Integral Education Seminar 2008


Exploring the leading edge of educational theory and practice

August 1–6, 2008

Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island, WA

Integral Education stands out as one of the most pertinent and practical means of creating positive change in ourselves and the world. This seminar will bring educators of all age groups together from around the globe, educators who are seeking the necessary vision, skills, and processes to fully serve students and the world that we inhabit. Integral education is an emerging field, propelled by people who seek to push the envelope of what education can be. The seminar will provide a perfect environment to meet with colleagues and to network with a small but growing community that clearly understands that addressing a more complete spectrum of personal, cultural, and systemic realities at play in education is one of the most powerful ways to begin effecting the changes we hope to see in the world.

Faculty includes:

Diane Musho Hamilton / Susanne R. Cook-Greuter / Terri O’Fallon / Miriam Mason Martineau / John Gruber / Nancy Davis / Abigail Lynam / Thomas Arthur / Stephan Martineau

Some of the core questions we will be asking ourselves are:

  • How can education coherently address the whole human being, a being of body, mind, and spirit, immersed in cultural meaning making, social structures, and natural systems?
  • How can we embody an integral perspective in all aspects of curriculum, teaching stances, activities, and assessment?
  • In a universe unfolding into increasing consciousness and complexity, how can we work not only to develop current capacities, but also to create the conditions for the emergence of more complex perspectives in the future?

Seminar Purpose And Content

The seminar will:

  • offer and apply a framework that helps us orient ourselves in any educational setting;share practical experiences of working in the world as an integral educator;
  • provide an experience of integral education in the seminar itself;
  • offer ample opportunities for personal and professional self-reflection and development;
  • articulate teaching perspectives and generate effective next steps that each of us can bring home and build upon in our day-to-day work as teachers, parents and learners;
  • and most of all, explore what being an integral educator means in practice.
  • Also, the seminar will draw on the skills and knowledge of all present and offer some open space for participants to share their own experiences with integral education.

Integral education is ultimately about being integral, rather than knowing integral. As educators and parents, we need to become the change we wish to see, and we invite you to join us in this exciting journey of discovery and growth. Indeed, this seminar is for students of life, whether they be faculty members, administrators, adult educators, parents, or students, who hold education as an important part of their life’s purpose and context for personal evolution.

As it can sometimes take a while for new discoveries to percolate and become fully integrated, we will continue to work together in a post-seminar online community, offering ongoing collaboration, inspiration and mutual support.

And last, but not least, we intend to have the best of times! Surrounded by natural beauty, colleagues, and new friends, and exploring next steps to be taken within ourselves as educators and within this vast field of education, we shall gather for a dynamic and profound week of growth, practice, study, and self-inquiry. We look forward to seeing you there!

Seven core skills that you will develop during the seminar:

Communication with people at different levels of development: Learn to perceive the level of complexity (for example, egocentric, sociocentric, and worldcentric) of students’ and educators’ development in areas such as perspective-taking, worldview, and morals and then skillfully shape your communication in order to assist their and your own flourishing and evolution. Transcend simpler perspectives and include them within more complex ones.

Integral framing of challenges: Situate educational challenges within the deepest and widest framework available so that educational goals and problems can be better understood and addressed.

Multi-perspective awareness: Learn to hold multiple perspectives — with their practical implications, warnings, and growth opportunities for yourself and others — when designing any learning environment, including parenting, teaching stances, curricula, and assessment strategies.

Presentation of the integral approach: Increase your ability to teach the integral approach to others.

Integral innovation: Envision and elicit the possible within yourself and others through integral framing and skillful means in educational contexts.

Integral management of energy: Learn to center in stillness while taking action; work with your and others’ physical, emotional, and spiritual energies; and recognize and skillfully address your and others’ negative energies in educational settings.

Integral self-reflection and personal practice: Learn ways to engage in integral self-reflection and mutually-enhancing training of body, mind, and spirit.Seven meta-concepts that you will understand:

Seven meta-concepts you will learn during the seminar:You’ll learn about the essence of integral education in the seminar as we touch on these meta-concepts throughout the week.

  1. Shifting from an educational approach that is followed to a question-centered framework that can be customized allows educational initiatives to be tailored to the needs and learning potential of those being taught as well as to the learning environment in which they are enfolded.
  2. Central to integral education is the embodiment of the five perspectives of philosopher Ken Wilber’s integral framework and the teacher stances, assessment perspectives, and curricular approaches that emerge from applying this framework.
  3. Many of the major approaches to education are partial in their response to complexity, yet are held within the integral framework, which shows how they fit together in a meaningful way.
  4. Using the integral framework allows specific educational activities to be understood in a clear and coherent way.
  5. Self-development plays as vital a role in enabling successful educational changes as professional development.
  6. Integral cross training of body, mind, and awareness accelerates learning and personal growth.
  7. By shifting from tasks being at the center of all activity to awareness holding center stage, the scope of educational components that can be taken in widens, as do the unused potentials that can be activated, and the kind of educational presence that is offered to the world.

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