Sam Crowell

Education, Transformative Learning and the Earth Charter

Sam Crowell Education for SD

Who is Sam Crowell?
Sam Crowell is professor emeritus from California State University, San Bernardino. He serves as a faculty member of the Earth Charter Education Center for Sustainable Development and has been engaged in the Earth Charter movement for several years. He founded the MA in Holistic and Integrative Education and is a founding member of the Network in Spirituality and Education. He is the former director at the Center for Research in Integrative Learning and Teaching and has been an elementary teacher, a principal, and a school administrator. He has a PhD on Education from University of Virginia. His books include Emergent Teaching: A Path for Creativity, Significance, and Transformation (2013), The Re-Enchantment of Learning, Mindshifts, and two e-books on Earth Charter Pedagogy.

Quick Overview

Dr. Crowell shares inspiring stories and projects behind a number of his publications. On systems thinking, he not only stresses on the interconnection reflected in the content of teaching and learning, but also draws attention to the interaction in the classroom, the connection among teachers, and the dynamics in the school. Seeing emergence as part of systems thinking, Dr. Crowell gives a lucid introduction to the process in emergent teaching. As for transformative learning, he sums up the essential aspects as participation, engagement, choice, and sharing. Dr. Crowell believes that sustainability should be the focus of education endeavours, and that the introduction of the Earth Charter to classrooms should go beyond reading and discussion. Educators should guide students to take the Earth Charter to their heart, their community, and ultimately, the world.

Themes Addressed in this Episode

  1. An overview of the Mindshifts series:
  • MindShifts: A Workbook on Brain Based Learning (Companion workbook 1 to Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain) (1991)
  • MindShifts: A Brain-Based Process for Restructuring Schools and Renewing Education (1994)
  • MindShifts: A Brain compatible Process for Professional Development (1999)

2. Reflections on his work as director at the Center for Research in Integrative Learning and Teaching, while also acting as founder of the Masters Programme in Holistic and Integrative Education

3. What is systems thinking? How is it applied in the educational setting?

4. Regarding The Re-Enchantment of Learning (1998):

  • What are the key ideas?
  • What does “expanding our cognitive horizon” mean?

5. Regarding Emergent Teaching (2013):

  • What is emergent teaching?
  • What is “teaching what really matters” about?
  • What is transformative learning?
  • How can sustainability merge with emergent teaching and transformative learning?

6. The influence and application of the Earth Charter in education.

7. What is going to change and what is going to remain the same in education?

8. The evolution of Sam´s approach to education in the past thirty years.