Masters Degree Program
in Soul-Inspired Education
The Masters Degree program is designed to revolutionize Education for a nature-centered soul-inspired future, a civilization that we are being asked to develop
at this unprecedented moment.
2-year Graduate Program (60 units)
Soul-Inspired Education MA
First Year (30 Units)
First Semester (15 units)
Who Am I? * Nature and the Human Soul #1
(3 units) (3 units)
The Soul’s Calling Principles of ELECTIVE
Teaching & Learning
(3 units) (3 units) (3 Units)
A New Education: Survey of Magical Schools
Child / Adult Relationship
Nature of the Soul *
Second Semester (15 units)
Patterns of Soul Expression Authority, Fear, Mistakes & Failing
(3 units) (3 units)
Nature & Human Soul #2 The Inspired Classroom ELECTIVE
(3 units) (3 units) (3 units)
Group Intelligence & Dialogue
Starting Schools with New Approaches
Fundamentals of American Education
The courses marked with * are already filmed professionally and are placed within a Learning Management System (Thinkific) that delivers them to students at Alma. As part of a Master’s Degree program they will be expanded upon to include interaction with a mentor, peers, experiential tasks, a Text and writing assignments
Second Year (30 units)
First Semester (15 Units)
Self-Directed Education * Nature& the Human Soul #3
(3 units) (3 units)
Constructivist Education Bodily Intelligence * ELECTIVE
(3 units) (3 units) (3 units) ______________________________________________________________________
Emergent Lesson Planning & Rhythms of School Year
The Parent *
Second Semester (15 Units)
Nature of Thinking Media & Conditioning
(3 units) (3 units)
Creativity Nature & the Human Soul #4 ELECTIVE
(3 units) (3 units) (3 units)
FINAL SEMESTER Elective/Practicum:
Choose and design an immersion in an educational facility.
Existent online courses now available at Alma:
The Inspired Classroom Early Imprints
Self-Directed Learning Soul-to-Soul Communication
Who Am I? Importance of Movement
California Teacher College
MA in Soul-Inspired Education
2-year Graduate Program (60 units)
Soul-Inspired Education MA
First Year, First Semester
Who Am I? – Ellen Hall
This is a foundational course because how we see ourselves has a profound effect on how we view children in the classroom. Asking the perennial question of “Who Am I?” will lead us to reflect on who is the child we are teaching. Is the child a blank slate, a child of God, or just a part of the web of life? The teacher’s viewpoint will have a major effect on their classroom and have a direct bearing on how the teacher relates to the child.
The class will survey how various traditions understand the nature of the human being. The class is designed to remain neutral and facilitate student’s exploration through philosophical and psychological approaches. The following traditions will be briefly surveyed: Judeo-Christian, Indigenous, Perennial Wisdom, Mystical, Buddhist, Hindu, and Transpersonal and Developmental psychological approaches.
TEXT: “The Courage to Teach; Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life” by Parker J Palmer
Nature & The Human Soul #1 –Brian Stafford, MD, MPH
Cultivating the Wholeness of One’s Own Nature in Nature
This course focuses on an experiential understanding of the educator’s inner relationship with aspects of his/her own ego or psyche (intrapersonal), how her own aspects of psyche interact with other individuals (interpersonal), her relationship with the natural world (eco-psychological niche), and her relationship with Soul and Spirit (transpersonal).
Based on the eco-depth psychology maps, models and praxis of the Animas Valley Institute, each educator will begin a two year-process of cultivating their psychological wholeness, move toward healing their own sub-personalities and focus on addressing “unfinished business” in their own psycho-spiritual development. In addition, they will reflect on how their own education possibly suppressed their development as well as how they may have suppressed their students’ own development.
Education needs to provide opportunities for the “nature-based” tasks of development and not just the culture-based tasks. The “nature-based” tasks of development are defined in Plotkin’s work and are parallel to standard developmental sequences.
The first semester of the first year will focus more on the maturation of the educator’s own Self.
The methodology will be a combination of several multi-day nature immersions, personal reflection, reading of core texts, online classes, as well as monthly personal mentoring.
TEXT: “Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche” by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
The Soul’s Calling –Caprice Thorsen, MBA
“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.”
- Mary Oliver
Every child has a unique purpose and gift to give the world. This sense of calling is that essential mystery at the heart of each human life. Understanding this aspect of the human experience has a deep significance to education and parenting.
For parents rather than say, “This is my child” we can ask, “Who is this child that has landed in my midst?” The result of this shift in perspective for parents and teacher is more respect and curiosity for how the child’s destiny might show itself.
Of course, the child is also the result of genetic, environmental, sociological, class, parental, & economic influences, but the soul’s calling is its destiny and purpose.
In this class, we will explore our own calling by asking “How am I useful to others?” and discover how to identify, honor and respect each child’s calling in the classroom and in the home.
The Soul’s calling a universal question and is in Plato’s myth, in the Kabbalah, in Mormonism, strong in Native Americans and West Africans and slightly different in Hinduism and Buddhism but not so familiar in the West.
TEXT: “The Soul’s Code, In Search of Character and Calling” by James Hillman 1996
Principles of Teaching and Learning – Paul Herder, MA
What is the purpose of education? We take a critical look at the underlying assumptions in modern education and individually and in groups work toward a statement of our own philosophy of teaching and learning. From there, we explore what it means to implement this philosophy in the classroom and overall school culture researching approaches and practices that best bring our vision to light.
Fundamental to this inquiry is the question of integrating an inward dimension of learning into pedagogy. The class will address the question of conditioning in the learning process and how both teacher and student can increase awareness of limiting habits and attitudes that arise in nontraditional educational settings. Embracing the adage: ‘We teach who we are’, participants explore the challenges of self-awareness.
The class will draw from a variety of texts and will include self-reflective activities as well as research into alternative approaches to teaching and learning.
TEXTS: “How Children Learn” by John Holt and
“Education and the Significance of Life” by J. Krishnamurti
First Year, Second Semester
Patterns of Soul Expression – Linda O’Toole
In the midst of life’s diversity and the multiplicity of forms we can find deep meaning through understanding the patterns revealed in our unique experiences. This course explores the intersection between personality, ways of functioning, and soul expression – an interdependent and inspiring interaction that manifests as a centralizing impulse throughout our lives. Awareness of the relationship is foundational for a sense of wholeness and well-being.
At a practical level, the course offers ways to be able to work with differences, in learning, communicating, and developing, as opportunities and strengths. Our exploration process rests on knowledge that has been identified from ancient Vedic traditions through contemporary neuroscience, and across cultures and geography; it is not defined by a specific belief system, but is based on common threads in our human journey.
In describing the patterns through which people engage and process their inner and outer experiences, we will develop the capacity to work with our individual patterns and to enhance our interactions with others. This is particularly necessary in our relationships with children and young people.
TEXT: Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, edited by Jane Hirschfield
The course is interactive and experiential. In addition to accessing and working with diverse texts and other materials, we will co-create supplemental activities, individually directed and including our minds, hearts, spirits and sensory experiences.
Authority, Fear, Mistakes, & Failing - Paul Herder, MA
Are we, as teachers, using our authority and our student’s fear of failure as a means of control? What are children learning if teachers employ techniques to manipulate them into submission? What are the alternatives to loud voices, threats, busy work, rewards and punishments, public humiliation, time-outs, detention, and the leveraging of guilt?
Fear is incompatible with learning. Children must feel safe in order for higher order / creative thinking to occur. The soul withdraws in unsafe learning environments.
In this class, we explore the role of fear and the vital importance of failure in the learning process and in self-understanding.
The class will explore the philosophical and practical basis for establishing discipline, rules and boundaries without compulsion or fear. We will investigate traditional classroom management techniques and compare them to the efficacy of student-centered and self-directed approaches. Finally, we will explore the role of student agency in combating what’s become an epidemic of anxiety in schools.
TEXTs: “On Fear” J. Krishnamurti
“Punished by Rewards” by Alfie Kohn
Nature and the Human Soul #2 – Brian Stafford, MD. MPH
Self-Healing from One’s Wholeness
The second semester of the first year will continue to focus on the maturation of the educator’s own Self, moving toward the healing of their own self-limiting protector parts (inner critics and loyal soldiers, addicts and escapists and conformists and victims) and cultivating a relationship to inner psychological wholeness in service to Self, students, culture, and the more than human world.
The methodology will be a combination of several multi-day nature immersions, personal reflection, personal nature walks, reading of core texts, online classes, as well as monthly personal mentoring.
TEXT: “Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche” by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
The Inspired Classroom - Tim Hall
This course is unique in that it is a series of enjoyable stories that illustrate what soul inspired classrooms look like in reality. It demonstrates the effects of creating safety, which is imperative for the soul to emerge. It explores ways to handle real problems in schools such as vandalism and bullying from the perspective of the soul. Tim tells through examples how joy and learning follow when there is no embarrassment in a classroom. His unique and playful examples of how to effectively learn through skits and how to bring the love of nature into the classroom are inspirational.
A soul inspired classroom is built on a foundation of safety. The teacher is responsible to guide the blossoming of individuals and the class, which can only happen under the condition of safety on all levels. Skill is required to ensure physical, emotional, psychological and mental safety. When students start to feel safe, they initially test it. But one by one students open up and blossom into who they are, which inspires others and something profound happens to the class.
Addressing the soul of the child and drawing it out, creates a new educational paradigm with no need for “classroom management” or “rewards and punishments”. Children run to their classroom with a feeling of internal freedom.
The student will visit various classrooms, observing the quality of learning under various “classroom management” systems. Each will be assigned the recording of personal memories regarding discipline, rules and boundaries. The student will author their own approach to classroom management.
TEXT: “The Soul of Education, Helping Students find Connection, Compassion and Character at School” by Rachel Kessler.
Second Year, First Semester
Self-Directed Learning - Caprice Thorsen, MBA
In this course, Self-Directed Learning we will examine and discuss many elements of the self-directed learning process, including: learners and relationships, expanding choices, honoring the rights of children, learning to learn, observing for learning and self-reflection, goal setting and tracking, viewing life and learning through a developmental lens, and the role of mentors and facilitators.
Learning is understood to be an inner process that is unique to each individual. Children are naturally curious, interested and enthusiastic learners. Why do they often dislike school and are bored and disruptive? When children can have the opportunity to direct and manage their own learning they are emotionally invested and engaged.
This course will use guiding questions and a curation of resources to explore why would we favor self-directed learning over other forms of learning. Some of the guiding questions include:
What is worth learning?
How can a child’s choice of focus areas and/or projects be an expression of their life purpose?
Can we trust the child or are we fearful that they will miss something or won't learn "the basics”?
Is there a place for direct instruction in self-directed learning?
TEXT: “The Common Myths in American Education” by Mordechai Gordon
Nature & the Human Soul #3 - Brian Stafford, MD, MPH
Nature Based Tasks of Development
The focus of the first semester of the second year of this course will be in two parts:
1) learning about the tasks of each stage of development and tracking how traditional pedagogy and the classroom experience supports or suppresses certain developmental tasks
2) crafting classroom and nature-based experiences to support the student’s developmental challenges and tasks, and addressing one’s own current and unfinished developmental tasks.
The methodology will be a combination of several multi-day nature immersions, personal reflection, reading of core texts, online classes, as well as monthly personal/professional mentoring.
TEXT: “Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World” by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
Constructivist Education - Paul Herder, MA
One of the biggest challenges in education is making learning truly meaningful to students. Constructivism is designed to connect classroom learning with the inner world of the child. This course explores the basic principles of Constructivism through experiential activities including debriefing and self-reflection.
Participants will gain an understanding in the following areas:
- Bringing student thinking into the classroom
- Teacher as facilitator
- Strategies connecting academics with student meta-cognition.
- The basics of Peer learning
- Scaffolding cooperative groups
- Facilitating small and large group discussions
- Frameworks for meaningful / real world projects
TEXT: “Revolutionary Minds” by Paul Herder
The Body’s Intelligence: Exercise and Nutrition -Tim Hall
The connection between the body and brain and the critical importance of movement and nutrition at school are the subjects of this course. It is through the body and brain that the soul expresses. A wide variety of sports, dance, gymnastics, and track gives the soul avenues of expression and the gives the opportunity to experiences the joy of movement. Variety is important to find movement that fits different temperaments.
This class will be learning experientially the body’s links to brain function through such systems as “Brain Gym.” The importance of regular movement and fresh air as they impact the joy of learning and identifying signals that the body needs attention which includes reading the body language of a child.
The course will explore foods relationship to learning. Earth is the garden. Many aspects of the relationship of eating to growing food such as learning self-sufficiency through choosing foods, preparing foods, foods around the world, food as a sacrament, and eating as a social bonding.
Teacher Research, the teacher trainee will awaken cellular memory of what it was like to learn a new physical skill as a child by learning a sport or exercise that is new to them. Each will record their diet for two weeks and write a description of how they would include (or not) nutrition and food studies in their curriculum and how they would deal with birthday and holiday celebrations in the classroom, especially with parent participation.
TEXT: “Awareness through the Body" by Aloka Marti and Joan Sala
TEXT: “Brain Gym and Me” by Paul Dennison
Second Year, Second Semester
Nature of Thinking – Paul Herder, MA
“Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself.”
What is thought? How does it work? We tend to take thinking for granted even though it underlies everything we say and do in school and in life. Schooling tends to focus on the intellect, ignoring the fact that - to quote the late quantum physicist David Bohm – “thought is a system”, involving emotions, imagination and perception. In this course, we look at the nature of thought through the eyes of scientists and sages - as well as our own self-awareness.
Integrating critical thinking meaningfully into a child’s learning experience is challenging. This is true in part because we as educators are inconsistent critical thinkers. Identifying and owning our own blind spots helps us directly understand what it means to be fearlessly inquisitive. Through interactive exercises, participants learn to identify unquestioned assumptions, innate biases, and implicit value systems that inhibit free inquiry.
TEXT: “Thought as a System” – by David Bohm
Media & Conditioning – Caprice Thorsen
What effect does the new media have on the soul expression of students as well as teachers? How have I been conditioned by the culture I grew up in; by the religious training I have had? by the nationalistic views I have absorbed; by the values of the popular culture that surround me; by the entertainment I enjoy; by the values of my family? What is the value of being aware of our conditioning? What is the value of self-reflection? Can we or should we try to raise a child free of conditioning? Or can we raise a child aware of their conditioning? Isn’t traditional education a form of conditioning?
What about the new media? IPhone, screen time, video games, social media?
Teacher Research, the student will be asked to do an extensive exploration into their own conditioning.
TEXT: “As One Is: to Free the Mind from all Conditioning” by J. Krishnamurti
TEXT: most current about electronic media and children
Creativity - Ellen Hall
Is creativity a gateway to the soul? One can easily grasp the connection between creativity and the soul, particularly in the arts. It has often been said, especially by the great artists that the source of their creativity is inspiration; from God, the muse, or spirit. It has been said that the arts can be the expression of the soul.
The class explores the essential understanding of the creative process, emphasizing being able to observe and support the process in operation in children. The class considers how and why encourage creative activity and when is the appropriate time. Students will learn the documented four step process and practice it in the classroom: preparation, incubation, illumination and implementation. The creative process is demystified by learning how its use is universal rather than a special gift of the few. The recorded creative process of the greats in music, sciences, literature and the arts will be presented.
Students will participate in experiential learning by immersing themselves in an activity using the creative process. Each will define an interest, explore and create an end product and record the process.
TEXT: “The Creative Process, Reflections on the Invention in the Arts and Sciences” edited by Brewster Ghiselin
Nature and the Human Soul #4 - Brian Stafford, MD, MPH
Supporting the Natural Four Windows of Knowing
The focus of the second semester of the second year of this course will be on employing the educator’s wholeness, unique authenticity and ways of knowing to craft and deliver educational opportunities to support the child’s presence, emotional and body intelligence, and imagination.
The final weeks of the course will be focused on understanding the deeper structure of an individual’s entire life and moving toward inhabiting one’s eco-psychological niche.
The methodology will be a combination of several multi-day nature immersions, personal reflection, reading of core texts, online classes, crafting lesson plans that serve developmental tasks, ways of knowing and “curricular requirements” as well as monthly personal/professional mentoring.
TEXTS: “Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World” by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
“Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche” by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
For this last semester, the student chooses an educational facility and designs an immersion into that school’s approach. An in-depth study and appraisal of the school as to its support of the inner lives and outer lives of the students is produced.
OR The student creates their own Cap project subject to prior approval.
Admissions & Fees
The general requirement for admission into the degree program for a U.S. student is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Application Due - May 30, 2021
An international student whose post-secondary education is completed outside of the U.S. is expected to hold a degree representing completion of at least four years of study from a university or university-level institution.
1. BA or Teaching Credential from an accredited college or university OR the rare exception of equivalent life experience.
2. Writing sample “What is your interest in attending California Teachers College?” The applicants writing needs to be at graduate level as the course is communication and writing intensive.
3. Three letters of recommendation. The letters should address the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work.
4. Interview, preferred in person, Skype if necessary?
5. Application fee $50
All courses are available for audit for a minimal fee, with permission from the faculty member conducting the course.
Tuition & Fees
CTC Statement of Philosophy regarding finance:
We at CTC are seeking the right relationship with money. Money is energy and it follows the laws of giving and receiving. In the spirit of creating a new civilization through a new education, we are not just going to follow the current pricing for education but are making an effort to think outside of the box. We aim at having an equitable distribution of funds for our teaching and administrative staff.
As a start-up model, we seek funding sources to help endow the college so that all called to this evolution in education may be able to afford it. We believe that education should not result in debt of any kind. We are committed to also providing opportunities for students to participate in the tasks of the college community as an alternative way of earning their education. We fully expect students’ participation in the community to be a rich addition to their learning.
Tuition schedule: Ample Scholarships available through Application
Two-year Master’s Degree in Education:
Total cost for 2 year or 60 units, $22,000
For I year or 30 units, $11,000