- Get Involved
The Institute’s 14-week in-depth study of Newman and Holzman’s approach to developing people and communities will focus, in 2017, on its core concepts and their points of intersection and divergence with other perspectives. Joining Holzman will be four leaders in education and psychology as guest faculty -colleagues whose own approaches give them unique positions from which to view social therapeutics. The curriculum includes a variety of source material on the history, methodology and politics of social therapeutics and how specific educational, cultural, therapeutic, and community-building projects have been informed by it and continue to advance it.
Joining Holzman on specific topics:
Michael Cole, emeritus distinguished professor at University of California San Diego. Cole founded the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition in the 1970s and was its director until 2016. His contribution to understanding how culture effects and affects how human beings learn and develop (or fail to) is vast. Holzman worked closely with Cole in the Laboratory’s early years, notably on incorporating Vygotsky into research showing the invalidity of experimental cognitive psychology and its ill effects in schooling. For the past ten years, they’ve been in dialogue on schooling, learning, development and the sorry state of the world.
Sheila McNamee, professor of communication at the University of New Hampshire and founding member, vice president and board member of the Taos Institute. McNamee is a leading developer of social constructionism who has developed innovative practices for a variety of social-cultural environments, including psychotherapy, education and health care. She travels the world engaging practitioners in dialogic transformation and sharing the humanity of relational practices. Lois and Sheila met through Taos Institute conferences in the 1990s and have been listening to each other ever since.
Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor at the College of Education, The University of Georgia. As a noted teacher educator and researcher, Smagorinsky writes his own books for students when he finds the existing ones lacking, and finds researching schools endlessly fascinating. His approach to teacher education and development is cultural-historical and he has brought a Vygotskian perspective to literacy research. Most recently, Smagorinsky passionately advocates for a neurodiversity perspective on autism, Asperger’s and other diagnostic characterizations of people. Holzman and Smagorinsky travel in the same cultural-historical-Vygotskian circles and most recently have been speaking regularly on critical issues concerning the very concept of mental health and illness presented in his upcoming book, Creativity and Community among Autism-Spectrum Youth: Creating Positive Social Updrafts through Play and Performance.
Tom Strong, professor of counseling psychology, University of Calgary and family therapist and supervisor with the University of Calgary Psychiatry Department’s Family Therapy program. Strong’s perspective is broadly social constructionist as well as critical, with a particular focus on discourse analysis and discursive approaches in psychotherapy. He’s a qualitative researcher who explores counseling change processes and the collaborative potential they have. Holzman and Strong “met” through his review of Newman and Holzman’s 1997 book, The End of Knowing: A New Developmental Way of Learning published in New Therapist. They’ve been colleagues for nearly 20 years, sharing ideas, presentations and publication platforms, and students.
The course is primarily conversational, with participants learning from and with each other and the faculty. Making the most of online tools, we will create the course through written forums, real-time audio and video sessions, and pre-recorded podcasts. We welcome applicants from all disciplines and locations.
(Students are responsible for purchasing required texts.)