What Can I Do as a Educator?
1. K-12 Educators
“The adoption of a partnership model in both schools and the larger society is essential for human life to flourish.” - Nel Noddings, noted Stanford University Professor of education
As a K-12 educator, you are aware of the urgent need for a deep reassessment of what and how we are teaching our children. Partnership education is an integrative approach that puts the joy back into education for teachers and students. In Tomorrow’s Children: A Blueprint for Partnership Education in the 21st Century, Riane Eisler provides a cohesive and compelling guide to creating the proactive education children need to achieve their highest potentials both academically and personally.
Based on three decades of original research and the work of many leading educators, Tomorrow's Children is not just one more add-on to existing methods and curricula. It applies the partnership model to education from kindergarten to twelfth grade and beyond, providing practical guidance for educators, parents, and students.
Partnership Education and Montessori
The vision of Maria Montessori is in many ways a precursor to partnership education. This is why many Montessori schools and institutes have been utilizing Tomorrow’s Children and integrating its resources into their classrooms. For example, Eisler keynoted the American Montessori general conference in New Orleans and the Montessori Foundation has held several symposia, including a 2005 Symposium on Montessori Education & the Partnership Way.
“Tomorrow's Children-Tomorrow's Schools” was sponsored by The Montessori Foundation and The Center for Partnership Studies, and facilitated by Riane Eisler, Jonathan Wolf, and Tim Seldin at the Asilomar Center, Pacific Grove, California. The goal was to explore how best to expand, update, and generally enrich our schools through a melding of Montessori and Partnership Education. Tim Seldin, President of the Montessori Foundation, spoke on how Riane Eisler’s work in partnership theory, and its application to education, provides Montessori education with a thoroughly documented and intellectually rigorous framework for explaining the underpinning foundation of Montessori philosophy and practice.
Resources for K-12 Educators
View and download Partnership Education teaching guides:
Summary of key concepts in the Partnership Education model
Synopsis of Eisler's Tomorrow's Children written by Ron Miller, founding editor of Holistic Education Review and Paths of Learning
Partnership Guide to Teaching in the Humanities
Partnership Guide to Teaching for Racial Justice
Learn More and Share:
Tomorrow's Children: A Blueprint for Partnership Education in the 21st Century, by Riane Eisler
Partnership Education in Action: Companion to Tomorrow's Children, edited by Dee Buccarelli and Sarah Pirtle
Educating for a Culture of Peace, edited by Riane Eisler and Ron Miller
Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky (Harper, 2010)
Trust the child: how the Montessori philosophy reflects Partnership values CPS blog post by Sheryl Morris
Further Readings on Partnership Education:
A Day in the Life of a Partnership School by Karen Davis-Brown
Partnership Education in the 21st Century published in Encounter Magazine 2002
Reclaiming Our Humanity: Partnership Education by Riane Eisler
From Tomorrow’s Children: Partnership Education
A Successful Partnership High School: Report by Dr. Lisa S. Johnson
What I’m Learning About Partnership Education by John Creger
2. College Educators
All around the world, professors from a range of disciplines are incorporating partnership theory into their curricula. Professors from diverse disciplines, including philosophy, history, political science, business, management, economics, and education, have woven the framework into their curriculum in schools from The University of Alabama to The IE Business School in Madrid.
Here's one example:
Integrating Partnership into a University Ethics Course
Dr. Jan Garrett, Professor of Philosophy at Western Kentucky University, shares how he integrated Riane Eisler’s domination-partnership systems framework into an ethics course.
“I integrated Dr. Eisler's work into my general education Ethics course. The hope, of course, was that if people who had previously been taught to see morality and conduct chiefly through Strict Father or Dominationist lenses realized that there was another way of looking at the world, which had its own attractions, they might allow their own Partnership inclinations to come to the surface and practice them more consistently.
I hadn't taught the course in two years, and found this an interesting experience. Most of my students were taking the course as a prerequisite for entry into our university's nursing program, and at least 90 percent of them were women. They seemed a bit more predisposed to taking Partnership or Nurturant Parent thinking seriously than many of my previous students.
At the beginning of the course, I gave my students some charts copied from The Power of Partnership. Partnership v. Domination Patterns includes my remarks on how basic ideas from George Lakoff parallel Riane Eisler's thinking, a bibliography for Lakoff, and a link to a short Lakoff article that I encourage students to read. The main textbook was Judith Boss, Analyzing Moral Issues (5th edition). The first chapter includes excerpts from Nel Noddings, Aristotle, Kant, Bentham and Mill, Locke, and Ayn Rand. I interweave our discussion of those texts (saving Aristotle and Kant for later in the course) with comments on how the positions of the authors involved relate to Eisler's and Lakoff's conceptual frameworks.
Ethical Theories and Issues Through New Lenses collects the main points I made about some of the theorists and many of the more specific "applied ethics" type articles that are found in the Boss anthology. The point was to show the utility of Eisler's and Lakoff's frameworks as well as the interrelations between intellectual treatments of apparently disconnected issues.
I am also likely to introduce the Eisler and Lakoff paradigms in two upcoming philosophy courses: An Ethical Theory course (for majors and minors in Philosophy) and a new introductory general education elective, The Committed Life".
Things to Do As a College Educator
Incorporate readings from Riane Eisler’s books, or assign these books in your courses.
This has been done in classes ranging from psychology, sociology, and political science to economics, peace and conflict studies, and gender studies, as well as courses in nursing, literature and art.
Form a Partnership Studies group at your college or university
One model for such a group is the Partnership Studies Group founded in 1998 by Antonella Riem and a group of researchers based at the University of Udine, Italy. It is an active, interdisciplinary community of scholars with a series of interconnected partners all over the world, all inspired by the seminal anthropological and socio-cultural work of Riane Eisler. The group has hosted conferences, contributes to an online journal, and has edited anthologies of scholarly work including The Goddess Awakened: Partnership Studies in Literatures, Language and Education, edited by Riem Natale, Luisa Conti Camaiora, and Maria Renata Dolce (2007) and The Art of Partnership: Essays on Literature, Culture, Language and Education Towards a Cooperative Paradigm. Group members have also published their own Partnership scholarship including The Rose and the Lotus: Partnership Studies in the Works of Raja Rao By Stefano Mercanti (Rodopi, 2009).
Develop new curricula and explore the possibility of degrees in Partnership Studies.
A number of dissertations and masters’ theses have been written using the partnership-domination social scale as their frame. These include areas ranging from education and leadership, to nursing, and spirituality. Riane Eisler has sometimes acted as an advisor.
Invite Riane Eisler to offer a course on cultural transformation at your university.
Most recently Eisler taught this course at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Read and write for the Interdisciplinary Journal for Partnership Studies, an online, peer-reviewed free-access journal published by the University of Minnesota.
Discover readings to incorporate in your course syllabi, or consider publishing your own scholarly work in Partnership.
View and download additional resources for higher education:
Understanding the Language of Partnership: A Glossary, created by Dr. Stefano Mercanti