for the enrichment of students’ knowledge and understanding of Gandhi, nonviolence and social change.
  • Conference Presentation. Participants will have the option to submit their curricular projects for presentation at the Ahimsa Center’s 2008 conference on Gandhi, which is being planned as a world class event. The conference will be held on Cal Poly Pomona campus.
  • Professional Recognition and Visibility. Completed curriculum projects from the Institute will be published on Ahimsa Center’s web site providing professional recognition and visibility to participants’ work.

Selection Criteria return to top

The Institute is open to K-12 educators throughout the United States. Forty participants will be selected based on the evidence in the application materials of their commitment to—

  • actively participate in all segments of the Institute program including a weekend follow-up.
  • develop standards-based, innovative curriculum pertaining to Institute’s theme and topics.
  • implement in their classes the curriculum developed during the Institute.
  • disseminate their learning by sharing their lessons with others and by leading at least one in-service workshop in her/his school district during the year following the Institute.

In addition, the selection committee will consider the level of support from applicant’s institution for the implementation and dissemination of Institute outcomes. This should be communicated in a letter of support from the school principal.

Application Procedure return to top

Complete application package must include the following items:

  • Resume covering the applicant’s social security number, home and school addresses, phone numbers and emails, current position, subject(s) and grade levels being taught, primary responsibilities during the year, academic training and degrees earned to date, teaching experience and employment record, professional activities including curriculum development experience, awards and honors, and any leadership roles or service relevant to the application.
  • Statement of Purpose describing in two typewritten pages, double-spaced: a) applicant’s interest in participating in this program, b) how participation will contribute to applicant’s professional development, enrich applicant’s course content and pedagogies to provide better education to her/his students, and c) applicant’s plans for sharing the learning experience and Institute outcomes with colleagues in her/his school and school district.
  • Letter of support from school principal expressing a commitment to facilitating the dissemination of applicant’s learning and the implementation of lesson plans in her/his teaching assignments.

Three (3) sets of the above items must be received by Monday, March 19, 2007.
Please mail completed application to:

Dr. Tara Sethia
History Department
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768

Successful applicants will be notified by April 30, 2007.

For more information, contact Dr. Tara Sethia, Director of Ahimsa Center at (909) 869-3868/3808
tsethia@csupomona.edu, ahimsacenter@csupomona.edu

Institute Program Comittee return to top

Mr. Christian Bracho, New Teacher Mentor, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District
Ms. Louise Ghandhi, Instructor of History, Pasadena City College
Dr. Margaret Hesselgrave, Principal, Los Altos Elementary School
Dr. Thienhuong Hoang, Assistant Professor of Education, Cal Poly Pomona
Dr. Steve McCauley, Professor of Physics, Cal Poly Pomona
Dr. Anjana Narayan, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona
Dr. Nirmal Sethia, Professor of Management, Cal Poly Pomona
Dr. Tara Sethia, Professor of History and Director, Ahimsa Center, Cal Poly Pomona

Institute Publicity CommitteeTopreturn to top

Mr. Christian Bracho, New Teacher Mentor, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District
Ms. Teresa Burke, Fifth Grade Teacher, Howe Elementary, San Juan Unified School District, Sacramento
Ms. Vanitha Chandrasekhar, Technology Curriculum Leader, Los Angeles Unified School District
Ms. Louise Ghandhi, Instructor of History, Pasadena City College
Ms. Shalom Montgomery, English Teacher, Los Altos Highschool
Ms. Andrea Hansen, Special Education Teacher, John R. Wooden Highschool
Dr. Margaret Hesselgrave, Principal, Los Altos Elementary School
Ms. Donna Hill, Highschool Teacher, Cleveland High
Dr. Thienhuong Hoang, Assistant Professor of Education, Cal Poly Pomona
Ms. Heather Penrod, History-Social Science, Reseda Highschool
Mr. Shawn Strand, Highschool Teacher, International Polytechnic Highschool

PDF IconDownload the PDF version of this page