March 3, 2010
Please help me publicize a unique program—The International Class. I began this seven years ago and had no idea how much it would help me and all its participants grow, or how powerful the impact would be on community organizers and talented educators and peformers, or what a continuous activity of generating hope it would be.
“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
It’s a Global Learning Community
Since 2004, more than 60 community and university based practitioners from across the US and 16 other countries have enrolled in The International Class of the East Side Institute. Among them are psychologists from India, Brazil and Denmark; applied theatre practitioners from Kenya and Canada; educators, scientists and doctors from Pakistan, Serbia and the United States; community organizers from Uganda and Taiwan; psychotherapists from South Africa and Argentina; and youth workers from Nicaragua and Mexico.
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.
It’s a Zone of Development
The International Class is a course of study in postmodern and activity-theoretic approaches to human development and learning. Emphasis is on social therapeutics, a methodology utilized in diverse mental health, educational, youth development and community organizing settings in the US and internationally. A recognized approach within both the postmodern and the cultural-historical activity theory movements in psychology, psychotherapy, education and community and organizational development, social therapeutics is a philosophically informed, practically oriented method in which human beings are related to as creators of their culture and ensemble performers of their lives.
Designed and led by 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 Holzman, social therapy’s creator Fred Newman, leading practitioners Lenora Fulani, Christine LaCerva and Carrie Lobman, and others
- participate in innovative educational, cultural and community-building programs throughout New York City,
- build ties and support for themselves and their communities.
In this creative playground/postmodern academy, participants build a dynamic zone of development in which they can engage the philosophical, political and psychological questions emerging from their practice.
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 and psychotherapist, CASA, 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, Turning Point, Calcutta India
It’s different from other learning processes and institutions. It is an enjoyable, enthusiastic, academic environment where you may develop your emotions, thinking and speech. It is a zone where you may improve your human skills to help others to perform a better world. Ignacio Dalton, educational researcher, Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires Argentina
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
It Has 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 programs and research.
Residencies. The International Class meets at the Institute three times during the academic year (in September, February and June) to work together as a group with Institute faculty and associates. 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, mentoring, dialogues with guest colleagues of the Institute, supervision and conference calls with faculty and mentors.
The International Class is cross-disciplinary and open to practitioners and scholars with a broad range of educational and life experiences—and a passion for innovation. Applications for the 2011-2012 program will be accepted through May 2011. Tuition is $3400. A limited number of full and partial scholarships covering tuition are available.
For more information, including dates, applications and scholarship forms, contact: Lois Holzman, Director, East Side Institute, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 212-941-8906, ext. 324. To read more about the program and its graduates, or to download an application, go to http://www.eastsideinstitute.org/IC.html