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).