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This August, [subscriber:firstname | default:reader], let's smash some silos!

"Silos build the wall in people’s minds and tie the knots in their hearts.”
― Pearl Zhu, It Innovation: Reinvent It for the Digital Age

Silos. Think about it, [subscriber:firstname | default:reader]. Silos create fragile empires of limited knowledge. They create status and elevate select individuals over others. They isolate, discourage discovery, quash conversations, stunt growth, and kill communities. This month's newsletter looks at ways of busting down these silos, by crashing out of the classroom and returning learning to the lifelong unfolding of knowledge from those already among us.


Lifelong Learning: Inter-generational journey to elderhood
Education Visionary: Fleurette Sweeney
Pay it forward: 90-for-90
Free Refresher: The first seven Integral Learning principles
Meet three mentors
Closing quote: Words to Live By

Lifelong Learning

Inter-generational journey to elderhood:

A common view of aging includes decreased capabilities (physical, and mental) and increased isolation. If we are going to smash those silos, then we need to adjust the framework.

What if, instead of writing off that senior as a burden, we open fresh eyes and do what some cultures do so well: revere the wisdom that accompanies age and experience? What if, instead of building taller walls of isolation with every passing year, we access the tremendous wisdom and talent that already surrounds us?

Through our parent organization, the Transformative Learning Foundation, we have two mentor-facilitated courses that explore the idea of being an “elder” in our society. Whatever stage you are currently at in life, each of these unique courses will get you designing your path forward in the company of other wisdom-rich lifelong learners.

Transformative Learning Foundation Courses

Active Hope for Evolving Youngers, Olders, and Elders Facilitated by Constance Washburn
  • “Active Hope involves identifying the outcomes we hope for and then playing an active role in bringing them about. We can rise to the occasion with wisdom, courage, and care or we can shrink from the challenge…. Can we train ourselves to become more courageous, inspired, and connected?" The next course runs from September 23 to November 11 (every second Monday for 1.5 hours, time to be determined). Course Fee: $135, for 6 interactive sessions.
Designing Your Elderhood Facilitated by David Marshak
  • This online program invites you to explore your identity and values as you leave your work life behind and enter this new stage of life. The next course runs from September 17 to October 15, and runs on Tuesday nights between 4:00 and 6:00 pm PDT, (7:00 and 9:00 pm EDT). Course Fee: $135, for 6 interactive sessions.

Education Visionary

Meet silo-smashing Education Visionary:

Fleurette Sweeney

She's now 90. And oh what a life she's living! Fleurette, in partnership, introduced an entirely new way of teaching in the middle of the last century. She's still a paradigm-shifting teacher, and still a lifelong learner.

Fleurette's lifelong journey, which had a professional start as a young music teacher, has taken many twists and turns. Keys to her success, in addition to her own curiosity and openness, included relationships and support.
Fleurette Sweeney
Fleurette's family's roots hearken back to 1756 with the Huguenots, where her ancestors existed in partnership on the east coast with the Indigenous people for centuries before the arrival of the colonists. Hard work, exploration, survival, and collaboration all run deep in her blood.... [more]

Pay it forward

Want to pay it forward? In celebration of education visionary Fleurette Sweeney reaching her 90th birthday milestone, the Transformative Learning Foundation is launching a 90 for $90 scholarship fundraising campaign to support emergent learners on their transformative journey.

Sponsor the 90 for 90 Campaign

“We are inviting 90 people each to donate $90,” says Renee Beth Poindexter, Chair of the Transformative Learning Foundation.

“All of the funds raised will go towards the Transformative Learning Foundation scholarship fund. For some, continued education is financially out of reach. This fund helps break that barrier. Through support, Fleurette became a pioneer in education. And when you provide a financially-supportive nudge, who knows where that will lead?”


Think teaching is top-down, from ELEVATED AUTHORITY to lowly student? Think again!

Here's your free self-directed refresher on the Integral Principles

The Integral Principles set forth by Brent Cameron are the backbone of the Foundation. Here's a quick review of the first few principles. We'll be re-publishing more over the next few weeks, so keep your eye on our Blog as they role out.
Integral Principle #0 – Awareness Arising in Presence

Integral Principle #0 – Awareness Arising in Presence

Integral Principle #1 – Human Essence is Positive and Optimum Relationship is Co-Inspirational

Integral Principle #1 – Human Essence is Positive and Optimum Relationship is Co-Inspirational

Integral Principle #2 – Modeling and Mimicry are Essential Survival Strategies

Integral Principle #2 – Modeling and Mimicry are Essential Survival Strategies

Integral Principle #3 – Learning is an Embodied Experience

Integral Principle #3 – Learning is an Embodied Experience

The only subject is subjectivity. The idea that there are facts and a ‘real world’ as objective and external aspects of reality is an idea based on some disembodied assumptions (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999). Photo credit: Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0, by amy32080 -by Brent Cameron The world is in my experience. There is a very thin veil between what is inside …

Integral Principle #4 – Learning Relationships are Mutually Chosen and Sustained

Integral Principle #5 – Self-Initiated Learning

Integral Principle #5 – Self-Initiated Learning

Integral Principle #6 – We Become Human Beings in Our Conversations and Languaging

Integral Principle #6 – We Become Human Beings in Our Conversations and Languaging

Meet Your Mentors

Here are three of our 33 spectacular mentors. Meet them all online on the GIFTLearning Faculty page, or just zoom in on these three.
Elaine Decker, round

Elaine Decker

  • University of British Columbia, Ph.D. 2004
  • University of British Columbia, M.Ed. 1999
  • University of British Columbia Teaching Cert. 1969
    McMaster University, B.A. 1968
Main Interests:
  • Comedy
  • Pedagogy
  • Curiosity/wonder/joy
Ba Luvmour round

Ba Luvmour

  • M.A. Psychology, Sonoma State University. 1984
    Temple University,
  • B.A., Political Science, 1968
Main Interests:
  • Holistic education
  • Consciousness of the developing child
  • Natural Learning Relationships holistic child development
  • Children and social justice
  • Spirituality in the developing child and the inherent wisdom in children
  • Rites of Passage
  • Essential importance of relationship for all learning
Marcia Braundy round

Marcia Braundy

  • University of British Columbia, Ph.D. 2005
Main Interests:
  • Apprenticeships integrating women in trades and technical work documentarian and digital historian community economic development work
  • Co-founding Alternative Schools.
  • Construction carpentry to Journey level and beyond.
  • Co-founding non-profit organizations in support of integrating women in trades and technical work.
  • Founder and journalist on IMAGES, Kootenay Women’s Newspaper.
Remember to follow us on our NEW Facebook page, and our NEW Twitter page, where we will always be posting the latest. You can also visit us on Youtube.

Words to live by

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself; the other for helping others.”

Audrey Hepburn

Thanks for reading, [subscriber:firstname | default:reader],
and for bringing the special GIFT of YOU to the universe!
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Graduate Institute for Transformative Learning

6449 Old Pietila Road; PO Box 57, Clinton, WA 98236
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