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1966 – 1967

RS-I and Imaginal Education Pedagogy
July 1966

The second summer Research Program


The six week program included RS-I and Imaginal Education Pedagogy and creation of the 5th City Preschool curriculum. Participants were primarily college students, teachers, and church leaders. A teachers’ group met during the summer and a Teacher Training Institute (TTI) was held on the West Side in July.


This program was early in our history of summer eventfulness, and a bit chaotic, something we sort of put together as we went along. It was a forerunner to and foretaste of our future major research. We were a group of about twenty-five teachers, maybe half from the residential Order and half coming in from around the country. We came together to look at the state of education in America and to build some of the new theoretical and practical methods needed from the standpoint of structural revolutionaries. People told horror stories about their personal educational experiences, which rather shocked me into a new awareness, since I felt I had had many fine teachers and good schools. We put together revolutionary designs and strategies for bringing imaginal methods to classrooms from preschools to universities, and we ended the program by issuing a bold manifesto to the world of education (it was the mid-60s) As I recall, I was the only university faculty in the group, and men were the minority.


We met in one of the side rooms off the basement corridor on the West Side, probably room C or D. It is true the Life Triangles were part of our sessions. Part indeed—the massive set of cascading triangles completely occupied on entire wall of our meeting room! It was obvious to all of us who joined that summer program that major work had been going on (and was continuing) to flesh these out, and they certainly constituted an almost overpowering presence in our sessions (Gordon Harper).


The 5th City Pre-school was the first structure created as a part of the community reformulation project. It dealt directly with the “victim image” of people living in the inner city. The first 5th City Preschool field trip was an airplane ride over Chicago. In 1971, an independent researcher for HEW said, “Your preschool is one of ten in the nation selected by the Office of Economic Opportunity as particularly suitable for a demonstration project” (5th City, Rebirth of the Human City, 1973).


I can’t remember if we had a group of about 20 teachers that summer or the next one. Since Kendra was born in summer ’65, I think the first Teacher Training Institute must have been summer ’66. Pat Scott and I taught the TTI along with Sue Burnett (?) (wife of a pastor). Although we had developed the preschool curriculum based on imaginal education, the TTI was the beginning formulation of the Imaginal Education course. Some of those in the TTI included Marilyn Crocker, Ann Avery, Marilyn Miller (Oyler), Judy Wiegel, Gordon and Roxanna Harper (pregnant with their twins). who then became the teachers’ cadre (LiDoña Wagner July 7, 2014).


We began summer programs for the “Emerging Generation” children and youth of all ages in 1966 (Doris Hahn, 2013).

Fall 1966

The first trip to North Africa and the Middle East—the Arab world. Joe and Carol Pierce, and Charles and Doris Hahn conducted research on the Tan UR (Doris Hahn, 2013).


The Spirit Movement


First use of “the Spirit Movement” to refer to people around the world who were committed to creating a new culture where full humanness would be possible for everyone on the planet. First Metro Cadres, meetings of people committed to change within the structure of the local church. Created a strong continental teaching faculty and developed a broad network of colleagues. RS-I courses were large, for example, 130–150 people in an Oklahoma City course. Some 20,000 people participated in Ecumenical Institute seminars between 1964 and 1967.*



Cadres of clergy and wives formed to practice the elements of RS-1 in preparation for RS-1’s in their areas. Bshop James K. Mathews held a PLC for New England Clergy in 1968–1969 that brought together many clergy who recruited people from their own congregations to participate in RS-1s in New England. Similar activities went on across the United States during this time (Clare Whitney, June 2015).


* Read Joseph Mathews’ talk “The Spirit Movement” during Summer 1970.

Spring 1967

“[A] TIME Magazine ** article caught our attention in 1967 when John was minister of education at Central UMC in Asheville, NC. The next year we took a PLC and…helped set up an RS-I. After that pitch by Marilyn Miller Oyler and Phil Townley, we sold our house and car and journeyed to Chicago in March 1969” (Lynda and John Cock, August 7, 2011).


International Research Trips


In 1967 a team of four faculty taught courses in Asia and Australia. Similar trips followed in Latin America, Europe and Africa (Brian Stanfield, The History of ICA Canada, History and Cornerstone Document)


The first trip to Asia was in the spring of 1967. Joe and Lyn Mathews and Frank and Aimee Hilliard travelled to Asian nations doing RS-I courses set up by church/missionary contacts and speaking to groups (Basil Sharp, 1992).


** TIME Magazine, (1967, March 17) Churches: Laboratory for the Future. [Subscription
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