literate engagement in a complex world

What began as a ‘provocation’ to the GSTILE community became a provocation to myself.

meme-me-once, by @sarspriGSIPM is rockin’ on that
‘social change’ band wagon.
C’mon y’all.  Let’s do this.

A tale of two grad schools

I began, as we often do, by asking of others:  Continue reading


innovation, invention and distribution

This week’s highlights within and around the Deans’ Seminar include:

Maris spoke on the topic of “Vermont, Silicon Valley, and the Future,” drawing attention in his conclusion to Continue reading

Sprintensive as Transformational Pedagogy – Breakthroughs and Challenges

Our sprintensive-session-springerThursday, April 7th Deans’ Seminar convening featured colleagues from the Sprintensive team. Their FFI-funded curricular experiment takes advantage of block scheduling to drive inter-faculty and cross-curricular integration and collaboration in a feedback-rich learning community for students.

Reflections from each of four faculty members on the challenges and breakthroughs they had personally experienced Continue reading

action research in the language classroom

AR+_logoA driving force behind the launch of the Deans’ Seminar initiative at MIIS has been a provocation crafted by Kent and Alfredo around the role that action research can play in (a) helping international development practitioners live up to their ideals and (b) to likewise challenge those who educate such practitioners to reflect critically on their own work.

Their provocation is closely tied to  Continue reading

from the periphery

Or, “how different are we, actually?” (hint: scroll to the end for concrete examples)

Picture an old-fashioned wagon wheel, resting flat in the grass or propped up on its side in a field.

up on the rim - 640

photo: tuchodi

Now hunker down closer and perch your eyeballs just above the outer rim, scanning across to the other side of the wheel from various vantage points along its outer perimeter.

As we progress around the ring, Continue reading

the challenge of ‘soft’

Six months into this eighteen month Deans’ Seminar process, I’ve had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities: workshops led by external experts, grassroots student-focused ‘happenings’, and facilitated discussions amongst faculty from across the Institute, to name just a few.

graphic: poster for event

poster by mjennings

While each of these events has had its own unique character, one consistent theme that has emerged for me across them all is the role of the ‘soft’. Those elusive ‘you know it when you see it’ characteristics, sometimes perceived to be extra, ephemeral, ‘not our job’, even ‘weak’ attributes that — over and over — various groups have articulated to be at the core of something very, very important.

Continue reading

power as energy

by Bonnie Benham, with Andrea Olsen and Sarah Springer

In the final hour of our workshop with Mary Brydon-Miller that explored systems of power and privilege our group formed around the concept of power as energy.

swirls by Anders LjungbergQuestion: How can we see power as energy moving through a system rather than a force that dominates a system?

We discussed the benefits to an organization when power might be seen Continue reading

pedagogy is personal

photo of Midd President Laurie Patton delivering the Inaugural Symposium Keynote Address at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

President Laurie Patton at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies

In Laurie Patton’s Inaugural Symposium Keynote Address she includes a light nudge, a suggestion, a challenge perhaps, or simply a note sounded as way-finding signpost: pedagogy.

“If curriculum can be part of our creativity, then pedagogy cannot be far behind.”

Like many of her premises and provocations that evening, Continue reading

Mary Brydon-Miller, Weekend Workshop

The Terrible Truth:
Interrogating Systems of Power and Privilege and Choosing to Act

photo of Mary Brydon-MillerLed by Mary Brydon-Miller, a trailblazer in experiential learning, transformative pedagogy, and action research, this workshop/master class will explore how to generate empathetic relationships that allow for constructive co-inquiry in social change processes and in our classrooms.

Learn more:

Space limited to 20 faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

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Read more about the Deans’ Seminar initiative and 
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Hilary Bradbury – Action Research Masterclass

photo of Hilary BradburyOne of the world’s foremost action research scholar-practitioners – Hilary Bradbury – will offer a Master Class to interested Middlebury Institute (MIIS) faculty on December 8.  You can learn more about Hilary on the Action Research Plus site and via her OHSU faculty profile.

In this Master Class, Hilary will talk about Continue reading

Outside In: Practitioner Voices, Faculty Perspectives

Highlights reel from the December 4th, 2015 Deans’ Seminars event which brought faculty from across all degree programs into conversation with close peers, extended collegial circles and practitioner perspectives.

~ Produced by Sarah Springer

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Want updates?  Subscribe via email or RSS to receive new post alerts.
Read more about the Deans’ Seminar initiative and 
our mission.