He’ll work in Romania to improve higher education and literacy among Roma children.
(April 18, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.— Under Communism, education in the Soviet Bloc was colorless—original thought was discouraged.
But with the end of the Communist period in 1989, Charles Temple, education department chair and professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, viewed the open door as an opportunity for the rebirth of meaningful learning in that region of the world.
Since 1996, Temple and the 70 volunteer university faculty he and his partners recruited from the U.S., Canada, England and Australia, have helped breathe new life into the educational system in 29 former Soviet Bloc countries by training more than 50,000 teachers and professors to teach more than 2 million students active learning, critical thinking and how to work cooperatively through the highly-acclaimed Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking Project (RWCT) he help found and co-directs.
The recent winner of a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award, the grant will help fund Temple’s July until June 2006 sabbatical in Romania where he will help two universities in Cluj improve teaching and change curriculum. This endeavor will build on the work Temple has already done in higher education reform in Central Europe and Asia.
While there he will also continue work with teachers and psychologists from Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Slovakia and Slovenia to develop teaching approaches to help Roma (Gypsy) children learn to read better and stay in school longer. The average Roma child in Romania, for example, doesn’t attend school past fourth grade.
The U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 scholars and professionals each year to more than 140 countries, where they lecture or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.
Nancy Santos Gainer, external relations director for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars that administers the Fulbright Scholar Program for the U.S. Department of State, said about 2,300 persons apply for awards each year and grantees are picked following a lengthy and rigorous review and selection process.
“It’s a very big deal! He (Temple) had a number of recommendations that were absolutely glowing. He is a leader in his field with a stellar reputation,” Santos Gainer said.
Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith, agrees.
“Professor Charlie Temple’s latest accomplishments reflect his commitment to education and internationalism. He has brought that spirit to our campus and with this Fulbright award, he will be able to share his expertise and enthusiasm with a country that needs and wants our help,” he said.
Temple expressed gratitude for being selected for the Fulbright Scholar Award and thanked people who wrote letters of recommendation for him
“I’m grateful,” he said, noting he’s also glad to be able to spend the year in Cluj with wife, Codruta and their children Ana, 15, and Iuliu, 8, who are native Romanians. He said the award will help defray their transportation and living expenses.