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Publisher: New Society Publishers
Pub. Date: 2021-05-04
ISBN: 9780865719521
Format: Paperback - 280 pages
Size: 6" x 9" (w x h)
BISAC: EDUCATION / Non-Formal Education

Transformative Learning

Reflections on 30 Years of Head, Heart, and Hands at Schumacher College

In Transformative Learning, Satish Kumar reflects on the legacy of Schumacher College, a beacon of innovation that fosters an ecological-based, holistic model of higher education built around the college's unique "learn by doing," head, heart, and hands pedagogy.

Over fifty current and former instructors and alumni, including Vandana Shiva, David Orr, Kate Raworth, Fritjof Capra, Bill McKibben, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and Jonathon Porritt, paint a rich picture of education for human well-being and the ecological health of the planet.

Contributions delve deeply into the nature of transformational learning and holistic education, present a wealth of alumni experiences of working towards an ecological society, and detail the expansion of the Schumacher model to Belgium, Brazil, India, Japan, and beyond.

The result is a rich tapestry of ideas and educational methods packed with insights and experience for practitioners and activists looking to build a just, ecological society.

About the Authors

Satish Kumar is a long-time peace and environment activist and former Jain monk. Editor of Resurgence magazine from 1973 to 2016, he founded Devon's Schumacher College and has authored several books, including Elegant Simplicity, and presented the BBC documentary Earth Pilgrim. He lives in Devon, UK.

Pavel Cenkl, PhD, is a former Dean of Sterling College, Vermont, researcher on ecologically minded curriculum development, environmental philosophy instructor, and avid endurance runner. He is Head of Schumacher College and lives in Devon, UK.


"The essays collected in Transformative Learning illustrate how incredibly successful Satish Kumar's inspired ideas have been in influencing individuals from around the world. It could not be published at a more opportune time as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic to face anew the existential threat of climate change. Creating the shift from a materialistic way of life to a new green economy will not be easy. This book provides some very valuable insights on how we might move in this direction. "
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, founder, the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace

"This is how we begin again, even at this late hour. When the pandemic has pulled the plug on our global economy, when all the scientific reports, meetings, and treaties have not lowered by a hair our greenhouse gas emissions, and when the juggernaut of mass extinction threatens all that remains of our biodiversity, we can begin again. We can learn to trust our head and heart and hands, as Schumacher College has explored and proposed over the last thirty years. This book is a good guide as to how we can begin again."
Joanna Macy, author, A Wild Love for the World and Coming Back to Life

"Thank you, Satish Kumar, for this rich gift of powerful voices bringing forth an emergent, nature-centered learning essential to life itself. Transformative Learning should be essential reading for all educators and learners."
Frances Moore Lappe, author, Diet for Small Planet and 18 other books, cofounder, Small Planet Institute

"Thirty years ago, Schumacher College was founded, not just to teach radical economic and ecological ideas, but to teach them in a new way. Or rather, a very old way – one that unites the intellect with the rest of what makes us human. Hence, the title of this collection of essays: Head, Heart, and Hands. Today, with the dominant model of education in acute crisis, this book is an invaluable inspiration, transmitting the spirit of Schumacher and the possibility it holds to seed a new, holistic mode of education for the future."
Charles Eisenstein, speaker and author, The More Beautiful World Our Heart Knows is Possible

"Located among the rolling hills, woodlands and wild hedgerows of Devon, for thirty amazing years the convivial ethos of Schumacher College has attracted some of the finest educators, scientists, artists, and theorists from around the world, all eager to participate (even if just for a few weeks) in the small-scale, craft-centered, and place-based sanity that animates the college. Schumacher draws steady insight from its locale — from the unique biodiversity of the terrain that surrounds and sustains it — yet the ecological intelligence of its programs has spread out through its many international students to influence, deepen, and transform the practice of ecology on every continent. With its wide array of contributors, this book is a splendid testament to its thirty years carefully cultivating a full-bodied wisdom rooted in attentive reciprocity with the winds, the waters, and the soil underfoot."
David Abram, author, Becoming Animal and The Spell of the Sensuous, and director, Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE)

"By beginning with rebuilding community and reconnecting with the natural world we are part of, Schumacher College cultivates the kind of imaginative thinking and transformative practice that can bring into being a better future for all of us. Schumacher College and its growing network of alumni around the world, many of whom have contributed to this book, are beacons of active hope whose time has come."
Caroline Lucas, MP, Green Party Member of the British Parliament

"The book describes the vision and reality of Schumacher College, which is a living example of a sustainable civilisation in the making. Transformative Learning brings together some of the leading voices of our time articulating the parameters of a regenerative culture, urgently needed for now and for the future. It is essential reading!"
Otto Scharmer, author, Theory U, founder, MITx u.lab and Presencing Institute

"I have a prediction. As you read Transformative Learning the deep coherence of the ideas will ignite in you a profound trust. You will realize that things are going to work out. These authors are the architects of an entirely new civilization. By dwelling in their thinking, you become a pattern that connects our hard time to a vibrant new era of the Earth Community."
Brian Thomas Swimme, professor, California Institute of Integral Studies


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