Fielding Graduate University News

Ruthellen Josselson, named editor of new APA Journal, Qualitative Psychology

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, May 31, 2013

Accumulating and sharing knowledge in Qualitative Research

Cover of Qualitative Psychology (medium)Fielding Graduate University's School of Psychology faculty member Ruthellen Josselson, PhD, takes a leading role in the advancement of qualitative psychology across the country.

Qualitative Psychology is a new bi-annual publication of The Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (a Section of APA Division 5) starting in 2014 with Josselson selected as editor. This journal aims to represent a wide variety of methodological approaches including narrative, discourse analysis, life history, phenomenology, ethnography, action research, and case study. The mission of this journal is to provide a forum for innovative methodological, theoretical, and empirical work that advances qualitative inquiry in psychology. Studies published in this journal will often focus on substantive topics, while also highlighting issues of epistemology, the philosophy of science, methodological criteria, or other matters bearing upon the formulation, execution, and interpretation of qualitative research.

Along with her role as editor, Josselson RJ book cover resized 600recently published a new book titled, Interviewing for Qualitative Inquiry: A Relational Approach.

Engagingly written, this book builds the reader's skills for conducting in-depth interviews designed to address a particular research question. With an emphasis on the dynamics of the research relationship, Josselson artfully demonstrates the steps of a successful interview. Each step is illustrated with excerpts from interviews on diverse topics. The book describes how to structure interviews effectively, develop questions that elicit meaningful narratives, cultivate skills for empathic listening and responding, avoid common pitfalls, and deal with problems that develop in an interview.

RuthellenKeeping her calendar full, Josselson was the keynote speaker at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in Champaign-Urbana, IL on May 15, 2013.  The conference was a major opening conference at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (QI). Now at it’s ninth edition, the QI Congress provides opportunities for lively and exciting debates on qualitative inquiry as a shared, innovative, and global endeavor that engages social justice and disparities in social, educational, and health sciences.

Ruthellen Josselson, PhD, is professor of clinical psychology at Fielding Graduate University and a psychotherapist in practice. She was formerly a professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard University and a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. Her research focuses on women’s identity and on human relationships. She received both the Henry A. Murray Award and the Theodore R. Sarbin Award from the American Psychological Association as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. She has been active in group relations work for many years, consults to organizations, and lectures and conducts workshops both nationally and internationally. She is co-director of the Irvin D. Yalom Institute of Psychotherapy. On her approach to therapy: “I work from a psychodynamic and an existential psychotherapy perspective. I think of psychotherapy as a project that two people undertake together to try to better understand the problems of living in order to make changes that serve growth and personal fulfillment. I work primarily with conflicts concerning relationships, work and identity, and these often underlie symptoms of anxiety and depression.”


Tags: APA, higher education, fielding graduate university, research

Future Faces of Fielding: Finding Fractal Fraternity

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, May 24, 2013
Written by HOD student Barton Buechner

BartonFuture Faces of Fielding: Finding Fractal Fraternity

Reflections of New Student Orientation

The spring New Student Orientation (NSO) 2013 cohort of the Fielding Graduate University School of Human & Organizational Development (HOD) began with evident embodiment of diversity. Like a view through a kaleidoscope, each turn of the lens displayed patterns not previously apparent. After a week of enmeshment with faculty and student anchors, patterns of unity emerged as well, amid aspirations and predictions of growth and new discoveries.

The faces and places of this NSO also reflected Fielding’s strategic direction and drawing power; India and Great Britain via Egypt and Dubai, crossing north and south borders of Canada and Mexico, German-New York fusion and Santa Barbara Celtic, just touching upon a few exemplars of global mélange in the room.  In one exercise organized by Susan Herrmann, participants tossed a tennis ball to each other with a greeting in their first or second non-English language, and passed instructions in intersecting tongues. The common language became laughter.  Later, it was music, with three talented singers and a poet in the house.  The outgoing interim dean of HOD, Margo Okazawa-Rey, bestowed the title of “beloved” to the new entrants, imprinted on a maroon and gold lanyard adorning each, lei-like as yet another symbol of sprouting unity.

Anticipations of emerging reality, and realities – holding a new passport to learning.  Standing at the shore of a great sea, feeling like fish. Envisioning yoga for the mind, body and spirit: stretching, pushing, balancing. Leaving behind corporate pathologies for integral healing. Bald ambition of anticipated growth. Are we evolving yet?

We learned of new HOD program direction as Dottie Agger-Gupta takes the helm: Fielding is getting lean, no more deans. What will that mean? Tackling the task of learning the “new normal” of a Moodle-powered approach to scholarly collaboration from others just learning as well, the Spring NSO cohort absorbed presentations delivered for the first time in the new format and language as Felix fades. Faculty and student anchors resisted temptation to describe the comfortable "old ways" as we made sense of the new, together.  Previously unfamiliar six-syllable words entered the conversation, and terminologies of diversity. Memories of the cold water of the “deep end” of pre-NSO gave way to forward motion of being in the swim.

In small groups, the metaphoric concept of “journey” grew legs in the sharing of spiritual pathways, intellectual meandering, and driving passion. Stories of quests and conquest, mysteries and revelations, and often deep pain came forward and merged in the growing “we-space” of community. Skeptical glances and furtive, longing gazes out the window at the Santa Barbara sea, sand and skyscapes became fewer, as attention and intention came into focus. As we inquired appreciatively, gifts were uncovered, explored, and shared. Commonalities built bonds, differences bespoke latent collaborations.  

Like all NSO cohorts before, the group heard from the (sometimes wild) horse’s mouths of thosedon bushnell at nso resized 600 ahead of us on this pathway. The Funky Pelican in search of the Red Fish. Seated around the fishbowl, second-person stories of scholars yet to meet, sages with gifts yet unimagined. Legends from the misty time of Casa de Maria, rituals of the fish and dolphins, learning to see in the other’s eyes the image of the “Changing Woman” of Chumash lore.  Venerable Fielding godfather Don Bushnell spoke of the deep empirically-based and well-researched meaning underlying the “Fielding” identity, and the equally profound legacy of merry mischief, embodied by his much-anticipated “bubble dance.” 

Much inspired, the class of spring 2013 returned the favor with satirical skits, featuring the sincere flattery of faculty emulation. Sly caricatures were met with knowing nudges and occasional howls as suckers were savored around the circle. What began days earlier with a staid and scholarly cocktail party ended as a dance of celebration.  Singing and dancing; reflective, contemplative, anticipatory.

On parting, more reflections. 

The heady and liberating transition from high-powered executive to being a student again…. And finding out how to hold both going forward. Balancing the need to manage, drive, make things happen with a gentler and contemplative questioning. 

Previously clear goals now in question, dissolving to make space for something greater, yet still unknown. We brought too much baggage, set some aside to make space. Travel lightly on this path, pick up the stones and feathers that speak to you.

The existential angst of password resets tempered with the comfort of no longer being alone in the digital universe.  Doubts erased. Open to love and be loved.   The privilege of privileged information. To see each other for the first time. Going forward, we take each other with us.  Who am I among these? Somebody….

The embodiment of our companions is more than the words on paper would have led us to believe. There is wisdom in that, the opening of an eye.

With that eye opening, we soHOD NSO spring 2013 group photo resized 600mehow find unexpected comfort in resting in the mystery of not knowing….yet….

Finally, love and appreciation for Jerry, the Snow atop the mountain of wisdom we are getting ready to climb. 

Thank you to Jerry Snow for the photos. Click here to view album.

Barton Buechner came to Fielding because of its reputation for “activism, transformation, and scholarly engagement.”  The military veteran had retired from the US Navy in 2008 and enrolled in Fielding in 2009, with a generally-framed academic agenda that has since gained shape and focus.







Tags: adult learning, fielding graduate university, graduate education, human development

Connected Histories: Coaching and Fielding

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, May 24, 2013

ConnPhoto of Leni Wildflowerected Histories: Coaching and Fielding

By Leni Wildflower, HOD alumnus

When I began to write the book I had decided to call The Hidden History of Coaching, something fantastic happened.  My research into the origins of coaching led me to a cluster of social, spiritual and intellectual movements that shaped much of what we associate with the progressive developments of the 60s and 70s. I found myself reconsidering personal experiences that had had a profound impact on me during those years.

At the same time, I began to think with new insight about a later stage of my life, my time at Fielding. Common threads began to emerge, linking all three: the values and principles of coaching, my own coming of age, and the institution that became my intellectual home as a student and a teacher for almost 20 years.

As a student in the 1960s I was deeply moved by the political, social, and cultural shifts that were emerging.  I quit College to work for Students for a Democratic Society, living and doing community organizing in poor urban and rural communities.  I became involved in the women’s movement, went to spiritual intensives, and read psychology extensively.

After raising a family while working full time, I entered Fielding as a PhD student. I thought of this as a distinct new phase in my life, though, like so many of my fellow students, I knew I was bringing with me a wealth of accumulated experience and personal knowledge. Coaching, as a professional activity and a subject of academic curiosity, came later still. 

describe the imageBut in writing The Hidden History of Coaching, I began to see how much of what I was calling our “coaching heritage” was the same mix of influences out of which Fielding had grown. I began to sense an unexpected coherence in these different phases of my life and in the heritage I share with other Fielding alumni.

To take just two examples from The Hidden History:  

On February 1, 1960, four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina sat down in the ‘whites only’ section of a Woolworth’s lunch counter and refused to leave. This took extraordinary courage. The next day 24 students returned to join the demonstration. Within a month, there were 70,000 sitting in all across the South. By July of that year, Woolworths had integrated its lunch counters. 

Meanwhile at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, people were gathering to discuss possibilities for human growth. This was a period of intellectual and social ferment when people were thrown together in unprecedented ways. Barriers were broken down.  Gender roles were challenged, settled structural arrangements disrupted, moral lines redrawn. Esalen served as a prism, taking in light and refracting it in many directions. 

Though times have changed, as Fielding alums, students, faculty and staff, it is important to remember how much we owe to this period. For a whole range of reasons, new possibilities for people were emerging. At the heart of these various movements was the idea that human beings could be greater, achieve more freedom, and accomplish more than had been commonly imagined. 

Leni Wildflower has 20 years experience as an executive coach, author and educator, working in the US, UK, Europe, China and Latin America.  Her passion as a coach is to inspire clients to reach new levels of clarity and effectiveness.
As an innovator and thoughtleader on coaching as a profession, a discipline and a craft, she developed the ground-breaking programme of evidence-based coach training at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, and co-edited the definitive The Handbook of Knowledge Based Coaching: From Theory to Practice. She is an expert on blended learning and online education.

To contact Leni Wildflower:

Tags: social justice, evidence based coaching, fielding graduate university

ELC alumnus Marion Smith Jr., EdD, appointed to The Washington State Access to Justice Board

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, May 23, 2013

Official announcement by The Washington State Access to Justice Board:Click here to view.

Access to JusticeThe Washington State Access to Justice Board is pleased to welcome their newest member, Marion Smith Jr., EdD. Smith was appointed by the Washington Supreme Court for a three-year term through May 17, 2016.

A career-long urban educator, Smith has served educational communities in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and now Seattle. He is the principal at Lowell Elementary School, a pre-K through Grade 5 elementary school in Seattle, Washington that educates three distinct student populations: general education students, Low Incidence special education students with behavior, development, sensory and/or severe orthopedic impairments, and medically-fragile students. Smith’s work and professional practice is anchored in issues around advocacy, structural inequality and diversity, equity and social justice with a lens on K-12 urban education. He is a member of the Equity and Race Advisory Committee to the Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools.

MarionSmith began his career with the Clark County school district in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he served in a variety of capacities: middle school and high school English teacher, AVID curriculum specialist and middle school dean of students. He was the founding director of culture at Young Scholars Frederick Douglass Charter School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before coming to Seattle to serve as assistant principal at Madrona K-8.His work toward confronting institutional bias and challenging convention in the education system, and in establishing community partnerships across disciplines will be helpful to the Access to Justice Board’s efforts to eliminate bias in the justice system and strengthen collaborative relationships in support of the Alliance for Equal Justice.

Smith holds an EdD in Education from the School of Educational Leadership & Change(ELC) from Fielding Graduate University, a MA in Education Administration, and a BS in Secondary English Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has been accepted to Cohort 7 of the Executive Leadership Superintendent Program at Seattle University. The Access to Justice Board was established by the Washington Supreme Court in1994, and is administered by the Washington State Bar Association. The Access to Justice Board recognizes that access to the civil justice system is a fundamental right and works to achieve equal access for those facing economic and other significant barriers.

Tags: social justice, educational leadership, fielding graduate university

Teaching Truly: A Curriculum to Indigenize Mainstream Education

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, May 13, 2013
Teaching Truly resized 600

Fielding Graduate University School of Educational Leadership and Change (ELC) faculty member, Four Arrows (Don Trent Jacobs) publishes book entitled, Teaching Truly: A Curriculum to Indigenize Mainstream Education.

This is the twenty-first book written by Four Arrows, and Peter Lang Publishers claims Teaching Truly to be a first of its kind for educational publishing. After reviewing Teaching Truly, Noam Chomsky stated:

This enlightening book reminds us that the grim prognosis for life on this planet is the consequence of a few centuries of forgetting what traditional societies knew, and the surviving ones still recognize. We must nurture and preserve our common possession, the traditional commons, for future generations, and this must be one of our highest values, or we are all doomed. To regain this sensibility from those who have preserved it we must pay careful attention to their understanding and practices, especially their educational practices as brought to us in these thoughtful chapters.

Teaching Truly offers K-16 course-specific guidelines for helping teachers and students counter-balance mainstream education’s hegemonic influences with indigenous learning precepts. Guest authors contribute to six of the book’s thirteen chapters, one of which is doctoral ELC student and mentee of Four Arrows, Kathryn England-Aytes.

This is not the first Fielding student to have co-authored with Four Arrows. A number of students in Fielding’s neuropsychology program contributed to his book, Critical Neurophilosophy and Indigenous Wisdom and students from all three colleges contributed to his acclaimed text on alternative dissertations, The Authentic Dissertation. When asked about why he asked a student to contribute, Four Arrows replied:

I’m fortunate to be able at this stage of my career to get publishers interested in projects. One of my goals, besides getting people to rethink status-quo perspectives, is to give recognition to the one school that stands for challenging the stats-quo where needed, Fielding Graduate University. Since our students are a big reason for Fielding’s reputation, I love to not only use their expertise but also to give them first opportunities to get published whenever possible. Kathryn’s dissertation work offered a perfect opportunity for an introductory chapter for this book and I’m proud she has joined the more seasoned guest authors on the cover of the book.

As an anarchist educator, Four Arrows solicited a large number of noted critical educators to read and comment on his text. Although he admits that offering suggestions for non-Indian teachers to teach non-Indian students is sensitive and complex undertaking, it is full of opportunities to turn the dire situations facing our world around. It seems that many agree with this approach.

The sampling of reviews below reveals that Four Arrows has touched a nerve in both offering frank criticism of policy, standards and outcomes in mainstream education while offering a counter-balancing solution that can be used in complementary ways to existing curriculum for those teachers who dare:

Penetrating, fearless and practical, this book offers educators (and anyone else with an interest in our future) a way to create a better world—before it is too late!—Thom Hartmann

In my own work as an environmental activist, I’ve learned more from the indigenous environmental network than just about anyone else. If the Indigenous perspective can help even an old guy like me, then educators should be paying attention to what Four Arrows offers in this book. God knows we need some new ways of looking at things.—Bill McKibben

Teaching Truly is a singularly provocative book with the unsettling analysis that education is not about learning and economics is not about the well-being of society. As today’s institutions crumble in their dysfunction, Four Arrows draws upon tens of thousands of years of empirical data within Indigenous societies, crucial intelligence on what works and how to unleash the kind of learning that will help us become human beings present and in balance with Mother Earth.—Rebecca Adamson

At a time when mainstream education is viewed as impoverished and lacking in meaning, this engaging book invites educators to start a self-reflective dialogue on educational innovation stimulated and inspired by the indigenous wisdom. With humility, sensitivity and force, Teaching Truly gives rise to the possibility of transforming education from inside out.—Scherto Gill

In this provocative new book, Four Arrows takes a principled stand on behalf of a significant educational perspective that has long been buried by corporate and political interests, that of the continent’s primary people. We would surely live more balanced, respectful and grounded lives if 21st-century educators were to read this book and learn from its lessons. If we hope to pass along to our grandchildren a healthy 22nd century, we need a richer education than the ‘edupreneurs’ have provided us thus far.—Peter Smagorinsky

This new book by Four Arrows bridges a gap, allowing for a renewed flow of wisdom from American Indian cultures. This perspective has always been crucial to us at AERO and we hope many will be able to use it before our mainstream culture goes over a cliff.”—Jerry Mintz

This book needs to be taken seriously. It offers a perspective that has been missing in cultural storage and thinking promoted in public schools and universities and online learning systems. There are many reasons for learning from indigenous knowledge systems. It would be a mistake to read Teaching Truly as an appeal to going back in time, as the lessons to be learned from indigenous cultures are timeless.—C.A. Bowers

In Teaching Truly, Four Arrows draws a frighteningly accurate map of the known world, and the spiritual and material collapse that’s upon us: death and destruction at the heart of the liberal techno/imperial/capitalist juggernaut. Drawing on ancient and Indigenous ways of being and knowing Four Arrows offers a contemporary guide to what is to be done, and illuminates a path toward a future where schools might play a powerful role in truth-seeking, repair, and renewal for all children, youth, families, and teachers. After an encounter with Four Arrows, I reflected with renewed energy on the urgent questions that drive free people in pursuit of enlightenment and liberation: What are we? Why are we here? Where are we headed? How shall we live? What kind of world can we hope to inhabit? This handbook for teachers is a vibrant and essential text for anyone who wants to understand the broad dimensions of the mess we’re in and pursue a wise and practical pathway forward.—William Ayers

Four Arrows has cut to the core in Teaching Truly. Doing more than overcoming the omissions, misinterpretations, and outright fictionalization of our culture, traditions and spirituality that have been taught in American schools, he has put together generalizable teachings for specific subjects in ways that can point education toward achieving a more balanced world.—Tim Giago, Nanwica Kciji (Stands Up for Them)

To order a copy of Teaching Truly: A Curriculum to Indigenize Mainstream Education go to All profits from this book will go to worthy American Indian educational associations and foundations.

Listen to Four Arrows radio interview on the Kevin Barret show:

Contact: Four Arrows, aka Don Trent Jacobs, PhD, EdD,


Tags: educational leadership, diversity, multicultural, fielding graduate university, learning

Fielding Graduate University Ranks in Top 20 Best Buy for Online Masters in Media Psychology

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Wed, May 01, 2013
Best Online Colleges resized 600bb psychology resized 600

Fielding Graduate University recently earned a top 20 ranking for the Master of Arts in Media Psychology., America’s consumer oriented online college guide, published its 2013 online university rankings of the best affordable online master’s programs for psychology, counseling and human services professionals which included the Fielding in the top 20 ranking.

The online university rankings are based on an a comprehensive national review of 43 regionally accredited graduate schools that offer 71 online master’s in psychology and allied human services careers.

Fielding’s School of Psychology acting dean, Kristine Jacquin, PhD, commented "I'm pleased that our media psychology master's program has been recognized as a good value. Others are learning what we already know -- that we have a great program. The faculty brings great experience, knowledge, and energy to the program. Faculty members are highly involved, making the online learning experience richer and more rewarding for students."

Fielding Graduate University Best Buy Ranking

Fielding Graduate University, a private non-profit university headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, is a regionally accredited graduate and post-graduate institute. The university has been a leader in distance education since its’ founding as a distributed learning institute for adult scholar-practitioners in 1974.

“Given its unique pioneering role in developing distributed learning networks tailored to the needs of adult students, Fielding is a true educational-innovator among online grad schools,” says Get Educated founder, Vicky Phillips.

“The scholar-practitioner model developed by Fielding through the use of nationally distributed learning networks and study clusters has, in the last decade, become the venerated standard copied by newer online graduate schools nationwide” says Phillips, who has been researching online learning for more than two decades.

“Fielding’s top 20 ranking on the Get Educated national online master’s degree affordability survey reveals the school is committed to making higher education financially accessible to psychology professionals across the United States at a time when the debate over higher education cost and value has reached critical pitch.”

“Dedicated to bringing higher education to adult scholars in the communities where they live and work Fielding’s online Master’s in Media Psychology is a unique academic gem. Fielding blends affordability and quality by offering a low-cost, high social impact online learning program that is rooted in critical liberal arts traditional while simultaneously supporting practical new research on the transformative role of social, mobile and immersive media on personal and cultural identity.”

“Fielding’s master’s in media psychology, available 100% online, represents one of the most innovative online degree curricula Get Educated editors have reviewed in the last decade,” says Phillips. “Nothing has altered social and cultural identity more than digital media. Fielding’s online master’s allows researchers and practitioners to study how new media is being harnessed for social advocacy and political disruption as well as for commercial persuasion. The online media courses allow marketing professionals to study emerging trends, such as branding and trans-media storytelling, as they unfold in real time, online and across media channels. Break-through courses like the Psychology of Neuromarketing represent some of the first university sponsored efforts to explore the power, promise and perils of new media,” says Phillips “This program is a great online learning value in terms of its contribution to new media research and it extremely reasonable cost structure when compared to it national peers.”

Online Master’s Costs Rising

According to the national online learning survey the average cost, tuition and online education fees included, for a professional master’s in human services (regionally accredited) is $27,416.  Fielding’s online Master’s in Media Psychology ranks #19 and is significantly lower.

Fielding’s media psychology program director, Garry Hare, PhD, stated, “Graduate education is only a best buy if the program is a truly valuable educational experience.  Our media psychology faculty has designed an innovative, contemporary and very participatory curriculum.  The result prepares our graduates for rewarding careers centered on the social impact of digital media and mobile communications.”

Tags: Media psychology, fielding graduate university, graduate education