The International Class
A Study and Training Program in Social Therapeutics
The International Class is open to practitioners and scholars with a broad range of educational and life experiences—and a passion for innovation.
The International Class is a unique study and training program in cultural and creative approaches to human development and learning, The program focuses on social therapeutics, a philosophically informed, practically oriented method in which human beings are related to as creators of their culture and ensemble performers of their lives.
The performatory approach of social therapeutics allows people to experience life in new ways other than how we’ve been socialized, and to organize environments for group creativity to flourish in unforeseen developmental ways. Utilized in diverse mental health, educational, youth development and community organizing settings in the US and internationally, social therapeutics has influenced both the postmodern and the cultural-historical activity theory movements in psychology, psychotherapy, education and community and organizational development.
“When I first encountered the Institute’s performance-based approach three years ago it revolutionized my work – understanding how we continuously co-create our reality and how that could be useful in building community. Being part of the International Class has given me the opportunity to experience this developmental method — to be playful in creating ways to transform our world with talented and dedicated people from around the globe.”
— Sandra Paola Lopez, dancer educator and improviser, Champaign, Illinois
A Zone of Development
Designed and led by East Side Institute director Lois Holzman, the program provides a unique opportunity for practitioners and scholars from the US and countries around the world to:
- study together and learn the Institute’s cutting edge developmental methodology
- work directly with Lois Holzman, the Institute’s leading practitioners — Lenora Fulani, Christine LaCerva, Carrie Lobman, and others
- participate in innovative educational, cultural and community-building programs throughout NYC
- build ties and support for themselves and their communities
A Flexible Structure and Curriculum
The ten-month program combines residencies in New York City and seminars, supervision and project development sessions conducted online. Students come together to work with Institute faculty and others in a broad development community and advance their own programs and research.
Residencies. The International Class meets at the Institute three times during the year (in October, February and June) to work together as a group with Institute faculty and associates at the Social Therapy Group, The All Stars Project, Performance of a Lifetime, and Independentvoting.org. Site visits, observations, participant observations and experiential learning activities supplement daily seminar activity.
At Home. In between residencies, students study the social therapeutic method in relation to socio-cultural activity theory, theories of performance, postmodernism, group process and community development. Learning formats include on-line seminars and Skype calls with faculty.
A Global Learning Community
Since 2004, community and university based practitioners from across the US and dozens of other countries have enrolled in The International Class of the East Side Institute. Coming from different places and professions, they share a desire to change the world—and an eagerness to take advantage of the unique opportunity The International Class offers them to create a global support network, to engage the philosophical, political and psychological issues of their practice, and to study and train as developmentalists with the creators of social therapeutic methodology.
“I’ve been a school principal for 25 years, and right now working with teachers from four different countries and students from six different nationalities. My experience with the International Class helped me find a path towards creating relational and emotional activities which keep me developing — independent of ideology/truth/labels/programmatics. I am immensely grateful to Lois Holzman and her works, which have given me back the pleasure of learning and teaching in the classroom and beyond.“
— Qazi Abdur Rahman, principal, Bangladesh School Sohar, Sultanate of Oman
“Being part of a group that is intelligent, talented, diverse and committed to making a difference in their own parts of the world has revolutionized my work, my personal growth, and my way of relating with others. Introducing performance to our after school programs with kids, our work with youth groups, and our broader community work has opened new possibilities for the growth of everyone.”
— Miguel Cortez, youth worker, psychotherapist and university faculty, Juarez, Mexico
“The International Class has made me learn to challenge some of my old beliefs and to peel off the rigid self-image that we all try to portray in our life. The cultural and economic differences of all the countries of the student have made us get an even broader viewpoint on all the topics that were discussed.”
— Ishita Sanyal, psychologist, Calcutta India
“For the last eight years, I have studied welfare policy and have been an advocate for more humane services in New York City. I applied to The International Class out of recognition that my understanding of poverty was limited – and in some ways, provincial. My colleagues taught me about anti-poverty programs around the world, which helped to broaden my understanding. As an American and an anti-poverty advocate, this experience has been invaluable.”
— Becca Widom, sociologist and anti-poverty advocate, New York, New York
“The activity based-theory, the performative approach, and the emphasis in community building are the key elements of a psychology that blurs the distinctions between clinic, politics and the arts.”
— Murilo Moscheta, psychologist and therapist, Brazil
Applications for the 2017-18 program will be accepted through May 15, 2017. Tuition is $3,400. A limited number of full and partial scholarships covering tuition are available. Obtaining a US visa is a lengthy process! We urge those who require a visa to enter the US to get their applications in as early as possible.
For more information, contact: Lois Holzman, Director, East Side Institute, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 212-941-8906, ext. 324.