Nawang Phuntsog
Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Academic & Professional Excellence Award (Research)
Project Title: Cultivating Altruistic Attitudes & Benign Nationalism: Schooling Passions in the Tibetan Diaspora
Field of Study: Education
Home Institution: California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Host Institution: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh  
Grant Start Month: July, 2017
Duration of Grant: Four months

Nawang Phuntsog
Brief Bio:

Dr. Nawang Phuntsog has a doctorate in education from UMass Amherst, and has been a faculty member in the Department of Elementary & Bilingual Education at California State University, Fullerton, since 1995. He teaches courses in multicultural education, curriculum development and theory, and learning theories in education. He convened and organized the 2009 international conference “Challenges of Educating Tibetans Multi-nationally: A Window into Global Culture for Education” at the University of California, Irvine. He is the editor of a monograph, Schooling & Tibetan Culture in Transnational Context. His article “Tibetan Language at Home in the Diaspora: The Case of Bilingual Schooling of Tibetans in India” is under revision for publication in the Journal of Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education. Dr. Phuntsog was awarded a senior Fulbright-Nehru fellowship in 2012.

Dr. Phuntsog’s Fulbright-Nehru project is an exploratory study that seeks to establish important historical landmarks of the development of Tibetan schools within the context of India’s multilingual education policy. Key Tibetan education personnel are being interviewed to establish important milestones in the evolution of Tibetan schools in the diaspora. There is a serious dearth of classroom-based research that examines the way children in divided societies develop national identity associated with their primordial sentiments. Dr. Phuntsog’s study not only addresses this deficit but also highlights the role of altruistic attitudes in fostering a compassionate schooling culture. More importantly, this study highlights that schooling processes are crucial to the promotion of local, regional, and national attachments, and that there is a crucial need to infuse altruistic attitudes into structures of feeling to reduce communal discord and violence.