The Asian Studies Program at SUNY New Paltz conducted a curriculum development project in India under the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program in 2010. Twelve participants, including university faculty from SUNY New Paltz and the College of Mount Saint Vincent and secondary and high school teachers from area schools traveled to India in January 2010. The five K-12 teacher participants were from New Paltz Elementary School, New Paltz High School, Cornwall High School, Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School, and Westchester Arc. The program focused on the contemporary culture and society of India as well as its rich historical contributions.


Program Goals

  1. Increase knowledge and understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of India and its peoples through first-hand experience of life in India
  2. Expand capability for teaching about India and South Asia by incorporating material from the overseas phase into interdisciplinary South Asian courses at SUNY New Paltz and CMSV, and developing grade specific curricula for use by participants in the school districts in which they teach
  3. Promote cultural diversity and dissemination of knowledge of South Asia through local and national India-related events, seminars, workshops, and conferences


Overseas Seminar

The overseas phase of this project consisted of a 4-week program that included field visits and formal instruction by Indian scholars focusing on the cultural and religious diversity of India, both historically and in a contemporary setting. The major project sites visited are Kolkata, Varanasi, Delhi, Mumbai, and Goa. Among the many field visits planned, the group had the opportunity to visit archeological/historical sites and museums in the major cities as well as at Sarnath and Ajanta/Ellora accompanied by regional experts.

A primary focus of the study tour was to observe and understand the religious diversity in India. This was accomplished by the study of both ancient and contemporary Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian sites in the project locations. Other activities included cultural activities, visits to local schools and colleges, social interaction with individuals and families in urban and rural areas, and the acquisition of resource material for teaching and curriculum development.


Post Seminar Curriculum Development

Upon return, participants reconvened at SUNY New Paltz for follow-up workshops to evaluate program success and to develop and refine teaching modules resulting from this academic project. Sunita Bose and Akira Shimada of SUNY New Paltz collaborated with Thomas Mounkhall of the World History Institute to produce material for a Global Studies curriculum for teachers.



Among the resources currently available:

The PowerPoint presentations can be downloaded and used to provide a visual journey through contemporary India, based on pictures taken while in India. These presentations can be used to augment lessons on Indian society and culture and can form the foundation for deeper understanding of modern India and its complexities.

For further information and resources, please contact Sunita Bose, Project Director, Fulbright Group Projects Abroad, SUNY New Paltz at

The Center For Research Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) recognizes the value of research done at SUNY New Paltz that supports the work of interested teachers and others in the region and state.