CCS Blog and Conference Update

 In our 10th year at the Center for Contextual Studies (CCS), as the number of workshop events increases, we are taking steps to streamline our communications with you.  We are combining our individual email contact lists and connecting them to the Blog on the Website.   We will send out updates on the Blog no more than once per week, and they will include information about upcoming events, short essays written out of our experiences, as well as longer pieces which will then be catalogued on the “Writings” portion of the website.   If you would like to publish something from your teaching or research work, please send it along!

For this initial Blog, we would like to introduce a new article on the “writings” page and to remind you to register for the upcoming February teacher conferences.   You are receiving this email because you have attended a CCS event in the past or have been referred to us as someone who might be interested in attending in the future.  If you wish to stop receiving emails about events or writings from CCS please choose your preferences in the link below.  You may unsubscribe completely, or you may choose to only receive event notices.

Science Teachers'  Working Conference: From Phenomena to Insight

In this fifth year of practicing phenomenological science together, Willfried Sommer, Craig Holdrege and Jon McAlice will work with themes of Life and Light in Santa Rosa, CA, February 19-23.  Specifically, they will consider aspects of the transformation of the etheric in learning.  Chemistry teachers Wade Cavin, Glyn Craydon, and John Petering are forming an initiative to share experiments from the 12th grade curriculum in the afternoons.  If you have questions about the workshop, please contact Beth at 

Last February, Jon McAlice opened the Science Teachers’ Conference with a presentation on different kinds of time.  He showed how these kinds of time are related to the stages of development of consciousness of the child.  The entire lecture can be found on the “writings” page. Jon began his lecture by lighting a match, and he ended with: 

“This brings us back to where we started. And as T.S. Eliot intimated we are able to “know the place for the first time”. The young child’s experience of the eternal present is undisturbed by the intellectual specter of isolation and separateness. He is in it but knows it not. Separateness becomes a real experience only with the passage through puberty. In the high school years, we have the possibility of treading a path with our students that allow them to come to a new experience of the eternal in the act of understanding.

The primary task of a high school teacher, especially a high science teacher, is to introduce students to the practices and ways of seeing that can enable them to go this path on their own and to help them experience that the act of understanding is a path of individual growth and transformation that brings them ever closer to the encountered world. Perhaps then they can come to experience themselves as the flame that in burning brings itself into appearance.”

The Metamorphosis of the Conceptual Experience

In collaboration with the faculty of Summerfield, CCS will also be facilitating a weekend workshop focusing on the metamorphosis of conceptual experience from early childhood through high school.  The workshop will begin Friday evening, February 16 and end midday on Monday, February 19.  Under the guidance of Jon McAlice, we will be working towards a better understanding and richer experience of what Rudolf Steiner termed the path from a formative education through an enlivening education to an awakening of conceptual understanding in adolescence.  Ken Smith from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training will join us to work with clay sculpture.  The workshop is open to colleagues from other schools who are interested in gaining a more concrete insight into the Waldorf school as a living whole.   

Finally, in conjunction with the Science Conference, we are delighted to announce two public lectures, at Summerfield:

Monday, Feb. 19, 7:00 p.m. “The Life of Thought” by Jon McAlice

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. “Contrasting Experiences of Embodied and Digital Spaces” by Wilfried Sommer

Please register on the appropriate workshop page if you plan to attend the conference events.  We look forward to working collaboratively with you in February and beyond!

Kristin Buckbee  Wade Cavin  Steve Crimy  Jon McAlice  Robert Sim  Michele Starr  Beth Weisburn