Experiential Buddhist Kindergarten Education
Teacher Training Programmes
Experiential Buddhist Kindergarten Educational Training
3 January 2020 - 3 December 2021
2-year full time course
Two routes: Masters Degree or Diploma Certification
Beautiful lush campus
Taught by international professors and leading experts
Letting our mind rest, our hands create and our hearts rejoice is at the core of Abiding Heart’s kindergarten teacher training course. It is also about reconnecting our trainees with the magic and wonder of childhood, the same sense of wonder that nurtures young children!
In this Kindergarten Teacher Training course we use Abiding Heart’s unique experiential Buddhist approach to learning which brings together the Buddhist view, meditation and everyday application with the Waldorf/Steiner Education framework. A special intention of this programme is to nourish trainees through offering a philosophical, contemplative, meditative, psychological, artistic, nature filled and practical foundation for teaching kindergarten age children. Child development and curriculum studies are interwoven and firmly rest on the Buddhist paradigm with experiential arts used as aids for self-transformation, and to this end Buddhist Himalayan arts are integrated in each aspect of the training. The aim of this course is for trainees to gain a good balance of theory and practical knowledge in teaching in a kindergarten along with their continuing inner development.
Student Entry Criteria
Master’s Degree route minimum requirements:
Bachelor degree with a grade of C+ or third division.
A successful completion of 10 +2 (C+) or
A minimum 9 years of Shedra studies.
Admission Process for Kindergarten Teacher Training Course
Step 1: Submit completed application form; Write biographical sketch; pay admission fee.
Step 2: Complete English proficiency test (minimum grade C).
Step 3: Undergo an interview.
Step 4: Criminal record clearance and physical and mental health certificate.
Step 5: Acceptance upon successful completion of steps 1-4.
Step 6: Pay registration fee and other fees according to course financial plan.
Trainees are assessed through a combination of :
Essays and writing Reflective Journal
Oral presentations and debates
Writing a Thesis (for Master’s degree route)
Written Exam (for Master’s degree route)
For the practicum, trainees are expected to write a reflective journal and keep evidence of lesson plans and executions; have a tutor observe trainee’s practice teaching a lesson; Tutorial.
The course follows the Abiding Heart Education Experiential Buddhist approach to learning and includes the following aspects:
inner development of the teacher through experiential Buddhist foundation studies;
child development embedded within a Buddhist understanding of human development, holistic child development, and classical developmental psychology informed by research in neuroscience;
the kindergarten curriculum and teaching practice;
artistic and handwork activities appropriate to early childhood education;
holistic organisation, management and social aspects of running a kindergarten.
The training unfolds through a combination of group coursework, independent study, and practical experience during which trainees do written, artistic, and oral presentations of their work. Teacher trainees develop confidence in artistic expression and have opportunities to put child development theory into practice in preparation for school placements and embarking on life as a teacher.
One of our main aspirations through training kindergarten teachers at Abiding Heart is to protect the joy and wonder of childhood and thereby nurture the young child's all-round well-being.
Both the programme content and faculty are of the highest standard and this course is intended for those interested in taking leadership roles in early childhood education in their schools.
Two years full-time divided into four semesters. Each semester includes an average of 15 weeks of teaching and learning with 400- 560 hours of lectures and 2-4 weeks of school placements.
Timetable: Monday to Friday from 8am to 5.30pm. Sundays are intended for self-study with a focus on reading and assignments.
Semester 1, Winter/Spring Semester: 3 January to 8 May 2020
12 January---Semester begins
12 January – 20 March---Buddhist Foundation Studies
22 - 24 February---Losar Holiday
10 March---Holi Holiday
23 March - 27 March---Reading Week
30 March - 8 May---Buddhist Foundation Studies
13 April---Nepali New Year Holiday
8 May---End of Semester
Please Note: Sundays are reading and assignment days
Semester 2: Summer/Autumn Semester: 6 July to December 4, 2020
2-3 July---Induction for new students for new semester
6 July---Semester begins
6 July – 21 August---Child Development
24-28 August---Tij Holiday and Reading Week
31 August -25 September---Kindergarten Curriculum Studies
28 September – 16 October---School Placement
19 October – 20 November---Dashain and Tihar Holiday and Reading Week
23 November - 4 December---Kindergarten Curriculum Studies
4 December---End of Semester
Please Note: Sundays are reading and assignment days
Semester 3: Winter/Spring Semester: 3 January to 7 May 2021.
6 January---Semester begins
6 January – 2 April---Kindergarten Curriculum Studies
12-15 February---Losar Holiday
29 March---Holi Holiday
5 April – 30 April---School Placement
3 May – 14 May---Curriculum Studies
14 May---End of Semester
Semester 4: Summer/ Autumn Term: 5 July to 10 December 2021
3-4 July---Induction for new students
5 July---Semester begins
5 July – 27 August---Kindergarten Curriculum Studies
30 August to 3 September---Teej Holiday and Reading Week
6 – 24 September---Kindergarten Curriculum Studies
27 September – 15 October---School Placement
18 October -12 November---Dashain and Tihar Holiday
15 November – 3 December---Kindergarten Curriculum Studies
29 November – 10 December---Kindergarten Curriculum Studies and Handing in Assignments
10 December---End of Semester and Course
The Course Experience
This is an onsite course, with obligatory attendance, held over two years and each of the four semesters consisting of fifteen weeks of classes and two to four weeks of school placements. By blending practicum in local rural kindergartens with lectures and art classes on the Abiding Heart campus, each experience enriches the other; coursework, assignments and projects support and deepen trainees’ teaching experience with children while their work with young children expands and informs their experience as a teacher trainee.
Our core training staff and lecturers are international experts in education, bringing many years of both practical kindergarten classroom experience and as teacher trainers. In addition to our core teaching staff, we regularly bring in adjunct and visiting faculty for further enrichment, providing trainees with a rich and comprehensive teacher training.
Successful graduates are awarded a Masters Degree or Diploma Certification in Kindergarten Teaching by Abiding Heart Early Childhood Education.
Semester 1: Foundation in Experiential Buddhist Studies
Philosophy: Three Yanas, and Buddhist Foundation of Human Development
Experiential Buddhism (Meditation) and Understanding Buddhist Chants and Rituals
Himalayan Arts (Charya dance, Thangka Painting, Stone Carving)
Transformative Arts (Clay Sculptures, Drawing, Singing, Speech or Storytelling)
Yoga, Movement and Games
Music and Singing
Semester 2: Buddhist view of Human Development and Child development.
The philosophical foundation of Abiding Heart’s experiential Buddhist learning for early childhood is explored through an in-depth study of the development of individual human consciousness that is reflected in the kindergarten curriculum to support the child at each stage. This section includes study of:
Holistic child development: Early Childhood, Middle Childhood and Adolescence (physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and spiritual) from birth to age 21. This includes Buddhist psychology, Steinerian psychology, developmental psychology, and neuroscience, child observation and safeguarding children as well as continue linking with other disciplines;
Embryology (from Buddhist, physiological, neuroscience and Steinerian perspectives;
Play in Early Childhood: creative play and healthy discovery activities provide the basis for emotional well-being, resilience, self-esteem, social responsibility, enthusiastic learning, and spiritual growth;
Learning Theories (includes Buddhist learning methodology, and complementary contemporary learning theories, such as, Steiner/Waldorf Education, Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligences, Transformative Learning, and Integrated Learning);
Physiology and ecology of the senses;
Sociological aspects of education (understanding Temperaments; 5 Buddha families personalities)
Introduction to observation and observation exercises;
Child observation, child study, conducting assessments and writing reports;
Natural childhood - protecting and nourishing the child’s life forces and senses;
Health and nutrition;
Semester 2-4, Curriculum studies:
Early childhood education and the kindergarten curriculum overview;
Kindergarten curriculum: Daily rhythm, weekly rhythm, yearly rhythm
Development of the will, movement, language and thinking in early childhood. The relationship between movement and the understanding of space
Deepening child observation and practice for early childhood;
Understanding the young child’s learning processes and the role of imitation and play;
Painting and drawing with children: understanding of colour
Dolls and the self
The role of the teacher
Joy of Living 1 and 2 (meditation) for young children
Buddhist Contemplative education for young children
Buddhist Rituals, chants and offerings with young children
Celebrating the seasons and festivals
Creating a nature corner
Understanding Language: the art of storytelling, children’s poetry and puppetry (stand up, marionettes, shadow and apron puppetry )
Circle time: learning through ring games, verses, poems, songs, and movement for young children
Arts and crafts activities with children: modelling, modelling, painting, drawing, sewing, carving, felting, finger knitting, paper craft and more
Toy making & resources for the kindergarten: sewing dolls, puppets, apron stories, stuffed animals, sand bags, puppets; knitting and crocheting toys; and carving wooden toys; spinning and weaving; natural dying and more
Understanding of Sound: music and singing with young children and learning to play musical instruments
Class One readiness/Transition from kindergarten to primary school entrance
Teaching mathematics, writing and reading: Introducing letters and number
Teaching languages in a trilingual classroom
Behaviour management in the kindergarten
Remedial education and remedial games
Health and nutrition
Creating the kindergarten classroom & playground environment
Holistic kindergarten organisation and management; Working with colleagues
Working with parents - community building
Short term and long term lessons plans: Daily rhythm, weekly rhythm, yearly rhythm
Child study, child assessment, writing assessments, evaluations and year end reports
Practicum: a placement in a local rural kindergarten
In addition, upon completion of the two year course work the following assignments within designated time frame to complete master’s degree and diploma apply:
3 months Practicum (applicable for both diploma and master’s degree route)
Thesis (for master’s degree students): January to December
Not counted as part of semester’s credit but a mandatory requirement to complete degree:
Kindergarten placements in rural Himalayan regions during and in between semesters.
Please see Career Opportunities at Abiding Heart and its partner organisations