Analysis and Comparison of Cultural Educational Schools
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MA in Cultural Sustainability
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Tibetan culture and languages encounter numerous challenges of globalization, urbanization, and mainstream Chinese culture in contemporary society. In particular, the Chinese education system interrupts the transmission of Tibetan cultural heritage to Tibetan youngsters in state schools. To improve the situation of Tibetan culture and languages, it is important to investigate possibilities for transmitting Tibetan cultural heritage, the types of cultural program that may be feasible within the Tibetan cultural and political context in China, and why particular cultural programs may contribute to Tibetan cultural sustainability. Therefore, I conducted case study research on four ethnic cultural educational institutions in the United States to explore the following questions: how these schools were established, who are the targeted communities, what kinds of cultural courses they teach, how they teach culture and language in their classes, and what are their polices for administration? I am exploring these questions because I am a native Tibetan, and wish to maintain Tibetan culture in my home community. I undertook research on this topic to learn how such schools sustain culture in the context of educational programs. I have worked to learn best models for culture-related educational programs. In my analysis, I examine how these diverse U.S.-based models may help sustain Tibetan culture and identity both inside and outside Tibet. I learned that these cultural schools may or may not have big impacts on learning native culture and improving language fluency, however, these schools create a sense of community, strengthen cultural identity, and build confidence through the learning of culture and language. My overarching question asks: How can an education system nurture and sustain traditional cultural knowledge?