1st Edition

Education and Society in Bhutan Tradition and modernisation

By Chelsea M. Robles Copyright 2016
    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    Bhutan's education sector has attracted international attention for recent reforms driven by the national development philosophy of Gross National Happiness, which aspires to balance change with the continuity of tradition. This book traces the history of education in Bhutan and reveals that, as the country has modernised and become globally connected and further influenced by international and Western mores, tensions have emerged across the education sector. The author examines how these tensions between the curriculum and local knowledges can impact teaching and learning, and offers approaches to addressing them. Based on extensive empirical data, including in-depth interviews and classroom observations, Robles analyzes the discourses of high-level officials who were involved in the early development of the modern system of education, a range of education leaders, and teachers.

    Filling a gap in the literature, this book is an invaluable resource for students and researchers interested in the formation of education policy, social and political reform in Bhutan, and South Asia Studies.


    1. Introduction

    2. The development of modern education in Bhutan

    3. Competing ideas at the political and policy level

    4. The translation of policy into the living and designed curriculum

    5. At the juncture of change: Teachers as mediators of traditional and modern knowledges in state education

    6. Looking across three levels of Bhutan's education sector

    7. Implications for present and future developments in education


    Chelsea M. Robles is a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University, Japan. Her work focuses on education policy and practice.