Chris Brown is the founder of The Kiribati Project. From 1990 to 1992 Chris lived in the Country of Kiribati on the island of Marakei serving in the U.S. Peace Corps. During this time he lived among people who lived off the land and sea and had a very unique culture. On the island of 2,300 people there was one truck, maybe 20 motorcycles and a handful of small generators. One airplane a week serviced the island. Kerosene lanterns were used for light in the evening. People walked or biked everywhere, although the distances travel were minimal. Click this link to see images of Kiribati. Today Kiribati is in danger of disappearing yet is one of the least contributors to global warming gas emissions. Utilizing his background and skills in education along with his passion for the people and culture he lived among, Chris has worked with others to create the Kiribati Project.
As an educator (teacher, administrator and college faculty member) for over 35 years, Chris has a wide variety of experience working with students, developing curriculum, helping schools plan for the future, and helping create new and innovative programs. With a background in history and social studies education, he has taught in public schools (both district and charter), a private high school, the Peace Corps in the Central Pacific Island of Kiribati, and schools in Thailand and Australia. He has been a founding member of three schools in Minnesota and developed education programs for several non-profits. He received his BS from Bemidji State University, MS Ed. from Sydney University, Sydney Australia, ESL certification from the University of the South Pacific, Suva Fiji and has advanced coursework in International Experiential Education at the University of Minnesota. He was also a Bush Leadership Scholar.
Chris was a faculty member for many years at Augsburg University in the Education Department teaching and advising future teachers. Along with teaching a variety of education courses he also supervised over 100 Student Teachers, advised more than 400 undergraduate and graduate students, and led a variety of experiential learning programs including the education departments field experience program. He also developed and managed the Charter School Authorizer program. He was the first authorizer representative on the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools board. Throughout his career he has worked with students from many different backgrounds including newly arrived immigrant and refugee communities.
He has a love for the outdoors and spends time camping, canoeing, hiking, and exploring with his family. He has traveled extensively, both nationally and internationally, and enjoys getting lost in unfamiliar places. This has served him well most of the time. He also enjoys listening to and exploring a wide variety of music with an emphasis on Americana and folk. This is perhaps due to his long love of Bob Dylan's music. He is also frequently seen with a camera around his neck.
The following is his Educational Philosophy:
"I believe in a progressive education philosophy and am influenced by educators and scholars such as Socrates, John Dewey, Deborah Meier, Aldo Leopold, David Kolb, and Alfie Kohn. All students should be treated as assets who contribute to the learning community. Education should serve as a means to pique student curiosity and they should be given opportunities to explore and learn in real world situations. As an educator who has worked with aspiring teachers in higher education, my goal has always been to instill in my students the idea that learning is fun, lifelong and largely occurs outside of the classroom, textbooks and worksheets."