Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning: Conferences

Empathic Leadership Workshop

Fielding Graduate University and the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning of the National Council of Teachers of English (AEPL) are undertaking a collaborative Zoom series on the cultivation of Empathic Leadership in our deeply unempathic times.

Upcoming event in this series: Friday, August 5, 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Eastern
(with optional pre-workshop writing of a paragraph to a page)

Please RSVP to ASAP, whether or not you choose to write, to help us get a sense of how many we should expect.

FREE, but all are encouraged to join AEPL, which will also entitle you to the new issue of our award-winning peer-reviewed journal JAEPL, which will be coming out soon!

We will begin Friday, August 5, with an open-ended session of several hours, designed mostly to serve as a support group in Empathic Leadership. Participants will have the option of preparing and submitting beforehand (to a paragraph to a page of writing describing a personal/professional issue that you would like to explore in an atmosphere of deep listening through the day,and beyond as the series continues. (The timing of this in early August is intended to be particularly timely in helping teachers and students gather their thoughts and find a community of supportive listening before the coming school year.) Writings will be sent to all who RSVP on Monday, August 1, so try to get them done the weekend before the workshop if possible.

The day will begin at 8:30 Pacific, 11:30 Eastern, and continue until everyone has had a chance to be heard and responded to, including those who aren't able to submit writing beforehand and just wish to speak with the group about their situation that day. We will close at the latest at 1:30 Pacific, 4:30 Eastern, and pick up at another time if necessary, though we also might close earlier depending on the number of participants.

Evi Beck, who, among many other qualifications (see below) has a PhD from the Fielding Program in Somatics, Phenomenology, and Communicative Leadership, will begin with some reflections on the nature of Empathic Leadership. After participant introductions, Bruce Novak, associate chair and Immediate past chair of AEPL, will repeat the short talk he gave to our initial Fielding-only session, "Seeing Empathy as the Alpha and Omega of Human Existence, and Empathic Leadership as the Rest of the Alphabet," supplementing this with another short talk on how Empathic Leadership on a large scale can bring forth a new stage of human and natural history, moving us definitively out of the current, horrific Anthropocene to a new, loving, perhaps everlasting "Symbiocene" Age. (Wouldn't that be nice?)

At 11:00, Barton Buechner of Fielding will lead a workshop on Global Witnessing that teachers of all stripes can use to help their students empathically fathom the multi-faceted traumas of our times.

Between and after these presentations, participants will each have the chance to speak and be listened to, using the models of Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg) and the Circle of Trust (Parker J. Palmer) that Novak will touch on in his presentation.

Future presenters, roughly monthly on Fridays at noon–1:30 Pacific, 3:00–4:30 Eastern, will include Evelyn Torton Beck, professor emerita of the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland (and a former English professor!), on the philosopher Edith Stein and women's cultural understanding of empathy, as well as offering ongoing listening and support.

We hope you can join Fielding and AEPL for many of these events, especially our extensive kickoff on Friday, August 5!

Announcing the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning Symposia Archive!

Paid AEPL members and honorary scholars may now access archived materials and recordings from AEPL's online symposia by going to the AEPL Symposia Archive website and entering the password they should have received. If you not have received this password, please contact membership director Jonathan Marine with your payment receipt or confirmation of your honorary scholarship status.