Education and Society in Bhutan: Tradition and modernisation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Education and Society in Bhutan

Tradition and modernisation, 1st Edition

By Chelsea M. Robles


138 pages

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Hardback: 9781138125698
pub: 2016-06-08
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315647333
pub: 2016-05-26
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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.



"Pastoral care in Bhutanese education has been a subordinate dimension of Bhutanese school life. Certainly from my reading, Robles’ account indicates that despite growing difficulties with student disaffection, especially in secondary education, pastoral care remains a poor relation to curriculum priorities."

Giles Barrow, Pastoral Care in Education, An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Table of Contents

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries