Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leo Bellina, Integral Education after Abu Ghraib: Participatory Education and Practices of Citizenship

(This presentation was part of the CIIS' Multiversity, Feb. 2008)

The title of this presentation paraphrases an essay title by Henri Giroux, in which the author examines the role of higher education in making possible critical, engaged citizenship that is able to challenge the increasing normalization of violence against “the other” within and outside of the US. The presentation relates this urgent challenge of higher education with the results of last year’s student-research, in which participants re-envisioned practices of “integral governance” at CIIS as attentive to equity and diversity, and therefore productive of skills to live, work, imagine, and build alliances in the world of difference/diversity we already live in today.

Leo Bellina was hired as an institutional researcher by the Center for Teaching and Learning (Assessment) to ensure the contribution of student voice to the Integral Education essay for WASC. The research was conducted in the spring of 2007, as Participatory Action Research in collaboration with campus groups working against oppression. Before relocating to San Francisco, Leo Bellina worked as a somatic psychotherapist and integrative health counselor in private practice and in NGO contexts on issues of state and sexual violence against immigrant girls and women. She has been an educator on diversity issues in Europe and the US, teaching in schools, psychotherapy trainings and conferences, and for the Naropa University community in Boulder, Colorado.

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