Volume 8, Number 2
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Uncovering the Heart of Higher Education
In our densely interconnected world, integrative teaching and learning have never been more important, but in what components of their studies and in what dimensions of themselves are students being asked to make connections? We understand integration within a major, between fields, and even between knowledge and practice. More recently, the relationship between curricular and co-curricular activities has received attention. While these and other trends help students and faculty integrate otherwise fragmentary elements of their educational venture, do we go far enough? Do our efforts reach the often unspoken heart of higher education?
The central questions become, Do current higher education efforts address the whole human being - mind, heart, and spirit - in ways that contribute best to our future on this fragile planet? What steps can we take to make our community colleges, colleges, and universities places that awaken the deepest potential in students, faculty, and staff?
After two years of dialogue and planning, The Fetzer Institute and California Institute of Integral Studies are sponsoring a major conference in San Francisco on February 22–25, 2007, for the field of higher education. Uncovering the Heart of Higher Education will focus on integrative learning for compassionate action in an interconnected world. Conference partners include the Associated New American Colleges, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Council of Independent Colleges, League for Innovation in the Community College, and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Targeted to faculty, administrators, student life professionals, and chaplains, the conference will address the relationships between curriculum and values; intellectual, aesthetic, and moral intelligences; technical competency and compassionate action; critical reasoning and contemplative inquiry; and vocation and life purpose. The rising interest in integrative learning supports a holistic approach to education that is founded on a growing recognition of the need for students to integrate their inner lives and their outer vocations. One aim of the conference is to draw together and articulate teaching perspectives from around the world that are theoretical, pedagogical, and relational. Tracks of inquiry will include contemplation, spirituality, and religion in higher education; integration of emotional and academic intelligence; cross-cultural competency, integrative learning communities, learning through work and service, leading from within, and the major trends in research.
With the rigor of traditional academic conferences, leading faculty, administrators, and student life professionals will present and explore best teaching practices as well as theoretical frameworks for programs, courses, and activities that will explore, promote, and cultivate a balanced education of heart, mind, and spirit, and a need to work in the world. At the same time, this conference will gather leading and diverse voices from across the country to share their journeys as educators.
Keynote speakers will include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker; educational activist and author Parker Palmer; Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela of the University of Cape Town and author of A Human Being Died That Night; Robert Kegan, developmental psychologist at Harvard University and author of The Evolving Self; Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, president of Kalamazoo College; Steve Mittelstet, president of Richland College; Diana Chapman Walsh, president of Wellesley College; Alexander and Helen Astin, co-directors of the Templeton Project on Spirituality in Higher Education. The conference includes five preconference institutes, 50 sessions, and four site visits in San Francisco.
Session leaders include Mirabai Bush, Arthur Chickering, Mary Taylor Huber, Pat Hutchings, Paul Elsner, Peter Laurence, Wayne Muller, Marilyn Nelson, Mary Rose O’Reilly, David Pollick, Ann Ponder, Laura Rendon, Elizabeth Ursic, Hal Roth, Jake Schrum, David Scott, Steve Severin, Patti Owen Smith, Beverly Tatum, and Arthur Zajonc.
Online registration begins this fall. For more information, visit http://www.heartofeducation.org or email Joseph Subbiondo, president of California Institute of Integral Studies, at email@example.com.