Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Literacy Curriculum Reform in Bhutan: Headmasters Discuss the Challenges They Face

Dr. Jim Greenlaw.

I am the manager of a Canadian International Development Agency five year project in Educational Leadership in Bhutan. Although this project officially began in January 2003, I have been working with Bhutanese headmasters since 1998. One of my responsibilities as project manager is to teach a graduate course in Curriculum Theory to 20 of these headmasters at the Royal University of Bhutan in January 2004. In my conference paper presentation I will share Bhutanese school headmasters’ reflections (gathered both through their journal writing and through my dialogue with them) about the literacy curriculum implementation challenges they face. For instance, it is projected that there will be a 78% increase in primary enrollment, a 176% increase in junior high enrollment, and a 600% increase in high school enrollment over the next ten years. As literacy curriculum leaders, the headmasters I will be working with in January are expected by their Minstry of Education to become more knowledgeable about learner-centered approaches, instructional leadership, and curriculum understanding. I will discuss: 1) the difficulties they are encountering as they attempt to upgrade the skills of their teaching staffs, 2) the concerns they have about the changing values systems of their students as their centuries-old culture finds itself in direct conflict with the global trends of the 21st century, and 3) the excitement and discomfort they feel over the new literacy approaches they are implementing in their schools. My presentation will include quotations from these headmasters as well as photographs of school life in Bhutan.


Dr. Jim Greenlaw  (Canada)
Associate Professor of Education
School of Education
St. Francis Xavier University

I have been a professor of English Education and Curriculum Theory in Canada for the past decade. My research involves the teaching of world literature, international education, and the use of computers in humanities education. I have taught in China in the past and am currently the manager of a CIDA funded M.Ed. program in Bhutan.

  • Literacy Curriculum Challenges

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)