A Personal Journey to Authentic Education

by Dane G. Reese, Ph.D.

In the 1980s, I was a mathematician. Toward the end of that decade, I became a math teacher in spite of myself. It was not something I wanted to do; it was what I had to do. But I was not teaching long before I realized there was something to teaching much deeper, and far beyond the world of mathematics. At a later time, I would read these words from Mary Whitehouse: “It was an important day when I realized I did not teach dance. I taught people” (1) This insight would resonate for me. I had realized I did not teach mathematics, I taught people.

This realization left me progressively unsatisfied with what I was doing in a public school. I looked for ways to reclaim the process of education as an autonomous practice, something for which I, and my students, were longing. In the early 1990s, I left public education and created my own educational venue. In it I explored, with a community of learners and their families, the wonderful complexity of the physical world, the world of ideas, and the world of spirit.

The journey that we took, which we called a school, went through a rich evolutionary process and taught us much. By the end of the decade, it became clear that the time of the school was done. This was not a choice made by me or by the community. It was not a condition forced on us by the social context; it was simply done.

After the experience of the school was done, I began to reflect on what it meant to me and to the community that had sustained it. In this, I was moved forward by my wife, Tamara Berdofe, a practitioner and teacher of Authentic Movement, briefly a student of Janet Adler. Tamara introduced me to the vocabulary and practice of Authentic Movement, and what I have authored since then has been authored with her. She has been the witness to the movement that led me to write about education.  That movement included the completion of a doctoral dissertation that was indispensably informed by Janet who brought her voice to me in conversation and participated on the dissertation committee. In the dissertation, I combined the language, process, and theory of Authentic Movement with what I experienced and believed about education. The name I gave to this convergence was Authentic Education.

Mover and Witness, Teacher and Learner

I began with a simple mapping of concepts between Authentic Movement and education; the teacher is a witness. The learner is a mover. The school is a container.

Complexities immediately arose. The learner is witnessed by the teacher, and so is a “mover.”  But also, the learner bears witness to a complex reality of which she is a part. I refer to this complex reality as “the worlds.” I consciously choose to pluralize the worlds to move us beyond a simple representation of the world as a globe, and represent the interwoven dimensions of “material”, “ideational”, “spiritual”, “emotional”, and “cultural” existence. Each forms a thread in a multidimensional fabric of being and consciousness. Thus, the teacher bears witness to the learner’s movement of learning, while the learner bears witness to the worlds. The worlds are neither static nor isolated. A full understanding of the worlds comes with seeing them in a dynamic process of development, while participating in richly interconnected ecologies. They are the worlds in motion and relationship. The learner strives to bring a conscious-enough witness to the worlds moving to satisfy the learner’s yearning to see the worlds and to be witnessed seeing them, and perhaps, the worlds’ yearnings to be seen by the consciousness that has emerged from them. The teacher strives to bring conscious-enough witness to the learner to satisfy the learner’s yearning to be seen learning and knowing.

As I continued to explore the relationship between education and Authentic Movement as I understood it through the writings of Mary Whitehouse and Janet Adler, and through conversations with Tamara Berdofe, I had come to see there was an opportunity to draw from this way of work, that Janet called a “discipline,” (2) something more general, something that could inform other ways of working beyond movement. By taking mover, witness, and container as metaphors or symbols, I saw not just a way of working, but a way of living, a way of seeing, a way of approaching anything. I began to think of this way of approaching anything through the discipline, practice, and experience of Authentic Movement as a discipline of conscious intention. I began to name this generalization Authentic Practice.

Who is the Teacher?

In Authentic Practice, as I have come to understand it, and Authentic Education as I have begun to articulate it, it is necessary to understand that witnessing is not the same as observing. Modern education is burdened by a history in which the subjectivity of the learner has been replaced by objectification through what Freire called the “banking model of education,” in which “the teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects”. (3) School-related legislation in 2001 (the so-called “No Child Left Behind Act”) instituted a regime of testing, monitoring, and intervention that has left schools, teachers, and students subject to a process that categorizes, evaluates, and prescribes, but does not validate or humanize. (4) My twenty years of experience in diverse educational settings and extensive review of the literature on the history of education have convinced me that public schools have become places of observation, but not witnessing.  I saw that public schools in the United States had unconsciously realized the theory of the panopticon in which thought and behavior are observed and modified by an all-seeing, but unseen, authoritarian system that monitors and controls more than it validates and nurtures. (5)

Authentic Education rejects the objectifying practice of observing, and replaces it with the validating process of witnessing. The
between witnessing and observing is precisely consciousness. Sufficient consciousness brings love, respect, and compassion for the mover or learner.

Student artwork for theatrical programs

The difference between witnessing and observing is also one of subject/object relation. It distinguishes Authentic Practice from the scientific method of logical positivism. In logical positivism, the method of classical scientific inquiry, subject and object are held as an inviolable dichotomy. Any contact between subject and object constitutes a contamination that invalidates inquiry. This is what is meant by the scientific ideal of “objectivity.” Although logical positivism remains the most prevalent approach in the field of physical sciences, and indeed is quite appropriate for much of that field, it has proven increasingly inadequate to address questions of the fundamental nature of space, time, and matter raised by relativity, quantum mechanics, and ecology, to name but a few.

Authentic Practice replaces the subject/object dichotomy with a relationship of conscious presence. Neither witness nor mover is in a position of control or passivity. Both are engaged in the conscious process of creating their collective experience. The authentic subject/object relation is one of coauthorship, like that described by Heron & Reason for their participatory paradigm: “a cocreative dance, so that what emerges as reality is the fruit of an interaction of the given cosmos and the way the mind engages with it”. (6) In Authentic Practice, the rigid segregation of subject and object characteristic of logical positivism is replaced by the conscious relation of mover and witness.  Mover and witness each strive to become conscious of their participation in a cocreative process.

This understanding has significant implications for what, in modern educational theory and practice, are termed assessment and evaluation. These are observing practices, and in Authentic Education, they are replaced by the conscious process of witnessing. Assessment and evaluation consist of using an instrument (usually a paper test, but sometimes a project or presentation) to assign a value (usually a number or letter grade) to a student’s knowledge of a subject. In Authentic Education, the primary means of moving a student forward in her witness and understanding of the worlds is the conscious presence and authentic witness of the teacher. As an educator who strives toward Authentic Practice, I try to be present enough to my students to be able to share with them in conversation where I see their understanding and knowledge, and their expression of that understanding and knowledge. I may still use a paper test, essay, project, or demonstration as a focal point in that conversation. But it is the relationship to the teacher, it is the conscious witnessing, that moves the learner forward, not the material product that represents some aspect of the worlds.

In this, Authentic Education challenges cherished notions of traditional educational practice:  that tests measure knowledge, and that knowledge can be measured. My present work in education deals often with “data” that represent “proficiency” in skills and concepts. These notions are the very stuff of current educational practice and research in every school in the United States (by contrast, Finland—by several measures one of the most successful school systems in the world—does not use test-generated data at all). I undertake this work in collegial environments, and process the data according to statistical protocols. But it is in contradiction to my belief about knowledge and education that I do so. For I do not believe that tests measure knowledge, or that knowledge can be measured. Nor is there any rational basis on which to believe these things. They are only taken as tacit assumptions.

My conscious witnessing of the process of learning leads me to quite different conclusions. I question the very nature of knowledge as an essential quality that one “has” and can measure. Measurement is a process designed for the rational analysis of elements of the material world. But knowledge is not material. It is not a quantity. It is not static. Knowledge is a relationship between the learner and the worlds in motion. It cannot be measured and evaluated any more than can wisdom, love, affection, or passion.  But like those things, it can be given authentic witness. That is what we strive to do in Authentic Education. Because it is a process that requires consciousness and rich relationships, it cannot be done in impersonal environments. The environment in which conscious witnessing replaces assessment and evaluation is necessarily a personal one that respects the individual in her uniqueness and vulnerability.

Containing Learning Relationships

The process of moving and witnessing occurs within a container that arises from relationship “ . . . both conscious and unconscious, which holds, as if it were a bowl like the one carved in stone here in the studio, the contents and processes that arise, resonate, and evaporate within it”. (7) When teachers and learners move together in a process of learning, they do so within a school—a community whose intention is to engage in teaching and learning. The school provides a container for this to happen.

The container must be firm enough to further the intention of learning and to provide safety to the learners and teachers, who allow themselves to be vulnerable as they move together through experiences of knowing and unknowing of themselves and others, and of the worlds they share. But it must also be gentle and flexible enough to allow teacher and learner to move freely and honestly through these experiences. The container that is the school consists of numerous variables: the rituals, conventions, space, and time that are held by the conscious intention of the teachers and learners. The container also comprises what, in modern educational theory, is called curriculum:  a constructed organization of knowledge about the worlds for the purpose of learning. The discipline of Authentic Education does not call for any specific arrangement of these variables: only that the container is created and maintained by the conscious intention of the members of the school community.

My school went through many transformations, but was known to us who participated in it as World Learning Academy. The container included a community of teachers and students who met to participate in classes called Science, Mathematics, World History, U.S. History, English, Physical Education, and Art, along with a host of additional classes including languages, photography, videography, astronomy, and others. The highest enrollment the school ever had was thirty, and the lowest was eleven. The school addressed age levels and curricula that traditionally are at the high school level—ages thirteen to eighteen. We met according to a regular schedule, but were more than willing to depart from the schedule if we felt that would further our learning. We met in a building, but the building was not important, and changed several times. Much of our time was spent exploring the rich cultural and natural environment of our New Mexican surroundings. Day trips, overnight camping, visits to museums and cultural institutions, and an annual two-week road trip across the country were all part of the experience we constructed together. Monthly meetings to discuss the direction and momentum of our learning process, as well as pragmatic concerns, included family members.

An early challenge I faced was to construct a curriculum that explored these subjects without segregating grade levels; all of these age levels were learning as a single class. To address this, I created a curriculum that was suggested not by traditional disciplinary separations, but by the organization of the worlds themselves. I organized each curricular strand into a theme that covered from what is traditionally ninth-grade level to what is traditionally twelfth-grade level. Each year, all students would take the current cycle, as understanding of techniques and concepts would deepen. For example, a student would study quadratic equations in each of four years of mathematics courses: by graphing in A Graphing Approach to Everything, by analytic geometry and the Golden Mean in Sacred and Analytic Geometry, by factoring and the quadratic formula in Equations, and by quadratic relations in Rates of Growth. The same principle applied to the disciplines in the sciences, where the courses were titled Scale and Texture of the Universe, Energy, Dynamics, and Origins. A student could enter or leave the cycle in any given year, deepening understanding with each pass from a different perspective.  By the time a student finished four years of the math and science cycles, all of the essential techniques and concepts of mathematics and science had been learned. Advanced students sometimes learned all of the techniques in a shorter time. United States and World History also followed cycles, by texts and by strands, respectively. Items were not separated artificially in this curriculum, but unified thematically. The curriculum was designed, not to cover a series of disconnected topics prescribed by an authority, but to allow students to bear witness to the worlds moving in an organized and unified way that deepened for each student over time.

I feel presently tempted to justify this organization, the project of this school, by providing evidence of its success in terms of the academic and professional careers of the graduates. The reader may expect this, and I feel the need to acknowledge my sense of this expectation. But to offer such justification as a means of seeking validation or approval for the project is not an authentic educational pursuit; it would be an evaluation in line with the paradigm of objectification and external validation, not of witnessing and autonomous validation. Instead, I would offer my witness of the experience of participating in this school. In a brief span, we were all transformed: learners, teachers, families, and school community. We became more than students learning and teachers teaching in a school. We became a vibrant and conscious collective, rife with inner and outer conflict and contradiction, full of knowing and mystery, a living witness to worlds of infinite complexity and wonder.

The relationship of mover and witness evolves over time. In the beginning, the mover moves with eyes closed, striving to be conscious of her own movement, and the witness works with eyes open, striving to bring a conscious-enough presence to the mover, holding at the same time a consciousness of her own inner movement. As the mover practices the discipline of consciousness, there arises an inner witness who permits conscious movement with diminished dependence on an external witness. Part of the function of the external witness is to serve as a model for the inner witness of the mover.

Likewise, in Authentic Education, the learner moves, initially with metaphorical eyes closed: the learner moves primarily through the world of the unknown. As she does so, the learner begins to awaken an inner teacher, the yogic guru dev. As the inner teacher awakens, the relationship of teacher and learner shifts from one of dependence to one of collaboration.  Teacher and learner disappear, and in their place appear conscious entities in collaborative inquiry into the truth, in conscious witness of the worlds moving. Freire also recognized this evolution: “Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers”. (8)

As the learner’s inner teacher awakens through conscious learning, so the teacher’s inner learner awakens through conscious teaching. As the learner’s eyes are opened to the worlds moving, the teacher—witness to the learner—begins to see the worlds anew through the eyes of the learner.  The teacher’s own witness to the worlds is renewed, and her eyes are also opened.  Authentic Education is transformative. To fully understand the meaning of learning that is transformative, one must understand that it is not only the learner who is transformed by the process. Teacher, learner, school, community, and worlds are transformed by the process of transformative education in general, and Authentic Education in particular. This is one way to understand what Freire means, when he says, “To speak a true word is to transform the world”. (9)

Collective Body and Learning Community

The school contains relationships among teachers, learners, and the worlds. At precious and rare times, the interconnected lines of witnessing and moving resolve into an organic convergence of mutual and self awareness: a collective consciousness moving and witnessing itself and its worlds. At these moments, a school becomes a collective consciousness learning.

Collective consciousness in Authentic Education is the subtle shift that occurs when a community of learners becomes a learning community. Authentic Education expects (but cannot force) this to happen, and when it begins to happen, immediately engages and allows this collective learning. An individual engages in learning that is authentic when she becomes caught up in the learning process, forgetting self-conscious manipulations, and learns from pure impulse. A group of learners may also be caught up in this way. When this happens, they are experiencing the learning community that is the counterpart in Authentic Education to the collective body experience of Authentic Movement: the “collective body in which life energy is shared . . . the collective body as the energetic consciousness of the earthbody, which includes all living beings”. (10) The teacher and the school conventions must be prepared for this eventuality, and not disrupt it when it occurs. Time schedules and planned curricular activities must immediately give way to learning community when it arises.

To give an example, one year, as my school was working through its curriculum, a student happened to bring in a small three-dimensional puzzle. The school community became interested in the puzzle, and sacrificed an hour or two of curriculum time to complete the puzzle. The next day, another student brought in a much larger and more complex puzzle. The students were immediately absorbed. Three days of planned curriculum were abandoned to accommodate a spontaneous interest of the school community. When the puzzle was completed, the school happily returned to its regular curriculum. As a result of having done the two puzzles, students had a much better grasp of spatial relation, pattern, problem-solving skill, group interaction, and generalization of technique from the smaller puzzle to the larger puzzle. This is an example of collective consciousness in educational practice: suddenly, and without any planning, the group is completely engaged in a collective problem-solving exercise or other learning activity. Instead of moving, they are being moved. The completed puzzle stood for the remainder of the year as a reminder of the community’s ability to collectively solve complex problems that no single member of the community (including the teacher) could have accomplished alone.

The emergence of learning community may also be fostered (though not coerced) through the setting of group goals. These are particularly successful if the teacher can maintain sufficient restraint to avoid directing the activity, so that learners develop their own protocols of interaction and group strategies to achieve the goal, if the goal is sufficiently interesting to students. I experienced an example of the fostered emergence of learning community with a group in a small school. The experience followed from setting the problem of constructing a geodesic dome using rolled paper for structural elements. As the teacher, I set the problem and provided a set of plans, but did not tell the students (age eleven to thirteen) how to complete the project. Learners formed task groups and established leadership and communication protocols, and, after some false starts, completed the project. In this particular problem, which the students had accepted freely, the structural elements were found to be too weak to support the structure. Students discussed alternatives, finally arriving at wooden dowels, which they asked me, as the teacher, to prepare for them. I prepared the materials and brought them for the students, and the second structure was self-supporting, and stood for over a year at the school. Because this particular group of students had been learning together for years, and had explicitly developed a sense of group cohesion as part of their learning, there was less tension around questions of inclusion and cooperation than there often is in more artificially constructed group situations.

This type of problem-setting is neither learner-centered nor teacher-centered.  It is centered on the learning relationship. This project could have been completed without any emergence of the collective body. It would then have been a nice example of project-based group learning, but not of collective consciousness. Collective consciousness emerged when the students began to work wordlessly, seamlessly, with a calm and radiance that plainly showed their transcendent state of being.

Authentic Education should not be taken to always mean learning by doing – the John Dewey Model of education. Collective learning may involve more bookish activities as well. As an example of this, I took a group of students to a university library to conduct research from the literature on topics of their choice. Although students (age thirteen to seventeen) functioned largely autonomously in this setting, a student later commented to me that, “I felt I was part of the largest learning community in the entire library . . . hundreds of students were doing research as individuals, but only our group of twenty were learning as a community.”

The practice of the collective body in Authentic Movement allows for a rare experience that is profound and transformative. Tamara Berdofe describes this experience:

It’s like being a part of the Earth and everything at once. It makes you feel whole, like you’re not whole without it. The most incredible feeling I’ve ever had in my life is being part of that collective consciousness.

Tamara’s description gives us an insight into the unitive state of the collective body. The unitive state, which has the possibility of arising in Authentic Movement group practice, is first described by Mary Whitehouse as the experience of “unpremeditated choreography” that “catches all the members of the group, lifting them into a leaderless whole”. (11) Adler names this condition the “conscious collective,” (12) which represents for her an intentionally focused consciousness in a group. In rare instances, the conscious collective may achieve a state that she connects to Ken Wilber’s “superconsciousness,” (13) and it is she who calls this a “unitive state”. (14) Experiences of this unitive state in groups led Adler to increasingly compare Authentic Movement with mystical practices and transpersonal psychology, and to “understand Authentic Movement as a spiritual as well as a therapeutic discipline”. (15) My own experience with learning in community is ecstatic. It results in a feeling of the dissolution of ego-boundary, and participation in a grander project of learning than that available to the individual, even the individual learning in a group.

The social nature of learning, and the practice of group learning, has long been recognized. Dewey for example, recognized learning as a “social function,” (16) and this notion has gained some traction in traditional schooling practice. But transpersonal psychology, in its recognition of unitive and trans-egoic states, allows us to acknowledge and validate a component of learning that goes beyond this interactive, social model of learning to a transpersonal, community model of learning.

Every educational theory requires a psychological theory as a basis. From psychological theory, an educational theory derives its notion of what a person is. Much of modern schooling in the United States and Europe is informed by behaviorist psychology—the notion that observable behavior is the only basis for understanding human consciousness, and that positive and negative reinforcements are the tools to shape behavior. (17) In Authentic Education, a person is seen as an ensouled being, richly interconnected with other ensouled beings and with a multidimensional complex of intersecting worlds, with the capacity to experience and express a spectrum of conscious presence: a variety of states of being conscious, from relatively unconscious states such as sleeping, through states of more or less focused conscious intention, and including states that are transpersonal—literally, beyond personhood— such as the unitive state of the collective body. Transpersonal psychology acknowledges this spectrum (18) and forms an indispensable basis for Authentic Education.

As in Authentic Movement, a group of movers do not always, nor even often, achieve the state of the collective body, so a group of learners in Authentic Education do not always, nor even often, achieve the condition of a learning community. Learning community is part of the spectrum of consciousness available to the group at all times. Learning community cannot be coerced, but it can be fostered through the careful maintenance of a safe, trusting, loving relationship among all the members of the school community. In school settings where I have witnessed and participated in the unitive condition of community learning, small groups of learners (ten to twenty) have worked together for two or more years. In addition, the development of community and social interaction has been an explicit part of the learning—not just something that happens incidentally as part of a learning experience, but a mutual relationship that is talked about and explored. The experience of learning community reinforces this relationship, so that growth in learning community constitutes a self-reinforcing dynamic. A goal of Authentic Education is that as teachers and learners mature, especially (but not exclusively) as they near adult level, they learn to be increasingly conscious of when they are present as a learning community, and when they are present as individual learners.

Creating Authentic Education

My personal journey to Authentic Education, like Mary Whitehouse’s journey to Authentic Movement, began as the striving to fulfill longings that had no name. The experience of something profound and transformative led to a need to bear witness to what had happened, to give names and seek an understanding of its process. This process calls out to be understood as a theory, yet with a conscious distancing from the objectifying and reductionistic tendency of theorization. Mary offers this caution:

I associate [a theoretical model] with an intellectual discipline, and organized reality, that seems to me only one-half of a living process. Whatever theoretical model may be adopted, do not believe it is the whole. The whole can only be the whole person, the one teaching and the one moving in an atmosphere of mutual trust. A theoretical model that does not include this understanding is not complete. (19)

And so it is with Authentic Education.

My journey began with the creation of a school, but this process can be pursued in many different venues and at many different levels. There is a vibrant movement toward home schooling in the United States, and home schooling can be an excellent vehicle through which Authentic Education can be pursued. Home schooling has the advantage that the ownership of the educational process is returned to the learner and the family of the learner. Home schooling can be pursued by individual families or by groups of families, rotating the responsibility of teacher-as-witness, or bringing in an educational specialist for this purpose. Do not fear for your own competence: educating is the birthright of every conscious being. The teacher who begins with not knowing is always immediately conscious of the inner learner, and becomes an excellent model for the learner who is developing an inner teacher. Authentic Education should take place in small groups, rather than large ones, for it calls for a highly conscious relationship that is very difficult, though perhaps not possible, in large, anonymous groups. However, even in large public schools, it is possible to bring increased consciousness and awareness of teaching as witnessing and learning as moving. It is possible to create islands of healing in the wounded mass that is our public education system, and perhaps such islands are an important opening into transformation of the entire process. That is what I hope and believe, and that is what I practice now.


(1) Mary Whitehouse. “Reflections on a Metamorphosis.” In Authentic Movement: Essays by Mary Starks Whitehouse, Janet Adler, and Joan Chodorow. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley. (1969/1999.) 59.

(2) Janet Adler. Offering from the Conscious Body: The Discipline of Authentic Movement. (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2002.)

(3) Paolo Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. (New York: Continuum, 1970.) 73.

(4) See for example, Linda Darling-Hammond. “No Child Left Behind and High School Reform.” Harvard Educational Review, 76 (2006); 642–667.

(5) Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. (Paris: Editions Gallimard. 1975.) 201.

(6) John Heron and Peter Reason. A Participatory Inquiry Paradigm. Qualitative Inquiry, 3 (1997.) 279.

(7) Adler. Offering from the Conscious Body. 61–62.

(8) Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 80.

(9) Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 87.

(10) Janet Adler. “The Collective Body.” In Authentic Movement. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley. (1999). 192.

(11) Mary Whitehouse. “Reflections on a Metamorphosis.” In Authentic Movement. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley. 1969/1999.  62.

(12) Janet Adler. “Who is the Witness?” In Authentic Movement. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 1987/1999. 157.

(13) Janet Adler. “Body and Soul.” In Authentic Movement. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley. (1992/1999). 184.

(14) Janet Adler. “The Collective Body.” In Authentic Movement. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley. (1999). 193

(15) Janet Adler. “Who is the Witness?” In Authentic Movement. 149.

(16) John Dewey. Democracy and Education. (New York: Macmillan. 1916.) 10.

(17) See for example, John Broadus Watson’s, Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist, (London: Lippencott, 1919) and Burrhus Frederic Skinner’s, The Behavior of Organisms: an experimental Analysis of Behavior, (New York: Appleton Century Crofts, 1938) and Beyond Freedom and Dignity, (New York: Knopf, 1971.)

(18) See for example, Allan Combs & Stanley Kripner’s, “Process, Structure, and Form: An Evolutionary Transpersonal Psychology of Consciousness,” in International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, (2003) 22, 47–60. Also see, Stanislov Grof’s, Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychology (New York: State Univeristy of New York, 1985) as well as, Stanislov and Christine Grof’s, Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation becomes a Crisis, (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1989.)

(19) Mary Whitehouse. “C.G. Jung and Dance Therapy: Two major principles.” In Authentic Movement. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley. (1979/1999). 77.


Adler, Janet. Offering from the Conscious Body: The Discipline of Authentic Movement. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2002.

Combs, Allan and Stanley Krippner. “Process, Structure, and Form: An Evolutionary Transpersonal Psychology of Consciousness.” International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 22 (2003); 47–60.

Darling-Hammond, Linda. “No Child Left Behind and High School Reform.” Harvard Educational Review, 76, (2006); 642–667.

Dewey, John. Democracy and Education. New York: Macmillan. 1916.

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Paris: Editions Gallimard. 1975.

Freire, Paolo.Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. 1970.

Grof, Stanislav. Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychology. New York: State University of New York Press. 1985.

Grof, Stanislav and Christina Grof. Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher. 1989.

Heron, John and Peter Reason. “A participatory Inquiry Paradigm.” Qualitative Inquiry 3 (1997); 274–294.

Pallaro, Patrizia, ed. Authentic Movement: Essays by Mary Starks Whitehouse, Janet Adler and Joan Chodorow. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishing Co. 1992/1999.

Skinner, B. F. The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis of Behavior. New York: Appleton Century Crofts. 1938.

Skinner, B. F.  Beyond Freedom and Dignity. New York: Knopf. 1971.

Watson, J. B. Psychology from the standpoint of a behaviorist. London: Lippincott. 1919.

Dane G. Reese is an educator who has practiced classroom teaching, school administration, curriculum design, and institutional research for over twenty years. He has created, directed, and operated a variety of educational venues, and has taught in various disciplines from middle schools through graduate study programs.  His experience includes public and private, large and small schools, representing a diversity of community demographics and teaching philosophies and practices. He holds a Ph.D. In Transformative Learning and Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is co-founder, with Tamara Berdofe, of the Institute for Authentic Studies (for further information on IAUS, contact the author at: danegregoryreese at gmail dot com.)

Link to Dane’s dissertation abstract and information:

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One Response to A Personal Journey to Authentic Education

  1. Emma says:

    Thanks for this article, which has helped me to relfect on my practice as a drama teacher. I find a large part of my time is spent negotiating student-teacher dynamics and expectations. For some reason, it has never occurred to me to draw on my Authentic Movement ‘witnessing’ practice, although in retrospect it is always there. Your comment that ‘This type of problem-setting is neither learner-centered nor teacher-centered. It is centered on the learning relationship’ helps me to clarify where to place my attention in classes.

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