Wisdom Conference Calls

Dear AEPL conference attendees and others:


Our 14th annual conference, “Reclaiming the Wisdom Tradition for Education”, is gearing into action, even though we will not actually gather together for another three months. We are happy to announce a series of weekly conference calls that will begin next Sunday, February 17, and continue up until–and perhaps after–the time of the conference. We will feature many of the conference speakers, along with others who are unable to come but have much to contribute to our theme, and develop something of a common knowledge base around our topic. (Summaries will be sent out and posted on our blog–www.aepl.blogspot.com–for those unable to attend.) To some extent, we will also try to build a learning community, but the possibilities for this will necessarily be limited, given that there may be as many as 150 people on these calls. (They will also be the national education conference calls for the Network of Spiritual Progressives. And you are all welcome to send this message to anyone you think might want to join us on these calls–just have them write to brucenovak@mac.com to be put on the announcement list.)

Our plan is to proceed chronologically: beginning with the development of wisdom in human biology, pre-history, and history; continuing with its partial eclipse in the modern Enlightenment; and leading to contemporary developments through which an understanding of the central importance of wisdom in education has been–and can be further–regained.

“When Wisdom Was Natural”: Our first speakers will be the philosopher Werner Krieglstein, Professor of Philosophy at the College of DuPage in Naperville, Illinois, and the novelist Mary Mackey, Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at CSU, Sacramento. They will be speaking about the time in human pre-history, the Neolithic partnership cultures, in which the relational way of knowing and being that we now call wisdom (and that we now see as something quite rare and treasurable) was much more a part of the normal fabric of life than it is now.

We’ll begin with very brief introductions–just your name, hometown, and teaching field; continue with 40 minutes of talk by Werner and Mary; and conclude with Q & A for the speakers and a final discussion of the implications of what they have said for the conference theme. The call will last between 60 and 90 minutes, beginning at 9pm Eastern, 8 Central, 7 Mountain, 6 Pacific Time on Sunday, February 17. If you come into the call late, please don’t introduce yourself until the speakers and Q & A are finished. To enter the call, simply dial 218-936-6666 and follow the prompts. Our code is 9936250#. You’ll be charged only your regular long distance rates.

Recommended reading: Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade, particularly Chapters 1-3; Mary Mackey, The Year the Horses Came; Werner Krieglstein, Compassion: A New Philosophy of the Other, particularly Chapters 5-6.

Our next speaker will be Gabriele Rico, Professor of English and Creative Arts at San Jose State University, who will be one of our featured speakers at the conference and has been on the Advisory Board of AEPL since its inception in 1993. She is the author of many works on the teaching of writing, including the best-selling Writing the Natural Way. She will speak on the features of our brains that enable us for wisdom. The time has yet to be arranged, but most likely will be the following Sunday, the 24th.


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