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Teacher and School Development Resources

On this page, we’ve gathered a selection of our resources related to teacher training, starting a school, and the ways Buddhism can support modern education.

Teacher Training Resources

Curriculum Development

Middle Way Lesson Plan Template

As a research organization, Middle Way Education supports the research and development of Buddhist educational materials through various projects and institutions. The Middle Way School is one such institution where this research takes place.

This lesson plan template is how teachers at the Middle Way School organize their lessons into a clear plan. Please feel free to use it in any and all ways that you find helpful.

Access the template here.

Want to Start a Buddhist School?

Middle Way Education’s pilot school, Middle Way School in Saugerties, Upstate New York, opened its doors in 2018. But the school began long before that, with research, planning, and lots of logistics. Here we share our practical checklist for starting a school, which covers everything from defining a vision to securing a site, determining the organizational structure of the school, and hiring staff. Our mission at Middle Way Education is to support Buddhist education initiatives of all kinds. We hope this resource will help to guide and inspire all those looking to start a Buddhist school of their own.

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The Five Domains of Learning

In order to assure a balanced education at the Middle Way School, they have identified five content areas or domains of learning, drawing from the traditional five Buddha families. Inspired by the qualities of the five elements—water, earth, fire, air, space. Each of these areas also has a correlating guiding principle, which helps guide their approach to teaching and learning, knowing that we are never really confined to just one domain or element. This is simply a structure to deepen the focus for teachers and students.

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Thematic Units Overview

The Middle Way School organizes the academic year by thematic units. Each unit has a flexible duration of 1 week to 2 months and is designed so that it can be adapted to suit the structure of a variety of learning environments, whether it be a school or a camp or even at home.

The units are drawn from traditional Buddhist practice and study that seem most fertile for student inquiry. 

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Talks on Educating Children



Interview: “The Sacred Work of Sandra Cisneros”

August 17, 2022
Angélica Paljor wrote this interview with Sandra Cisneros published in August, 2022 on Lion’s Roar entitled, “The Sacred Work of Sandra Cisneros.” The author speaks candidly about her own struggles, and how writing has been a practice that has helped transform them. An essential ingredient in Buddhist education is seeing how others integrate their view and practice into their work, art, and lives. Cisneros' example is vital as students work on developing their own voice, and considering how their view and self-expression are inextricable.

What Qualities to Look for in a Buddhist Educator

July 8, 2021
When hiring teachers for a Buddhist school, credentials are not necessarily the most important thing—nor is being a "good" Buddhist. Here's what to look for instead.

The Three Spheres of a Middle Way Education

March 9, 2021
The Middle Way Curriculum is based on three primary Spheres of Learning or areas of focus: one elective; one academic; and the dharma.

Buddhist Wisdom as a Foundation for Education

January 21, 2021
Neil Amas writes about why Buddhist wisdom can add great value to a modern education, and what makes a Buddhist education unique.

My Experience with Abiding Heart Education’s Child Development Course

November 20, 2020
"Child Development from Birth to Rebirth," now offered online, took me on a journey of self-discovery and inquiry, through lectures on Buddhism, developmental science, meditation and medicine, arts and dance.

A glimpse into the Abiding Heart Kindergarten Curriculum

November 6, 2020
Many of you who have read about the Abiding Heart Education kindergarten teacher training course might still be wondering what the richness and fullness of this course involves. In this post we would like to offer a glimpse into the content of the kindergarten curriculum that trainees learn how to teach. This document was created by the Abiding Heart staff.

Middle Way Education’s Thematic Units Overview

October 21, 2020
Middle Way Education organizes the academic year by 8 thematic units, drawn from traditional Buddhist practice and study that seem most fertile for student inquiry.

Middle Way Education: The Five Domains of Learning

October 21, 2020
Middle Way Education's five domains of learning balance Sciences; Humanities; Arts; Embodiment; and Contemplation.

5 Ways to Help Children Be Who They Are

June 18, 2020
We as teachers can serve as a pivotal inspiration for genuineness to arise in our students. Here are five specific ways to promote a child’s ability to feel comfortable with who they are.