The UNESCO Chair in Teacher Education at KU strives to make teacher education better and more relevant and to encourage cultural diversity and sustainability in education. The program has some specific aims, such as helping people learn, work, and live in a changing world, helping people develop skills for inclusive and sustainable economies that take into account digital and green transitions, helping people develop skills for inclusive and peaceful societies, supporting learning for the SDGs by setting learning objectives, topics and activities, and implementation strategies, improving the quality of teaching by enhancing initial teacher education programs and continuing professional development of teachers, and supporting policy-makers, curriculum developers and educators in making context-responsive, evidence-based teacher policies and regulations.
About KU and KUSOED
Kathmandu University is a public university in Dhulikhel, Nepal. It was founded in 1991 with the vision of providing quality education for leadership. It has seven schools that offer various programs in engineering, science, arts, education, management, law, and medical sciences. It is one of the leading universities in Nepal and South Asia, with a reputation for excellence in teaching, community service, and research. It has a diverse and vibrant community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni engaged in various academic and social activities. Kathmandu University aims to transform society through its innovative and collaborative approach with its vision of quality education for leadership (see, https://ku.edu.np).
One of the seven schools of KU is the School of Education (KUSOED). KUSOED was established in 1997 with the aim of contributing to enhancing the quality of education in the country. KUSOED offers programs at Bachelor, Master, MPhil, and Doctoral levels in educational leadership, STEAM education, language education, and development education. KUSOED also conducts research and provides consultancy services on various educational issues. KUSOED has four departments, four centers, and several partner institutions that support its academic and professional activities (https://soed.ku.edu.np).
Some achievements and activities of the Chair program thus far are:
Assessing the educational needs and opportunities in Dhulikhel Municipality, a town near KU, and evaluating the effectiveness of KU’s interventions in improving the quality of education in the area (1997).
Creating mathematics teaching materials that reflect the cultural contexts and traditions of the Gopali and Tamang communities, which are ethnic groups in Nepal with their own languages and cultures (2008).
Examining the curriculum from the viewpoints of equity and cultural sustainability means ensuring that all students have fair access to quality education and that their diverse cultures are recognized and appreciated (2005).
Implementing various activities from 2004 to 2008 around literacy through community learning centers, where people can learn basic skills and knowledge in a collaborative and participatory way.
The program was inactive for some years, but it has been reactivated recently with new plans and initiatives by KUSOED, which is the School of Education at KU. Now, a team comprising the Chair, Members, and Researchers has been formed. The tentative areas of intervention are given below
Engaged Learning Curriculum Development: Designing and researching curricula that involve students actively in learning and measuring their outcomes.
Teacher Development Through Critical Reflection: Supporting teachers to examine and improve their own teaching practices through professional development programs that include reflective practice.
Critical and Innovative Pedagogies: Researching and implementing teaching methods that foster critical thinking and innovation, such as exploring and developing new pedagogical models and evaluating their effectiveness.
Continuous and Developmental Assessment: Developing and implementing assessment methods that give continuous feedback on student learning and allow for necessary adjustments. Researching the best methods of continuous and developmental assessment.
Teacher and Learner Empowerment: Researching strategies to enable teachers and students to take charge of their own learning and teaching processes, such as increasing teacher autonomy or enhancing student agency.
Early Childhood Education: Researching early childhood education, preparing curriculum worksheets, developing projects to support the holistic development of students, and empowering teachers to identify learners and address their needs.
STEAM Education: Integrating STEM and arts in educational systems and processes to promote inter and transdisciplinary learning and problem-solving skills.
ICT and AI in Education: Using information and communication technology (ICT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance learning outcomes, such as creating digital learning environments, developing adaptive learning systems, or using AI to analyze data and provide feedback.
Parents and Community Engagement: Engaging parents and community members in the education process, such as creating partnerships, involving them in decision-making, or providing them with information and support.
Inclusive Education: Promoting equity and diversity in education, such as addressing the needs of learners from different backgrounds, abilities, or interests, or creating inclusive learning environments that respect and value differences.
Higher Education and Vocational Training: Improving the quality and relevance of higher education and vocational training, such as developing curricula that meet the needs of the labor market, enhancing the skills of graduates, or creating opportunities for lifelong learning.
Sustainable Development: Aligning education with the goals of sustainable development, such as raising awareness of environmental issues, fostering social responsibility, or developing solutions for global challenges.
Public-Private Partnership: Creating collaboration between public and private sectors in education, such as sharing resources, expertise, or innovation or improving the efficiency and effectiveness of education systems.
Indigenous and Local Knowledge: Recognizing and integrating indigenous and local knowledge in education, such as respecting and valuing indigenous and local cultures, languages, or worldviews, or using indigenous and local knowledge to enrich learning experiences.
Climate Change Education: Educating learners about the causes and effects of climate change, as well as the actions they can take to mitigate or adapt to it.
These areas are crucial in transforming society through educational excellence, which is the mission of KUSOED that supports Kathmandu University’s mission of quality education for leadership.
Professor Bal Chandra Luitel, Ph.D.
Bal Chandra Luitel is a professor and researcher in STEAM Education. He works as the Dean of the School of Education at Kathmandu University (KUSOED), Nepal.
Luitel completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics education from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and pursued a Postgraduate Diploma, Master of Science, and PhD at Curtin University, Australia, where he conducted a cultural-philosophical inquiry into the problem of culturally dislocated education in Nepal. His doctoral dissertation was awarded the Chancellor's Commendation by Curtin University in 2009.
Luitel's research interests include STEAM education, transformative research, post/de/anti-colonial theory, and Eastern and Western philosophies and wisdom traditions. He has published articles (see, https://shorturl.at/bGOVX ) and book chapters on these topics, as well as co-edited three books, including Research as Transformative Learning for Sustainable Futures (Brill, 2019) and Implementing Transformative Education With Participatory Action Research (IGI Global, 2023).
Luitel's intervention research (based on participatory and reflexive methodologies) also aims to develop a transformative educational approach that accounts for the diversity and richness of Nepali culture, language, and worldview. Luitel played the role of PI for a NORHED project titled Enhancing Access, quality, and Sustainability of Teacher Training/Professional Development of Teachers Using ICTs and Distance Delivery Modes aimed at transforming KUSOED as a hub for blended learning (see, https://shorturl.at/nwJOY). The outcome of the seven-year-long project is evident as KUSOED runs its program via a blended pedagogy for students from Nepal and beyond. As the PI of the ongoing Rupantaran Project, Luitel works with Master, MPhil, and Ph.D. researchers in a participatory action research design aimed at transforming a public school cluster by creating a healthy environment, promoting livelihood activities and implementing STEAM pedagogy (see, https://shorturl.at/sH129 ).
Luitel's perspectives of inclusive and life-affirming mathematics and science education (inspired by Habermasian Interests, Freirien Critical Pedagogy, Advaita Vedanta, Tantra, and Madhyamika Buddhism, Nepali Cultural Worldview, to name but a few) foster creativity, critical thinking, and social justice among students and teachers.
Dr Hem Raj Kafle
Dr. Hem Raj Kafle is an associate professor of English and communication at Kathmandu University, where he also heads the Department of Language Education in the School of Education. He has more than two decades of experience in teaching and research. He has served in various important positions at the university, such as spokesperson, associate director of student welfare, chief of university communications, and member of examination board and research committees. He specializes in rhetoric and communication and has interests in leadership communication, rhetorical theories, cultural studies, and creative writing (https://hkafle.com.np/publications). He has published several books, poems, essays, and research papers on literary and communication topics, as well as socio-political issues (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=mRqUdUcAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao). He is an alumnus of the Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI) program on journalism and media, which he attended at the University of Florida in 2008. He is an avid user and learner of Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs and social networks (https://hkafle.com.np/6-2). He loves music and poetry and often performs in public. He believes communication is the key to productive learning and teaching, building leadership, and maintaining relationships.
Dr Shesha Kanta Pangeni
Shesha Kanta Pangeni, PhD is an Asst. Professor and Head of Department at the Department of Education Leadership, Kathmandu University School of Education. He also had worked as IT/Exam coordinator at the School. He has been professionally involved in education for over two decades in Nepal. He also worked as a guest researcher at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), Oslo, Norway, for a year during his Ph.D. fellowship funded by The Norwegian Program for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED), and the PhD project was related to web technology in higher education. Areas of his research interests are Educational Leadership, Mathematics Education, Web Technologies in Higher Education, Online and Distance Learning, and ICT in Education. He has presented many international conference papers in Asia, Europe, and America. His past journal articles and conference papers were focused on ICT in Education, Online and Distance Education, Digital Leadership, Online Learning Culture, and e-Research Methods (see the publication profile in the link https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Pl6M5ooAAAAJ&hl=en). He has experience of training facilitation on Learning Management System (LMS) use. A number of professionals from reputed organizations in Nepal such as TU, KU, NOU, MPU, CTEVT, TITI, different colleges and schools have been trained by Dr. Pangeni on use of technology in education and research.
Dr Suresh Gautam
Dr Suresh Gautam has a PhD in education from Kathmandu and has more than 10 years of teaching and research experience at higher education. He specializes in qualitative research, education, development, and youth and adult education in urban and rural settings contributing to social transformation. He has worked closely with the UNESCO Chair team at University of East Anglia, including through a fellowship funded by BAICE (British Association of International and Comparative Education) to develop publications based on his research on adult and youth literacy and learning. Dr Gautam’s recent publication for UNESCO futures of education highlights the importance of education to combat the global problems such as climate change, global warming, and pandemic like COVID 19 with preserving and promoting the local wisdom heritage which are more resilient and sustainable futures (https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000374086). Dr Gautam also experiments with the genre and logics of transformative research practice to challenge the Western Modern research paradigms thereby valuing and recognizing the local epistemic indeterminacy and practices (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=RSmshUgAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao).
Mr. Binod Prasad Pant
Binod Prasad Pant is an Assistant Professor and Head at the Department of STEAM Education, Kathmandu University, School of Education, Nepal. He earned M Ed and M Phil in Mathematics Education from Kathmandu University. He served as a visiting fellow at the University of Technology (UTS) Sydney after he received the Australian Award in 2017/18. Binod has been working with a number of Nepali teachers and teacher educators who examine their lived experiences as students, teachers and teacher educators. He speaks and writes about pedagogical innovations, uses of technology in education, child-friendly classrooms, authentic assessment, etc. His research interests are transformative educational research, participatory action research, mathematics education, STEAM Education, and research studies on reflective practices. His publications can be found at https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=qf7t1c8AAAAJ
Dr Roshani Rajbanshi
Roshani Rajbanshi, Ph.D. a former post-doctoral fellow under NORHED Rupantaran Project, is working as an Assistant Professor in the STEAM Education Department at Kathmandu University School of Education.
She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University with a major in Educational Learning Technology and a minor in Biology. She has a double master’s degree: one in Botany from Tribhuvan University and another in Environmental Safety and Health Management from the University of Findlay.
Her research interests are in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education, professional development, science education, and inquiry-based science teaching and learning. She has publications related to the same. She worked as a graduate assistant and later as a program coordinator at STEM Outreach Center in Las Cruces, NM. She has facilitated many professional development activities/workshops related to STEM/STEAM topics. The list of publications can be found in https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=4L-FgC4AAAAJ&hl=en
Dr Rebat Kumar Dhakal
Rebat Kumar Dhakal is an Assistant Professor of educational leadership. He holds PhD in Education, with a research focus on inclusive school governance. His research areas are Teacher Education, Head/teacher Performance Standards, Curriculum, TVET Leadership, and Research Integrity. He also works as the Coordinator of the Research and Innovation Center (RIC) at the School of Education at Kathmandu University (KUSOED), Nepal. He is also an expert in curriculum mapping, review and development, academic audit, and project design/evaluation.
He is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Education and Research, a flagship biannual journal of KUSOED. He is actively involved in helping agencies build their capacity in evidence-informed policymaking. His scholarly publications can be accessed via https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Ez1z7hwAAAAJ&hl=en .
Dr Lina Gurung
Dr. Lina Gurung, at the School of Education at Kathmandu University, holds an assistant professorship under the Department of Development Education. She is known for her extensive knowledge of teacher agency, digital pedagogy, gender, online and distance education, development, and indigenous education. Dr. Gurung was awarded a NORHED (The Norwegian Program for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development) PhD fellowship. She worked as a gender coordinator under the NORHED QUANTICT project on behalf of Kathmandu University during the project period (Dec 2014 - Dec 2020) funded by NORAD (Norwegian Agency fo Development Cooperation). Dr. Gurung has worked as a subject expert in gender and social inclusion for course writing, translation, localization and restructuring under one of the GPE KIX projects co-ordinated by Kathmandu University, School of Engineering. Lina has spent her whole career working to improve Nepal's educational system (both in school and higher education), and her efforts and successes are proof of her dedication to high standards of instruction and educator empowerment.
With various Research Project Leadership, Lina’s work has had a significant impact on Nepal's educational policy and practices. For, initiatives for Educational Development, Lina has actively participated in programs designed to enhance the standard of education in Nepal, with a particular emphasis on the agency and professional development of teachers. Dr. Lina Gurung is a skilled researcher and writer who has published widely in journals and edited books (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=w4Ji0wwAAAAJ&hl=en). She is one of the editorial board members and an advisory board member in national and two international journals. Her work has benefitted not only the academic community but also educators and policymakers by offering insightful information. Lina's commitment to education extends beyond her work in research and instruction. She has mentored several students, assisting them in their academic and scientific endeavors.
Dr Parbati Dhungana Poudel
Parbati Dhungana Poudel is a dedicated academic, currently serving as a Full-Time Faculty in the Department of STEAM Education and coordinates the activities of the Continuing and Professional Education Centre (CPEC) at Kathmandu University, Nepal. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from the same university and is deeply committed to teaching, research, and professional development.
Her research interests span sociocultural perspectives, participatory approaches to transformative learning, and gender. Her publications include journal articles, textbooks, and conference proceedings (see, https://shorturl.at/xGRZ8).
As the Coordinator of CPEC, she, together with the CPEC team, actively engages in over 100 projects dedicated to university-community partnership programs, planning transdisciplinary professional development projects. Her commitment to the university's mission is evident in her efforts to enhance the learning experiences of teachers, teacher leaders, and educators in over 60 partner schools and educational institutions. Her dedication to empowering the next generation of scholars and teachers, along with her active role in advancing knowledge in continuing education through the mobilizations of 80 trainers and teacher educators (see, https://shorturl.at/nvG79 ).
Parbati aspires to enrich her academic and professional career further and leave a meaningful impact in her capacity as an educator and scholar, which is evident in her role in the expansion of CPEC activities in a year's time (See, https://cpec.ku.edu.np )
Siddhartha Dhungana, PhD is a faculty at Kathmandu University, with research interests in English language teacher professional development, teacher education and qualitative research studies in language education. He believes that the Eastern value system lays the groundwork for developing dynamic educational practices for developing context and content-relevant professional development strategies. He has worked as a schoolteacher for 15 years with self-initiated professional practices. He has published research and conceptual articles on educational policy, philosophy, and the subjective dimension of the teaching profession(https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=GbW6yP4AAAAJ). He is presently working on issues of multilingual and medium of instruction, self-directed professional practices, and the philosophical foundation of language education in the context of Nepal.
Mr. Indra Mani Shrestha
Mr. Niroj Dahal
Mr. Netra Manandhar
Netra Kumar Manandhar is a Lecturer at the Department of STEAM Education, Kathmandu University School of Education (KUSOED), Nepal. He has been teaching various courses of Master and MPhil levels and has been supervising dissertations and research projects. He has presented papers at national and international conferences. He has been involving in developing resource materials, teachers' Manuals, Curriculum, and Curriculum Materials, etc. at the school level. He has been working with a number of Nepali teachers and teacher educators who examine their lived experiences as students, teachers, and teacher educators for improving society through holistic and progressive education. He speaks and writes about pedagogical innovations, uses of technology in education, progressive education, and Assessment, STEAM education, etc. His research interest is in STEAM Education, Science and Technology in Education, Mathematics and Science Education, Transformative Educational Research, Data Science, Action Research, and research studies on Reflective Practices. He has rich experience and expertise in Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, and Mixed Methods Research.
Ms. Sarita Khadka
Mr Sandip Dhungana
Mr Madan Rijal
Madan Rijal, a passionate teacher educator and mathematics practitioner from Nepal, is driven by a genuine love for Mathematics and an inherent fascination with research in the educational field. His journey in education has been propelled by an ardent desire to make a significant impact and foster transformative learning experiences. With a robust academic foundation, he has earned an M.Phil. in STEAM Education and an M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from Kathmandu University, School of Education, Nepal, showcasing his commitment to educational excellence.
Currently, he is actively engaged in the Continuing and Professional Education Center (CPEC), at Kathmandu University, collaborating with teachers from diverse schools across the nation. He is a faculty member at Kathmandu University, Department of STEAM Education. As a teacher educator, his efforts are dedicated to effective planning, seamless implementation, and thorough assessment of innovative pedagogies, aiming to make the teaching and learning process more student-centered and skill-focused. Moreover, he has written a few articles on interdisciplinary approaches in classroom pedagogies. He has recently shouldered pivotal roles in curriculum development, co-writing and facilitating the export of an Activity-based Mathematics book for grade 8 in collaboration with Karani Community Development Center (KCDC) under the Project for Mugu by United Mission to Nepal. This reflects his strong commitment to shaping a comprehensive and impactful educational framework. Also, he is engaged in curriculum development, including textbook and teacher guide writing at the Curriculum Development Center (CDC), Nepal. He envisions a progressive educational landscape, aspiring to meld his passion for continuous pedagogical transformation.
Mr Surendra Bhatt