“There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all of it manifestations.”
~Alfred North Whitehead
The educational development group at the Cobb Institute seeks to provide educational materials and experiences centered around process-relational philosophy. If we take seriously Whitehead’s challenge to make “life” the focal point of education, our work has a never-ending agenda: to gain wisdom and understanding in multiple facets of life, to enhance and deepen the rhythm of teaching and learning, and to integrate the various fields of inquiry in order to help solve the serious challenges facing humans and the world we live in. In short, our aim is to provide insights and participate in actions toward the goal of realizing an ecological civilization.
To accomplish our objectives, the members of the educational development group participate in a wide variety of projects:
- Through its Learning Lab, the Institute provides a range of in-depth internet classes in process thought taught by Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. and other experts, which reach hundreds of participants.
- At the local level, we have a group focused on early childhood education in the city of Pomona, led by members of the faculty at the University of La Verne.
- Another task force at ULV is in the process of establishing the Institute for the Common Good, as well as a new major.
- Middle Tree, an educational center located in Claremont, offers educational services and resources to students from elementary to high school students, provides a context for various members of the Institute to assist in student learning, and works with the Institute to develop curriculum for adult education.
- The development of educational materials about various religious traditions is the goal of yet others in the group. These materials and experiences assist in deepening one’s own tradition, but also in developing respect for other religious and non-religious groups, and enhancing dialogue between various traditions.
- The development of a website for a Global Network of Ecological Education is a goal of some of our members. Such a website would provide information and ideas for those interested in ways to work toward an ecological civilization.
- In the area of “higher education” the members of our group challenge the assumption that developing value-free research experts in isolated fields is the ultimate goal of colleges and universities. Instead, we encourage students to become educated in transdisciplinary fields, with the intent of helping to solve the serious problems we face that threaten life as we now know it.
- For our own growth in understanding process philosophy, friends of the Cobb Institute participate in the study of major themes, led by Dr. Richard Livingston, the Director of Operations for the Cobb Institute, who is also a scholar of process-relational thought.
- “Backyard Becomings,” a small informal gathering of friends who meet regularly for an evening meal and discussion about process texts and themes, is another expression of our attempt to experience a sense of community, as well as to participate in an opportunity for personal growth in process thought.
Our interests are multiple, and intertwine with the Institute’s other areas of focus: spiritual integration, community collaboration, and sustainable practices. We invite friends and advisors to join us in pursuing the educational development goals named above, and to expand that list as we work toward realizing an ecological civilization.