Compassion in the Bhutanese Gross National Happiness (GNH) Infused Classrooms


  • Jambay Lhamo Royal University of Bhutan
  • Judith Miller University of New England
  • Brenda Wolodko University of New England
  • Anne Marie James Cook University


compassion fatigue, self-compassion, well-being, education.


There is a growing interest in research on the role of compassion in the fields of positive psychology and social psychology. Compassion in the educational setting is focused on well-being and relationship-based approaches to support students to flourish academically, emotionally and socially. This paper is a review of compassion in the literature and provides a foreground of future research on compassion in the Bhutanese classroom. It also presents a discussion on compassion in relation to benefits for self and others, compassion fatigue and self-compassion. More importantly, this paper provides a deeper understanding of the role of compassion in education in building the teaching-learning process and foregrounds the need for further investigation into compassionate teaching and learning for a range of school-based curriculum subjects.

Author Biographies

Jambay Lhamo, Royal University of Bhutan

Jambay Lhamo is a lecturer in the Paro College of Education. She is currently a candidate for PhD at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia. She has a Master degree in Education from Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. She also has a Master of Arts in Contemplative Education from the Naropa University, Colorado, USA. Jambay has contributed to preservice as well as in-service teacher education by offering Diploma, Bachelor and Masters programs at the Paro College of Education, Royal University of Bhutan. Her research interest includes mindfulness in education and compassionate pedagogy.

Judith Miller, University of New England

Judith Miller has been actively contributing to preservice teacher education, teaching and researching for twenty-six years at the University of New England. Judith has contributed to both collaborative research and curriculum development in Bhutan, most recently championing study programmes for young Australian teachers to experience education in Bhutan through the support of the Australian Government New Colombo Plan Scholarship scheme

Brenda Wolodko, University of New England

Brenda Wolodko is the Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning for Humanities, Arts, Social Science and Education at the University of New England. Brenda has contributed to curriculum development in Bhutan as well as research collaborations in early childhood education. Through the support of the Australian Government New Colombo Plan, she has also provided guidance to students travelling to Bhutan to learn about education inBhutan.

Anne Marie, James Cook University

Anne-Marie is Professor and Dean of the College of Arts, Society and Education at James Cook University. Previously Head of School of Education at the University of New England, she has over 25 years’ experience in educating teachers and has a deep and active interest in the work and wellbeing of teachers. Her research and publication interests include languages, literacy, social sciences and arts education. She is currently lead investigator of an Australian Research Council project on languages education in the early years and is contracted by the Australian Government to develop a National Languages Education Plan and Strategy.




How to Cite

Lhamo, J. ., Miller, J. ., Wolodko, B. ., & Marie, A. (2021). Compassion in the Bhutanese Gross National Happiness (GNH) Infused Classrooms. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 9(2). Retrieved from