• Ed.D. Learning and Teaching, Harvard University, 1999
  • Ed.M. Technology in Education, Harvard University, 1990
  • B.A. Johns Hopkins University, 1986

Before COA

Bonnie started teaching during college when she worked summers for the Island School, a summer enrichment program for inner-city middle-schoolers on Thompson Island in the Boston Harbor.  After college, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching Math and English at Mahalapye Community Junior Secondary School in Botswana.  During her first graduate program, she developed a keen interest in increasing access and equity in higher education, and followed her first graduate degree working at Brandeis University as Associate Director of Admissions and Curriculum Specialist for Student Support Services. After earning her doctorate, she directed the M.A. program in Curriculum and Instruction at California State University, Long Beach.

Scholarly and Creative Interests

Bonnie Tai is a faculty member in Educational and Human Studies. Her primary teaching and research interests focus on experiential and intercultural education. Most recently, she is investigating Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and contemplative practices and their contributions to our understanding of the nature of knowledge, self, and human experience. Two overarching goals have driven her work over the last twenty years: to enhance access, equity, and quality in education and facilitate learning, teaching, and leadership that values individual and group differences and helps communities effectively negotiate conflict and change. As peer, advisor, teacher, and mentor, Bonnie aims to help educators put theory into practice in contemplative, experiential, intercultural, and democratic education.

More About Me

As a classically trained violinist, she has performed with the Maitisong Festival Orchestra in Gaborone, Botswana, in the pit orchestra for a production of Scott Joplin’s opera, “Treemonisha,” and the Maryland Women’s Symphony, an all-women’s orchestra playing works by women composers and conducted by a woman conductor. When she is not working, she enjoys yoga and meditation, silent retreats, outdoor sports, commuting by bike or motorcycle, making music, and exploring places both near and far.

Community Engagement and Advocacy

Bonnie currently volunteers with the Next Step Domestic Violence Project and on the advisory board of the MDI Adult and Community Education.  


In progress. “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”: Engaging the subject before the word. In M. Delaney & S. Mayer, Looking and Listening for Learning.

2013. Witness to learning. In W. Shorr, S. Hoidn, C. Lowry & E. Cavicchi (Eds.), Always Wondering.  Cambridge, MA: Critical Exploration Press.

Fall, 1998.  Power Dynamics in the Classroom.  Harvard Educational Review, 68, 3.

Winter, 1997. C. Woyshner & B. Tai (Eds.). Special Issue on Women’s Educational History, Harvard Educational Review, 67, 4.



July, 2019.  Critical exploration in the culturally sustaining classroom: A meditation on decolonizing teacher education. Paper presented at the Summer Conference of the Association of Teacher Educators. Burlington, VT.

October, 2015. Teacher and youth leader development in Nepal: A transdisciplinary case study of an international K-16 partnership. Paper Presentation at the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies. North Andover, MA: Merrimack College.

September, 2014 - May, 2016. Equity, inclusion, and multiculturalism in teaching and learning. Faculty professional-development workshops. Blue Hill, Maine: Bay School.

June, 2014.  Maya Universe Academy Teacher Training (19-27 June). Tanahun, Nepal.