Updated 9-14-14

Friday Program: Sessions-At-A-Glance (PDF)

Saturday Program: Sessions-At-A-Glance (PDF) 

Sunday Program: Sessions-At-A-Glance (PDF)


Session Descriptions

Friday Morning Selections:

Awakening the Inherent Spirituality of Children -  An Interactive Dialogue
Ba and Josette Luvmour

No pre-registration is required.

The aim of education is the awakening of wisdom throughout life. We accomplish this by awakening optimal well-being in the whole of the child. Participating and drawing forth this self-actualization in our students is the deep desire of every holistic educator.
 We can do this. First, we have to dissolve the many mistaken notions of the spiritual nature of the child. Then we have to inquire deeply into the way children of different ages organize their world. We can gain compelling insight into the unfolding of the child’s consciousness through all ages of childhood. And we can discern the kinds of relationships that support and nurture the development of that consciousness so that our students experience optimal well-being and realize self actualization throughout their lives as their natural and unimpeachable birthright.
 Then, and only then, do we meet the aim of the enlightenment of humanity. All other goals of education—academic excellence, social justice, environmental sensitivity, physical, music and artistic acumen—are secondary. And Each of these will be competently expressed relative to the unique proclivities and talents of each student. Only the field of this profound awakening dissolves illusions of separation and allows these talents to ripen in authentic interconnectedness with all life.
 Let’s come together on this critical concern for holistic educators. We have much to offer and so do you. It’s time to step into the full expression of holistic education. 

Empower Children in Mind/Body/Emotions/Spirit: Build Their Inner World Connections and Strengths for Enhanced Connections in the World Around Them
Janai Mestrovich

No pre-registration is required.

Imagine having so much fun learning that you don't want to leave the classroom! Laughter, whole body learning, 3D teaching tools, emotional intelligence applications with music, dancing to communication skills model, learning to act instead of react.....and so much more. Come have a learning adventure where you gain insights for your own life and carry away a tool chest full of ideas and experiences to use with young children. Excited to be with you!

Stories Alive: Invoking Reverence and Enthusiasm in the Classroom through the Journey of Writing.
Jeanne Renaux

Pre registration is required. Find link on the Conference Schedule Page.
If the session fills up, you will be added to the wait-list.

This interactive workshop explores how writing and storytelling in the classroom  can hold reverence and enthusiasm, allowing students to express themselves  deeply and with authenticity while transforming the classroom into an engaged community. The journey of writing in the classroom can be a source of light, illuminating the individual soul. The transference of ideas to paper can result in a product that is funny, sad, angry, joyful, imaginative and  truthful; it can reflect  the writer in the most purest raw form. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is understandable when we regard the meaning of enthusiasm as first appeared in English in 1603 with the meaning "possession by spirit." The source of the word is the Greek, “entheos,” which ultimately translates “within god or spirit.” When children’s writing is motivated by their desire to share what is living within them, whether narrative or imaginative, the process of writing extends beyond a grade, beyond the walls of the classroom, invoking authentic enthusiasm to express oneself in the written form.

This workshop will address specific common core standards and how teachers navigate through these while igniting enthusiasm through the journey of writing. We will explore specific methodologies and practice the sacred art of storytelling. We will be using original stories and transforming them into a shadow puppet show. Each participant will leave with a substantial understanding of how to create their own writers' workshop in the classroom and how to transform original writing into the act of sacred storytelling. All participants will be able to take home a created shadow puppet character as well as tangible working ideas and plans to use in their own classroom.

School Visitations (Earth Teach, Secret Garden/ John Muir. Pre-registration is required for site visits. Find link on Conference Schedule Page. School visitations begin at 7:45 or 8:00 am depending on your specific selection and destination.)

Roundtable discussions  (Topics to be determined)

No pre-registration is required. 

Join dynamic discussions around topics of mutual interest. We’ve organized two separate facilitated sessions for your convenience.

 9:00 – 10:30         First Roundtable

10:30 – 12:00       Second Roundtable

Friday Afternoon Sessions:

Session A (Friday, 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.)

Becoming Holistic Educators: The Integrative-Contemplative Way
Heesoon Bai and Avraham Cohen

Innerwork and relational-field work; contemplative, process-oriented and psychologically integrative ways of learning and knowing; nourishing body-mind-heart-spirit

A comprehensive view of the continuum of human wounding and wholeness will be offered and discussed. Contemplative, process-oriented, and psychologically integrative ways of inquiry and practice will be offered to facilitate becoming holistic human beings and educators.

Ananda College of Living Wisdom: Higher Education for Higher Consciousness
Nitai Deranja

Dimension of Consciousness; Education for Life; Flow Learning

We’ll explore how the dimension of consciousness transforms every aspect of the educational experience: 1) student unfoldment, 2) student/teacher relationships, 3) curriculum that balances body, feelings, will, and intellect.


The Meaning of Sacred in Education
Tom Peterson

When we understand man as sacred whole arrays of opportunities unfold that brings us a more communal way of being and caring for each other.

The Place of Holistic Education in the Paradigm Shift
Ba Luvmour

Holistic education exemplifies and deepens awareness Emergence, the paradigm shift occurring in science, psychology, interpersonal neurobiology, evolution, philosophy, education, and spirituality. Participants build confidence and cross-disciplinary teaching skills as they appreciate the critical role we play in the actualization of Emergence.

Sharing the Gift of Song & Dance
Tia McLean and Mia Driscoll

Creative Expression, Community Building, Exercise & Fun

Sharing the gift of song and dance in the classroom and with the community can teach exercise, self-regulation, essential learnings, creative expression, self-confidence, and community building.

Poster Session, Friday 3:15–3:45 (Lobby)

Intuitive Ways of Knowing through Music: My Journey through Music Teaching and Learning 
Haley L. Moore


This poster session will engage participants with live music from different musical genres and invite questions and dialogue surrounding my musical journey from student, to performer, to teacher. There will be examples offered on how to use one’s own experiences to inform teaching; and, I will share my own moments of inspiration and holistic music instruction wherein the line between teacher and student was barely visible.

Session B (Friday, 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)


Caring for the Core: Core Reflection as a Means to Foster the Human Potential in students and teachers
Prof. Dr. Fred A.J. Korthagen

Experience how ‘core reflection’ helps students, teachers, and teacher educators to (re) connect with their ideals and personal qualities, and overcome obstacles, so that they can draw the best out of themselves.

The Common Core and Holistic Education: a Dichotomy?

Mark Sherbow

Common Core Curriculum, Public School teachers, holistic education.

This presentation focus on the experiences of a public school teacher navigating through the rigors of Common Core Curriculum Standards and high stakes testing, while working to remain true to pedagogical beliefs and a holistic student centered approach to teaching and learning.

The Edge of Counseling: Mindfully Navigating Emotional Landscapes of Transformation
Michele Tanaka

In this interactive session, the role of emotions in transformative learning will be illuminated, explored, and mindfully embraced. Join us and attend to emotions inherent in you own disorienting dilemmas!

The Foundations of Holistic and Transformative Learning in Two Myths: Indra’s Net and the Ten Ox-Herding Series
Sam Crowell

This presentation will be a creative exploration of two significant myths that provide deep insights into the nature of non-separation and the process of transformation.

How Might a Teacher’s Relational Work be the First Step Towards Creating Effective Learning Strategies within Primary Classrooms?
Angela Bosco

A teacher’s relational work in a primary classroom promotes/hinders student learning

Workshop will examine how multi-literacy approaches, and culturally relevant and responsive teaching, require relational work to take place so as to help practitioners understand their students and make such pedagogies effective.

The Living Earth as Catalyst: Blending Modes of Sensing from Tracking to Earth Dreaming for Dynamic, Immersive, Experiential, and Holistic Learning
Marna Hauk, Ph.D. and Nicole Apelian, Ph.D.

Earth-immersive learning, tracking, dreaming

Join sustainability researcher-practitioners to weave paradigms for earth-inspired teaching. This experiential workshop blends two modes of holistic being with the living planetary system as the larger teacher: tracking and dreaming.

Supporting the Whole Student at Ashland High School

Michelle Zundel, Erika Bare, and Jay Preskenis

High School; Whole Child; Physical and Emotional Health

Ashland High School won the 2014 Oregon ASCD Whole Child Award. Learn how AHS supports the physical and emotional health of students while preparing them for success in college and careers.

Saturday Sessions:

Session C (Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.)

Devotio as a Dialogical Form of Contemplative Practice
Charles Scott

contemplation, devotion, dialogue, arts-based practice, leadership

One dimension of contemplative practice involves the intersubjective: the sharing of subjective, phenomenal experience and the generation of knowledge through forms of dialogue, whether verbal or non-verbal. One concept of intersubjective contemplation Martin Buber develops is devotio, which involves an epistemological shift in how we apprehend others and the world around us. Devotio represent heart-based but holistic forms of knowing that are intersubjective, dialogical, and emergent.  For educational leaders, developing the sensitivities toward intersubjective dynamics is valuable, as much of leadership is relational. The presentation will highlight artistic expressions of devotio, offering participants to engage in one particular artistic contemplative practice: the writing of poetry or prose and possibly sharing our musings and ideas about incorporating such approaches in teaching.

Exploring Korthagen’s Onion Model in an Alternative Teacher Education Program

Thomas D. Browning, M.S.

Teacher Education, Preservice Teacher Identity, Alternative Teacher Education Programs

This session intends to explore the implications of a research project which looked at the intersection of Korthagen’s Onion Model, Kegan’s Constructive Developmental Theory, and an alternative teacher education program.

From Play to Practice: Reviving Passion and Joy for Teaching and Learning
Younghee Kim, Rebecca Tree, and Gina Dusenbury

Value of Play, Personal and Professional Growth, Role of play in Teaching and Learning

This session will discuss seven play principles and help teachers translate hands-on, open-ended play experiences into more effective professional learning and restore and revive teachers’ passion and joy for teaching.

Learning Your Way
Michael Maser

In this interactive presentation award-winning educator and SelfDesign Learning co-founder Michael Maser will introduce new insights from science, psychology and elsewhere that circumscribe a compelling framework for Personalized Learning.

“No Time” Assignments: A Spiritual Perspective in Teacher Education
Robert London

This workshop explores “No Time” assignments which focus on observation, are powerful in facilitating teacher growth, reasonably easy to formulate, and require little time outside of the educator’s normal activities.

Opening the Integrative Mind
Tobin Hart, Ph.D.

Consideration of the consciousness needed for the days to come with a practical emphasis on fostering five “minds” essential for both understanding and growing our humanity.

True North: Trusting your Inner Compass on the Journey as Holistic Educators
Jane Dalton and Kathryn Byrnes

Contemplative Practices, Inner Teacher, Sensory Awareness

How can educators integrate both external authorities for information and expertise on teaching while also relying on our inner wisdom to inform our pedagogy?


Identity and Talent Development: Focusing on the Whole Child
Amy Abbott

A variety of holistic teaching experiences that address learners’ academic, social, and affective needs will be provided. Participants will generate a framework for schoolwide and community enrichment opportunities respective to various age groups.


Session D (Saturday, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)

Consciousness- Based Education

Caroline Cory

Experiential Learning, Consciousness-based learning, Mind-Body soul expansion through a new paradigm education

This education approach is based on the principle of universal oneness and the expansion of consciousness.  It is experiential and engages the brain into a full and direct experience of the information; thereby making the learning and teaching become dynamic, non-linear, and fun.

EcoHuman Development Nurtures Teaching and Learning
Leslie E. Whitcomb, Ph.D.

EcoHuman Development, Holistic Foundations, Sensory Integrative Community

Step outside with me and experience sensory cued reciprocity within our local ecosystem. Learn how this aspect of EcoHuman Development supports teaching and consensus building skills that transform therapeutic, educational and community interactions.

Evolving Education – Creating and Sustaining Holistic Learning Communities
Michael Carberry, M.S.

In this interactive workshop we will explore the ways our approaches to education are evolving.  Practical insights for working with youth, building community, and organizing for success will be offered.  Join the evolution!

Holistic Approaches and Perspectives for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Sam Crowell

Education for Sustainable Development, Holistic Pedagogy, Culture of Well-Being

Focusing attention on the Earth Charter and holistic pedagogy, the presentation will introduce ways to integrate ethics, values, and ESD content into classroom curricula and school culture.

The Importance of Family in Holistic Education
Josette Luvmour

Working with parents and families, Relationships in Education

Relationship with a student’s family is essential to student success. Teacher/family collaboration supports optimal development and academic success in a way that elevates the child’s highest potential. Come learn how.

In Praise of Immaturity: Philosophy and the Spirit of Childhood

Hunter McEwan

Philosophy of education, philosophy of childhood, immaturity

Discussion of philosophical conceptions of childhood with particular attention to John Dewey’s proposal to think of immaturity, not as a lack but as potential for growth.

Strategies for Establishing Genuine Partnerships in Schools
Andrea Purcell and Mariella Saba

We invite practitioners from any field to a session including theater, first hand testimony, and conversation about our own experience in and our dreams for establishing effective partnerships in school.


Teaching the Weird Way
Doug Robertson

Doug Robertson, author of He’s the Weird Teacher, details how you can become a weird teacher. Discover techniques to bring joy and laughter to your classroom, ease discipline troubles, and help everyone, from the students to the teacher, love learning.


Session E (Saturday, 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)

Accessing the Inner Fire that Fuels Our Teaching and Leading
Jane Carr

Experiential contemplative practices, Passion to teach, Nourishing the educator/leader

Participants will be guided in a sequence of meditations and reflections to help access and understand the original and innate passion for teaching and leading with which we are born.

Continuing the Wonder
Jenny Freeman

Experience of nature; performative autoethnography; integrated curriculum.

Through the medium of performative autoethnography, this session considers practical means of continuing the sense of wonder gained through experience of the natural world, into our classrooms and holistic curricula.

Educating for Mindfulness: Inspiration from Bhutan
Gay Garland Reed, Ph.D

Mindfulness, Bhutan, GNH (Gross National Happiness)

A discussion of educating for mindfulness with a particular emphasis on mindfulness education in Bhutan, the Himalayan country where Gross National Happiness (GNH) is more important than Gross National Product (GNP).



Introducting Mindfulness and Yoga to Public Charter School’s Enrichment Program
Ayako Nozawa

Contemplative education, Mindfulness and yoga, Charter school

The process and effect of experimenting with mindfulness and yoga class at the K-5 holistic enrichment program of the growing public charter school in Idaho, SAGE International School of Boise.

Education for Sustainability and Well-Being – Learning to live with Simplicity, Soul and Spirit
Gary Babiuk


Education for Sustainability / Sustainable Well-Being / Sustainable Happiness

A current world shift in consciousness is calling us to take action to move away from unsustainability and toward living lightly with soul and spirit on the earth. Through role-playing and discussion, education for sustainability and well-being will be explored.

Meditation in the Classroom: a Daily Practice with Middle Years Students

Meditation in the classroom, holistic

My session will explore how a classroom meditation practice can contribute to a sense of overall well- being for individual students, ground the classroom culture, and embody holistic education. It will demonstrate how it can also be easily implemented in any classroom.

SelfDesign: An Orientation, a Set of Tools, a Way of Life

David Marshak

Self, Unfoldment, Relationship

Participants will gain an introduction to these three aspects of SelfDesign—orientation, specific tools, way of life—through short talks, several activities, and conversations with colleagues.

What Is Holistic Human Development and Why Is It Central for Holistic Education?
Ba Luvmour

The essence of holistic education is the ability to see through a child’s eyes and feel through a child’s heart.. Participants will learn about Natural Learning Relationships (NLR), a holistic understanding of human development with an exemplary 30-year track record. Through a series of exercises they will apply what they learn to their practice.

Sunday Sessions:

Session F (Sunday, 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

Discovering the Space for Creating Knowledge through Heuristic Inquiry
Rick Vanosdall

Heuristic inquiry, transformative development, leadership

Come experience the processes associated with heuristic inquiry (Moustakas 1990 & 2000) applied to learning spaces where our minds, bodies, and spirits construct new knowledge and understanding.

Holding Tension, Seeking Balance, Finding Truth: The joys and sorrows of leading a holistic elementary school
Paul Freedman

I will briefly tell the story of my struggle to found and sustain a small rural independent school on a holistic pedagogical foundation.  We will dialogue about specific forces at play in each of our practices that create tension in our work.  We will engage in several experiential activities and initiatives that we use with elementary-age learners to help explore ways to live with apparent conflict and tension.  We will debrief and see if any of these activities provides useful metaphors with which we can stay both balanced and focused in our professional practice.

Meaningful work: Experiencing the sacredness of the teaching and learning relationship
Dr. Rupert Collister

Meaningful work, Sacredness of the teaching and learning relationship, Holistic and transformative learning.

This workshop explores meaningful work through the eyes of the teachers themselves. More specifically it will explore how teachers experience the sacredness of the teaching and learning relationship through a synthesis of some of the holistic and transformative work of work of Collister, (2010), Fox (1994) and Palmer (2004).

Pieces of the Whole: Engaging the Whole Child Through Storytelling, Music and Natural Science
Heather L. Hutton and Shauna Sorce

Collaborative Music, Natural Science, and Storytelling

Transformative Approaches to Teacher Education
Robert London

Transformative education; Spiritual perspective; Teacher training

We will explore processes, guidelines and strategies that facilitate transformation in teacher training, based on over 15 years’ work with 12 cohorts in the MA in Holistic Education program.

What Should Education Be If Adolescence is the Next Step in Human Evolution?
David Marshak

Adolescence, Evolution, Human potential

Participants will participate in a collaborative group inquiry re the topic: what should education be if adolescence is the next step in human evolution?

Multicultural Approaches to Holistic Education
Leslie E. Whitcomb, Ph.D.

Multicultural, Immersion, Co Abiding

Practice microskills of intentional cultural respect to support holistic education. Learn how flows of sensory reciprocity with students and colleagues can become invitations to respectfully co abide while acknowledging differences.

Session G (Sunday, 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

Awakening the Soul to Creativity and Beauty
Dr. Susan A. Schiller

Beauty and Creativity Processes, Beauty Illuminates Ways of Knowing, Beauty to Empower the Soul

This interactive session braids theories of beauty and creative processes as participants complete a short survey to raise awareness, create something original, and discuss ways beauty and creativity nourish the soul of students and teachers. (approximately 90% interactive)

Building Positive Teacher-Student relationships
Lucila T. Rudge, Ph.D.

Teacher-student relationships, contemplative and self-reflective practices.

This session will describe a program aimed at fostering positive teacher-student relationships and discuss the process of self-transformation experienced by participants in this program. Attendees will engage in some of the activities used in the program.

How Connecting with Your Passion can Transform Teaching & Learning

Lisa Tucker

Transformation, arts, passion

Join Lisa Tucker in an exploration of how to create learning environments that acknowledge and honour the gifts and passions of students and teachers, ultimately leading to transformation.

Identity, Resistance and Change
Stephen Marble

Teacher education; philosophy of teaching and learning; identity

Using the ideas of Gilles Deleuze, this session investigates how a dogmatic vision of schooling limits opportunities for learners and teachers to create multiple connections between themselves and the world.

Nature's Teachings on Empathy and Character: Using Biomimicry for Empathy and Character Lessons with Children
Rachel Van Boven

Children can learn about Empathy and Character through experiences in nature using Biomimicry. We will discuss research, look at student work, share insights and collectively create lessons  that use Biomimicry.

Transformation through Movement

Edmond Knighton

Play, Discuss, Journal

You will gain insight into your own spatial awareness, and learn how to help others develop spatial awareness. Interactive movement and dialog form the heart of this workshop.

What Would Love Do Now?

Zahra Lightway and Deborah Baker

The Chalice of the Diamond Heart Learning Model harnesses the heart to create our future from the quantum field by illuminating our innate wisdom and  nourishing our unique soul gifts. 

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Ashland, OR 97520
 (541) 552-7672
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