Wednesday, May 30, 2012

                             32nd ISfTE Seminar, Educating for GNH: Role of teachers
The 32nd International Society for Teacher Education (ISfTE) seminar was held at Paro College of Education. The focus of the seminar was educating for Gross National Happiness (GNH): The Role of Teachers.
More than 150 professors, educators, scholars, researchers, policy makers and teachers from across 25 countries, including 35 representatives from Bhutan attended the 5 days seminars. The opening ceremony was graced by His Excellency the Minister of Education, Lyonpo Thakur Singh Powdyel on the eve of 20th May, 2012 in the Centenary Lecturer Theater. Also the present were the Secretary General of ISfTE, Dr. Forrest Crawford, Vice Chancellor of Royal University of Bhutan, representative of National Council for Women and Children (NCWC) and Directors of two Education Colleges (Paro and Samtse)
The seminar presented opportunities for teacher educators to exchange global views and experiences in trusting diversity and best practices of teaching. The participants also discussed practical ways to put the conventional practices in formal ways of learning. The principle focus of the seminar was the rich diversity of papers presented by the participants.  The participants worked in small groups during the seminar to discuss the content of papers and provide collegial feedback.  Each day of the seminar began with a keynote speech by prominent educators like Vice Chancellor of Royal University of Bhutan, Dr. Pema Thinley, the Director of Research Dr. Dorji Thinley, Professor Tom Maxwell and the seminar encouraged constructive dialogues on contemporary issues in teacher education which helped participants understand the educational environment of the other countries.
The International Society for Teacher Education (ISfTE) is an independent organization of teacher educators free of external political or economic controls. It is dedicated to the improvement of teacher education in all settings by fostering discussion, critical analysis and dissemination of ideas from research and innovative practice in teacher education. It was formed in 1981 to provide a forum where teacher educators, and those with an interest in teacher training and development, could meet as professionals and discuss their work.
The five day seminar successfully ended on Friday, 25th of May, 2012, with a range of cultural programs performed by the student teachers of Paro College of Education. The 33rd Annual International Society for Teacher Education will take place in Hong Kong in 2013.  

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