Environment Education

with Chris Summerville

Education:
 

  • Centre for Environment Education (India)/Commonwealth of Learning (Canada). Green Teacher: Diploma in Environmental Education (One-year Course: Four modules/2 Contact sessions/four-month project/Viva/Final Exam)
  • San Francisco State University. Master of Arts Degree (Honors) in English. (Literature)

  • University of California, Davis. Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honors) in English. (Creative Writing)

  • British Public School Education.


Work Experience:

  • 2008- 2010   Teacher & Academic Coordinator: Global College, Japan (Long Island University, New York). Teaching a course on ‘Global Issues and the Environment’ to third-year undergraduate students and coordinating the study abroad programme.
  • 2006-2008   Environmental Education Program Coordinator/Teacher: Sahyadri School, Krishnamurti Foundation, Maharashtra, India. Coordinating the Campus-based Environmental Program/Teaching Environmental Education to Grades 6-9 by combining in-class projects with placed-based outdoor activities.

  • 2003-2006   Full-Time Faculty:  University of Hyogo, Department of Environmental Science, Himeji, Japan. Conducting Environmental English classes with first year students focusing on the students' lives and their connections with their community and natural surroundings.

  • 1998-2003   Full-Time Faculty (Limited-Contract):  Ritsumeikan University, Department of Letters, Kyoto, Japan.  Conducting content-based (Global Issues) Oral communication classes and specialized courses: Media & Society, Irish Film, Academic Writing, General English,   (Literature and Composition)

  • 1991-1997   Full-Time Faculty: Tenri University, Department of General Education,Nara, Japan. Conducting content-based (Global and Environmental Issues) classes. British Culture seminars and General English (Literature and Composition).Conducting content-based Reading and Writing courses with first and second year English majors.

  • 1987-1989   Assistant English Teacher:  Toyoura High School. Participating in the Ministry of Education JET Program to encourage a dynamic classroom atmosphere by a creative use of the standard English textbook.

  • 1985-1987   Teacher's Aide:  John Swett Alternative School and Galileo High School, San Francisco, California. Helping fourth through eleventh graders explore their creative talents through reading and writing poetry, drama and short stories. (Half-time position held while studying for Master Degree).

  • 1983-1984   Instructor:  Zhengzhou University, China. Teaching English and American Literature and Composition to English majors.


Academic Honors:

  • Gold Leaf Certificate (Diploma in Environmental Education) Graduated first in the class of 2007-8.
  • Distinguished Graduate Student of the Year Award. (Literature) San Francisco State University. 1987

  • Honors Student and Valedictorian, College of Letters, University of California, Davis. 1983

    (Speech Title: 'Social & Global Awareness in a Changing World')


WRITING SAMPLES, REFERENCES, TRANSCRIPTSProvided upon request


A Short Biography

Although I was born in the United States and grew up in England, I have always considered myself a world citizen rather that any particular nationality. Prior to my university studies, I spent one year traveling alone overland from England to India. It was this journey that planted in me the seeds of interest in the issues that remain central to my life today: peace and conflict, the environment, human rights, sustainability and the (spiritual) interconnectedness of all life.

As a student of Creative Writing and American/English Literature at the University of California (Davis) and San Francisco State University, I constantly sought to go beyond the course's immediate requirements to achieve a deep appreciation for, and understanding of, both the aesthetic values of the literature and the writers' fundamental ontological concerns. Aside from my literary studies, I eagerly immersed myself in courses on Eastern Religions, Chinese Philosophy, Asian Art and Cultural Anthropology.

My concerns about peace and the environment led me to form and become the coordinator of the UCD Student Nuclear Freeze group, to write regular feature stories addressing these issues for both the town and campus newspapers, and to co-organize an undergraduate course on Peace and Conflict, the first accredited student-organized course of its time at U.C. Davis. As a third-year undergraduate student, I availed myself of the university's Planned Educational Leave Program to spend another year traveling in Asia.

My academic achievements and humanitarian/environmental concerns were recognized by my selection as an honors student and as the Valedictorian at the graduation ceremony where I gave a speech entitled 'Social and Global Awareness in a Changing World', urging students to remain informed of the needs and issues of the day and to use their field of studies to contribute to society in an attempt to make this earth a fairer and more peaceful planet.

Before starting my graduate studies, I spent a year as a teacher of literature and composition at a university in Central China. My literary studies, combined with my deep interest in the traditions and religions of Eastern cultures, culminated in a Masters thesis that addressed the works of three Western writers: E.M. Forster, Paul Bowles and Don DeLillo, and their efforts to come to terms with the essential mysteries of human existence through the perspective of Eastern philosophy and belief. For my studies and for this thesis I was recognized as an honors student and was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Student of the Year Award in the English Literature Department.

I lived and taught in Japan from 1987 - 2006, first as a high-school teacher and from 1991 as a university lecturer. As an educator, I have constantly dedicated myself to developing students' creative and critical abilities, to heightening their awareness of global and environmental issues, and to guiding them to a discovery of their spiritual nature in the hope that such a consciousness will naturally lead to a more holistic understanding of both themselves and our shared planet.

I continued to write for a number of publications and newspapers while in Japan and to give public lectures and workshops on topics connected with environmental awareness, indigenous peoples, human rights and peace.

From 1991- 97, I spent six years living in a previously abandoned Buddhist temple in the mountains of Nara, where my wife and I attempted to lead a simple and sustainable lifestyle and to share our ideals with the surrounding community and hundreds of guests of multitudinous nationalities and ages. I continued to travel widely during the university holidays to such countries as Laos, Burma, Vietnam and Cambodia, bringing my experiences back to share with students and friends through workshops, articles and informal lectures. After moving to Kyoto in 1998, I involved myself in groups working to empower youth, to preserve the traditional architecture of this ancient capital, to save the environment, and to promote Fair Trade.

After completing work on my textbook series 'Looking Back, Moving Forward: An Environmental Course for the Next Generation' and seeing it through its publication by Macmillan Language House in 2007, I decided to depart for India so I could devote myself full-time to teaching environmental education to the youth by using place-based education as a learning tool, something that proved impossible in the Japanese university setting.

I continue to be influenced and inspired in my life by those around me and by the ethics and teachings of my elders, especially the Dalai Lama, Krishnamurti, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Merton, Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi, and, in the teaching field, by the works of David Selby/Graham Pike, Fritjof Capra, Ron Miller, Jack Miller and David Peaty.