Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding Alumni Go "Back to School" at the Upcoming All Schools Summer Session 2013

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Tue, Jun 18, 2013

Alumni Track 2013

Click here to view all Alumni Track 2013 offerings.

Fielding Graduate University Students, Faculty, and Alumni to Gather in Alexandria, VA for the Annual All School Summer Session

Alumna Judy Zeidel, PhD, (HOD '11) shares about her Alumni Track Session titled "Living Dialectics."

To enrich the students’ educational experience, many of Fielding's programs hold events throughout the year in different regional locations. It is with great anticipation and excitement that the Fielding community prepares to gather next month for the All Schools Summer National Session at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, VA. At national sessions, the Fielding community gathers for a week of learning and community-building activities. These gatherings include workshops; seminars; meetings with mentors; and student-led events geared toward research and writing, practical applications of scholarly work, personal growth, and social action. Students also meet with their dissertation committees, and make or observe final dissertation presentations. Guest speakers, alumni presentations, and community celebrations add to the excitement of national session. The culminating event is graduation. 

This session is an important community gathering for Fielding alumni to network and reconnect, and to participate academically. The Alumni Track was designed by the Alumni Council in collaboration with the university’s Office of Advancement and Development to broaden advanced learning, collaboration, and success for Fielding alumni scholars and practitioners, and provide the opportunity to reconnect with the Fielding community face-to-face. 

One of the alumni track sessions offered in July provides an excellent example of how Fielding community members excel at collaboration. Alumna Judy Zeidel, PhD, (HOD '11), along with current Human & Organizational Development (HOD) student Susan Herrmann, LCSW, are co-presenting at an Alumni Track session titled "Living Dialectics." Zeidel created a theory of society’s complicity in child abuse, based upon an ecofeminist explanation of the Logic of Domination. Integral to her theory is the use of personal and social dialectics. Herrmann is a clinical social worker who works with perpetrators, victims, and survivors of abuse.

Zeidel recently wrote an article describing the journey and intention for her Alumni Track presentation with Herrmann titled "Living Dialectics:"

Many of us came to Fielding because we wanted to change the world. We had visions of such things as better organizations, better educational systems, and better human interactions. What some of us learned–particularly those of us in the Transformative Learning for Social Justice concentration (School of Human & Organizational Development) –is that a necessary precursor to social transformation is personal transformation.

It isn’t that we must transform ourselves because we are flawed, but we must transform ourselves so that we may recognize and overcome our self-imposed limitations and the limitations created by unjust social systems.

But how is this accomplished and how do we continue to do this after we’ve graduated? It takes an understanding of the processes of personal journeys, of relational dialogues, and of social critique and action. It also takes a commitment to remain on the path of personal and social transformation. This means remaining open to exploring our stories and continuing to challenge the interpretations of these stories. The “Living Dialecticsoffers a guide for personal transformation, dialogical activism, and social justice outcomes.

As human development scholar practitioners, it is vital that we each continually work on our own issues, doing our best to remain in an aware state, lest we project our issues onto others and use them, unwittingly, to re-enact our past dramas and traumas. Furthermore, with the use of Barnett Pearce’s LUUUUTT Model, we can also become aware of the power of stories Unknown, Untold, Untellable, and Unheard, juxtaposed with the stories Lived, the stories Told, and the manner of the story Telling. Without this awareness, and an understanding of the power of the generational waves of abuse, those on the journey to healing may unthinkingly re-traumatize their students, their clients, their patients, their significant others, or their children.

In explaining my own journey, I have begun to articulate a path of how stories might unfold and be received. The purpose of this was to explicate the ways that conversations can move from the re-telling of personal stories of abuse to enactments of dialogical activism. At Winter Session, 2013, Susan and I performed a re-creation of such a conversation. What came out of our preparation for that presentation was a theory Susan named, “Living Dialectics.”

“Living Dialectics” begins with acknowledging one’s own lived taboo story. Taboo stories are those that are not spoken about in casual or “polite” conversation. The phrase “stories of abuse,” too often evoke thoughts of narrow, theatric, or archetypal narratives–there must be a victim and a villain, and likely a plot involving innocence and guilt, rescue and punishment. Lived stories of abuse are much more complex. The phrase “taboo stories” seems to hold room for that complexity.

Key to moving from recounting one’s story to dialogic activism is the recognition that in your story I hear my story, and in my story I feel your story. Together we name the world not as we were told to, but as we have known it. As we lift the veils from our family narratives, veils also fall away from the social narratives that surround us. “Living Dialectics” means questioning one’s truths, and questioning the truths of one’s society. It also means learning to live with and exploring the larger contradictions in life. “Living Dialectics” reveals the interweaving nature of personal dialectics that arise from an individual’s conscious path with the social dialectics that arise from relational paths of social systems. This Summer Session we are holding a space to introduce you to Living Dialectics” and to engage in some dialogic activism. The shape of this session depends entirely on who shows up.

Living Dialectics | 9:30 am - 12:20 pm | Friday July 19th, 2013 | Hilton Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22311


Tags: higher education, fielding graduate university, graduate education

Lessons from the Virtual Classroom: The Realities of Online Teaching

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Jun 13, 2013

Lessons from the Virtual ClassroomFielding Graduate University faculty members Rena Palloff, PhD, and Keith Pratt, PhD, announce new book specializing in online teaching titled: Lessons from the Virtual Classroom: The Realities of Online Teaching.

The second edition of the classic resource, Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom, offers a comprehensive reference for faculty to hone their skills in becoming more effective online instructors. Thoroughly revised and updated to reflect recent changes and challenges that face online teachers, Lessons from the Virtual Classroom is filled with illustrative examples from actual online courses as well as helpful insights from teachers and students. This essential guide offers targeted suggestions for dealing with such critical issues as evaluating effective courseware, working with online classroom dynamics, addressing the needs of the online student, making the transition to online teaching, and promoting the development of the learning community.

As introduced in chapter one, Palloff and Pratt explain:

Because of the changing nature of students today, economic pressures, and rapid implementation of distance learning courses and programs, definitions of what constitutes education and learning are changing too. Whereas years ago instructors viewed their students as blank slates whose minds could be filled with the information they were imparting, current constructivist theory holds that students create knowledge and meaning through their interaction with one another, the instructor, and their environment. A more collaborative approach to learning, such as that promoted by constructivist thought, can yield deeper levels of knowledge creation (Brooks & Brooks, 2000). The use of distance learning technologies and, more specifically, online learning, have both grown out of and contributed to the changes now occurring in the delivery of education.

Pratt and PalloffPalloff and Pratt are the managing partners of Crossroads Consulting Group, working with academic institutions and business and professional organizations in the development and delivery of effective online education and training programs. Both are program directors and faculty in the Teaching in the Virtual Classroom program at Fielding Graduate University. Palloff and Pratt have been presenting this work across the United States and internationally since 1994 at conferences including the Distance Teaching and Learning Conference in Madison, WI, EDUCAUSE, and the League for Innovation, as well as consulting to academic institutions regarding the development of effective distance learning programs.To recognize their outstanding contributions in the application of important skills, concepts, techniques, meanings and understandings of distance education in North America, Palloff and Pratt were awarded the Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Practitioners in Distance Education in 2013 at the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning in Madison, Wisconsin.

Tags: educational leadership, fielding graduate university, distance education

Fielding alumnus Steve Wallis, PhD, appointed to Fullbright Specialist Program

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Jun 03, 2013

Fielding Graduate University alumnus Steve Wallis, PhD (HOD '06), appointed to the Fulbright Specialist Program

Fulbright Scholar ProgramFulbright Scholar Program

Steve WallisRegarding his recent appointment, Wallis stated, "My deepest appreciation goes out to all my Fielding family. This honor will help me to help others around the world...And, my invitation goes out to my colleagues outside the United States...Let us create a project where new insights into a science of Conceptual Systems might be used to support your institutional efforts to build interdisciplinary collaboration, teach better theory, focus research more effectively, and create better policy for improved results and reduced cost."

Qualified U.S. scholars and professionals apply throughout the calendar year for candidacy on the Fulbright Specialists Roster. Peer review is conducted eight times each year. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) builds lists of qualified candidates for each eligible discipline and facilitates matching Specialist candidates with project requests. Eligible institutions submit Specialist project requests through the appropriate Fulbright agency in their country. Once approved by the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy, the Specialist project request is forwarded to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for final approval. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 310,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) promotes linkages between U.S. academics and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas. The program is designed to award grants to qualified U.S. faculty and professionals, in select disciplines, to engage in short-term collaborative 2 to 6 week projects at host institutions in over 100 countries worldwide. International travel costs and a stipend are funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating host institutions cover grantee in-country expenses or provide in-kind services.

Wallis received his doctoral degree in 2006 from Fielding Graduate University (School of Human and Organizational Development). He has more than a decade of experience as an organizational development consultant in Northern California and a broad range of interdisciplinary interests. Wallis also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Capella University and as Director for the Foundation for the Advancement of Social Theory (FAST). At FAST he supports emerging scholars who are working to identify rigorous paths for the validation of theory through a deeper knowledge of critical metatheory and metapolicy analysis. His academic publications cover a range of fields including ethics, management, organizational change, social entrepreneurship, and policy.

Tags: higher education, fielding graduate university, human development, Fulbright