The Dalai Lama is to preside over the launch of Emory University’s SEE (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning) program in New Delhi, India, April 4-6.
The SEE Learning program provides educators with a framework for inculcating social, emotional and ethical values in K-12 education as well as students pursuing higher and professional degrees.
The three-day event in New Delhi is to feature a host of educational experts and policy leaders from around the world, including Nobel Peace laureate and children’s rights activist Kailash Stayarthi, founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which has reportedly freed thousands of children from slave-like conditions.
The Dalai Lama has had a lengthy relationship with Emory since he first visited the Atlanta campus in 1987. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree following his commencement address there in 1998 and in 2007 he was named Presidential Distinguished Professor, the first university appointment that he ever accepted.
The SEE Learning program is part of Emory’s newly established Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, formerly known as the Emory-Tibet Partnership, a program within the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, which was established as a result of a total gift of $11 million from the Yeshe Khorlo Foundation, a Colorado non-profit that seeks to cultivate the growth of Buddhist learning and the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Foundation.
The center also has received $2.2 million in operational funds for 2019-20 from the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Fund, which was established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, to empower people and foster change on a global scale.
“The Dalai Lama invited Emory to create a program in ethics and basic human values that would be grounded in common sense, common experience and scientific evidence, and that would be equally acceptable to those of any religious faith and those without,” said Lobsang Tenzin Negi, executive director of the new center and professor of practice in the Emory Department of Religion, in a news release.
“Scientifc research has shown that ethical development, alongside social and emotional learning contribute to a student’s physical, psychological and social well-being, helping them to succeed not just academically, but in life.”
Dr. Negi along with colleagues from multi fields of learning, developed the SEE program to deal with the effects of stress on young people and a need to incorporate social, emotional and ethical learning into students.
The program includes topics such as attention training, the cultivation of compassion for self and others, resilience skills based on trauma-informed care, systems thinking and ethical discernment. Initiated in 2015, SEE Learning has established partnerships in the Americas, South and East Asia and Europe.
A high school curriculum is planned for 2020 and an online platform is to be available for teachers. The curriculum also is being translated into 14 languages.
Among the social and emotional learning experts who also are to attend the New Delhi launch are Daniel Goleman, an authority on emotional and social intelligence; Linda Lintier, a Fulbright scholar and member of the faculty of Hunter College in New York; Robert Roeser, professor of Caring and Compassion and professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University and Kimberly Schonert Reichi. director of the Human Early Learning Partnership in the School of Population and Public Health in the faculty of medicine at the University of British Columbia. More than 1,000 educators and officials are expected to attend.