Peace Corps Volunteer Speaks on Rwanda at COA

Posted Feb. 15, 2013, at 12:02 a.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 4:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

Location: College of the Atlantic - McCormick Lecture Hall, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine

For more information: John Visvader; 207-288-5015;

BAR HARBOR, ME—The impact of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda had immense consequences that continue to be felt. Among the impacted institutions was the entire education system. Allister Stanton, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda and a current MPhil student at College of the Atlantic, will be talking about the educational impacts in a talk to the college’s Human Ecology Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 4:10 p.m. The talk, “Teaching in Post-Genocide Rwanda: A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer’s Experience,” will be in the McCormick Lecture Hall.

From 2010 to 2012, Stanton lived and worked at Ecole Secondaire Kagogo, a secondary school in a small, Rwandan mountaintop community. Even after schools reopened following the genocide, says Stanton, “they were still marred by the lingering effects of violence and distrust, which prompted the government to begin intervening in educational policy in the interest of maintaining the peace and healing the country’s wounds.”

As a result, Rwandan history was rewritten by the government to promote unity among the ethnic groups. Challenging this official narrative became a criminal offense. Despite the introduction of 12-year basic education for all, there is extreme ethnic disparity between the students who are enrolled in schools. Additionally, Rwanda’s adherence to “Vision 2020” development goals have seen changes in the schools, often without consideration of resources or practicality. Stanton will discuss his experiences teaching in Rwanda during his Peace Corps service and offer his own assessment of some of these controversial changes, additionally drawing from his graduate studies, which have continued to explore Rwandan education policy.

Since 2007, Stanton has been working with education systems in pursuit of a better world. His MPhil work at COA is focused on education and African studies. Stanton holds a BA from Green Mountain College in a self-designed major, Education for a Just, Sacred, and Sustainable World.

For more on Allister Stanton’s talk at COA on Feb. 26 at 4:10 p.m. contact him at or 207-288-5015.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit