Summer Institutes for K-12 Educators
The Ahimsa Center at Cal Poly Pomona offers opportunities to K-12 Educators to participate in a two-week summer institute focused on education about nonviolence and its exemplars. Peace, harmony and compassion are universally recognized as values defining a good life. And yet each day we see increasing violence, discord and enmity. Most disturbing is the growing trend of violence in our schools, which impairs the learning environment and negatively affects student motivation and performance. Hence there is an urgent need to provide in our K-12 education a proper understanding of nonviolence both as a core human virtue and as an effective as well as more enduring way of resolving conflicts.
These institutes have a two-fold purpose: (1) Professional development and career advancement of K-12 educators and administrators through in-depth interdisciplinary understanding of institute theme and topics. (2) Curricular innovation through standards-based, interdisciplinary lesson plans for the enrichment of student knowledge and understanding of nonviolence and social change.
Under the direction of Professor Tara Sethia these institutes have been offered every other Summer beginning in 2005. Thirty five to forty applicants were accepted in an open competition to participate in each of these institutes.
For a sampling of participant experience from these institutes, click here.
Nonviolence and Social Change: July 18-30, 2005
This summer institute —the first one in a series on Education about Nonviolence— focused on a systematic exploration of nonviolence and social change in world history.
Designed for K-12 educators and administrators--who are keen to take a leadership role in addressing growing violence in schools through education about nonviolence and social change-- this institute relied on multidisciplinary approaches to help
- deepen understanding about the historic role and power of nonviolence and its role in social transformation and for resolving conflicts in diverse social settings.
- facilitate the development, implementation and dissemination of standards-based interdisciplinary curriculum on nonviolence and social change.
- examine critically the various applications of nonviolent strategies for positively enhancing the learning environment for students and expose them to the power of nonviolent movements in history.
Gandhi, Nonviolence and the 21st Century Curriculum: July 15-28, 2007
Ahimsa Center ’s 2007 Summer Institute for K-12 teachers—the second one in a series on Education about Nonviolence—l focused 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.
This institute offered K-12 educators an extraordinary opportunity for educational leadership and helped to
- 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 challenges, and to the resolution of conflicts.
- Facilitate the development, implementation and dissemination of standards-based interdisciplinary curriculum on Gandhi and his intellectual and practical legacies.
Journeys of Nonviolence: Gandhi and King: July 12-25, 2009
Ahimsa Center ’s 2009 Summer Institute for K-12 teachers—the third one in a series on Education about Nonviolence— focused on Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68), the pioneers of nonviolent action for social transformation. Both Gandhi and King were ordinary human beings who rose to extra-ordinary heights in serving humanity. Both were interested in the moral and spiritual growth of human civilization than simply its material advancement. Although both were active in the politics of the day, neither held a government office. Both dedicated their lives to combat racism, oppression, injustice, violence, war and poverty. Both adopted nonviolence as a principle guiding their actions, and both led by example. They sacrificed their lives for what they believed in. Their journeys, however, were unique and distinctive.
This two-week residential institute for educators helped to
- Provide in-depth understanding of Gandhi and King, their historic role in social transformation in the face of racial discrimination, injustice and violence.
- Examine critically the practical applications of their philosophies and strategies to current socio-economic and environmental challenges, and to the resolution of conflicts through nonviolent means.
- Facilitate the development, implementation and dissemination of standards-based interdisciplinary curriculum for a balanced and deeper understanding of Gandhi, King and their legacies
Journeys of Nonviolence: Gandhi and Chavez: July 25-August 8, 2011
The 2011 Summer Institute for K-12 teachers, the fourth in a series on Education about Nonviolence, will focus on two major proponents of nonviolent action for social change: Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) and Cesar Chavez, (1927-1993). Both of them dedicated their lives to combat racism, oppression, injustice, violence, and poverty. In their shared worldview, moral and spiritual growth of human civilization was as important as its material advancement. Both were highly influential in shaping the politics of the day, without ever holding a public office. They led by example, with nonviolence as the core principle guiding their actions. However, their journeys were quite different in terms of the scope, scale, and impact of their movements. This institute is devoted to an in-depth study of their journeys on the path of nonviolence in the pursuit of a more just, peaceful, and sustainable social order.
Institute topics included
- Gandhi and Chavez in their respective socio-political contexts.
- Their response to various social and political challenges.
- Their methods for conflict resolution and social change.
- Their views on poverty and sustainable development.
- Their legacy and impact.