Well…it’s not exactly a Salmonberry program, but…back in 2007, Salmonberry hosted it’s first Holistic Education Conference. At that event, two dynamic speakers served as Keynote presenters. The first was Brent Cameron, author of Self Design: Nurturing Genius Through Natural Learning. The other was Dr. David Marshak, author of Common Vision: Parenting and Educating for Wholeness. The conference also served as Paul’s MA graduating residency from Goddard College, and helped Salmonberry to locate itself within the landscape of educational alternatives and specifically, holistic education.
In subsequent months and years Dr. Marshak and Mr. Cameron formed a partnership. Marshak joined the Board of Self-Design, an educational initiative which uses a powerful paradigm for home-based instruction in British Columbia. Cameron continued to serve as the organization’s E.D. At some point, Marshak conceived of the idea of a graduate school that would use principles of Self-Design and bring awareness of this approach to adult learners interested in continuing their own education, or starting their own post-modern schools or learning centers. He pitched his idea to the WA State Regents accompanied by all required supporting materials.
Recently, The Self Design Graduate Institute has been approved and is beginning to enroll students. Paul Freedman, whom Marshak has referred to as the “spiritual godfather” of the program, will serve on the founding faculty. His first class is called “The Joys and Sorrows of Leading a Post-modern School”
Speaking about this project, Freedman says, “It’s an exciting development. I am so happy for David and Brent and I hope it will bring their important work to many people. I am honored to be serving with such a distinguished faculty including my mentor, Ron Miller, and a number of other folks whose work has a prominent place on my bookshelf. We’ll see how things develop, but I believe there is definitely a place in the post-secondary landscape for another progressive and holistic educational alternative. And, of course, it’s just what I needed – another project!!”