For most American teachers, getting to know the Himalayas necessitates a trip halfway around the globe. But in the summer of 2002, the Himalayas came to Massachusetts in the form of the NEH Institute’s Cultures and Religions of the Himalayan Region. Led by prominent scholars Todd Lewis and Leonard van der Kuijp, this month-long program brought leading researchers from around the world to Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. While the reading list was mountainous and the lectures intense, the intrepid participants came home with something to share with everyone.
A main objective of the Institute was for each participant to create a Web site on teaching the Himalayas. All participants were required to write an original Implementation Plan, and each was expected to prepare one curriculum unit for the Institute Web site. These plans take various forms though all are aimed at helping to bring information about the Himalayas into the classroom. The plans are accessible at http://college.holycross.edu/orgs/ himalayan_cultures. They offer something for teachers of all disciplines and grade levels. Several are highlighted in this essay for the content and practicality they offer to teachers who want to explore the Himalayas in their curriculum.