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The Soul of Education

Certificate Program

for Nature Centered, Soul Inspired Teaching





 OCTOBER 12-14, 2020


in Ojai, California

The Program

Revitalize your teaching career, be inspired by a new perspective on education, one that results in more joy, less classroom management and more learning. Have renewed satisfaction and fulfillment in your vocation.

Join the faculty of California Teacher's College for a long weekend in the beautiful Ojai Valley at the Taft Gardens for an immersion in the natural world and an experiential exploration of a soul inspired approach to education.

Re-ignite your passion for your vocation.

Revitalize your teaching.

Re-invigorate your life's work.

We will explore: the importance of the inner

lives of the students we teach and how to

respond to their unique gifts; how to implement

a soul-inspired, nature-based classroom; and the

effects on the challenges of our culture.

*Sponsored by the California Teacher's College, for Nature-Centered, Soul-Inspired Teaching.  This Teacher Support Program provides a taste of the College degree program. California Teacher's College is launching in July of 2020. More information coming soon.

Transform Yourself

Identify with your essential nature through soul awakening experiences in the wild, through meditation and in self reflection.


Transform Education

Bring your soul expression into the classroom to meet souls of your students with the amazing results of improved classroom management and more learning.


Transform the World

It is within the school community that an ecological, cultural and spiritually sound world can be created.


2019 Soul of Education

Certificate Program

Cost $350*


  • Three days at the Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve, addressing how to bring the Soul into Education.

  • Three lunches, all catered locally with organic local ingredients

  • Experiential and interactive sessions

  • See FAQ for transportation and accommodations

*Scholarships available Contact us here to apply


and Nature Preserve

2162 Baldwin Rd

Ojai, CA 93023

The Taft Garden is a 264 acre property, combining preserved open space with 12 acres of botanical gardens. Located in the foothills of Ojai near Lake Casitas, the garden houses many of the most mature and rare species of plants and succulents from places such as South Africa and Australia. The open space provides a sanctuary for hundreds of species of native plants and animals that live and migrate through the area.


The Agenda

All of the offerings for the three days are EXPERIENTIAL. 

We will move, talk, create, laugh and learn together.

OCTOBER 12 - 14, 2020

Dinner in Town

Ellen Hall - How Soul-Inspired Education can impact the world


Paul Herder and Brian Stafford - Next steps, college information



Welcome & Introductions


Brian Stafford - Outside "Nature and Our Ways of Knowing"


Ellen Hall - What is Soul-inspired education?

Tim Hall - The Inspired Classroom



Lunch - Catered

 Paul Herder - Accessing Group Intelligence



Movement Terry Kvasnik


Whole Team Panel - How to take it home, into the classroom.


Interactive Circle



Brian Stafford - Eco-centric education in an ego-centric world: finding your own muse.


Caprice Thorsen - Self Directed Learning, Exploring our Soul's Calling 


Lunch - Catered


Ellen Hall - Creativity, the Creative Process for Education & for Life


Music  Paul Herder and Gigi Hall


Dinner in Town



Group Check-in & Review


Brian Stafford - Guided Imaginal Experience


Ellen Hall - What is Soul-inspired education?

Tim Hall - The Inspired Classroom



Lunch - Catered

Group Check-in & Review



Music  Paul Herder and Gigi Hall


Whole Team Panel - How to take it home, into the classroom.


Closing Circle


The Facilitators


Ellen has been the Principal of the Krishnamurti K-12, Oak Grove School, and she co-founded a distance-learning company, Laurel Springs School. She has owned a small publishing company that provided curriculum to thousands of home-schooled children. 


Ellen started her career teaching in a lab preschool, attached to a graduate school for Early Childhood Education. She co-founded a preschool. She was an elementary, 4th thru 8th grade homeschool support teacher. She taught secondary school English, American Literature, World Literature and Cultural Geography over a 12-year span.  Ellen has authored two books, including "High Schools in Crisis: What Every Parent Should Know".


Ellen directed and co-founded the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, was the Executive Director of the Ojai Valley Museum. She was elected to the Ojai City Council and served as the mayor in 1999. She was the Executive Director of Meditation Mount for the seven years prior to devoting herself full time to establishing soul-inspired education initiatives. Through these various enterprises she has exercised administrative, supervisory and entrepreneurial competencies since moving to Ojai in 1980.



Ellen Hall

Tim Hall

In Tim Hall’s decades in the classroom, he has taught over 20,000 students at all K-12 grade levels. As a master teacher he has advised other teachers on the various aspects of the profession, including classroom management, behavior without threat or fear, and bringing lessons to life. He has individually tutored many students with special needs in high schools, junior high and elementary school.

Tim has been a teacher trainer, a Special Ed/ Resource teacher, a Dean of Students for elementary and junior high levels, pioneered soul inspired education, developed outdoor educational programs and has written and lectured on the subject of education.

The secret to his success with children is connecting to the soul of the child and creating safety, consistency and an atmosphere of love. In this course he will share his unique perspective, simple techniques and many stories that demonstrate soul-inspired teaching. 




Brian Stafford


Brian Stafford, MD, MPH is a depth psychiatrist, wilderness and professional human development guide, poet, essayist, and agent of human and cultural transformation. Previously, he was an academic pediatrician, and an adult, adolescent, child, perinatal and infant psychiatrist with numerous clinical, research, and educational publications as well as many institutional, state, and national awards.

He left academic medicine in 2012 and founded Eco-Psyche-Artistry and Wilderness Is Medicine, organizations that foster mature eco-centric human development. He also completed training with the Animas Valley Institute as a Nature-Based Human Development and Soul-Initiation Guide. He serves as the Training Director for the Wild Mind Training Program in Wholistic Human Development with the Animas Valley Institute.


Brian spent decades in medicine, teaching, organizing conferences, and developing courses in adult, child and adolescent psychiatric conditions. His positions included a holder of an endowed chair and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, at the University of Colorado, Denver Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Denver Children’s Hospital Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. At Tulane University School of Medicine Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry New Orleans, Louisiana he served as Training Director, Triple Board Training Director and Associate Training Director. Tulane University School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry, and Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics.

He is now using his extensive teaching skills to mentor teachers to cultivate a relationship to wholeness in service to Self and to their students. Opportunities for guided nature immersion and for crafting nature based classroom experiences will be addressed.

Paul Herder

Paul Herder holds degrees from Connecticut College (BA, Philosophy) and The School for International Training (MA, Inter-cultural Administration & Education). Since first being introduced to progressive educational practices in graduate school, Paul has worked to unlock the deeper potential of collaborative, inquiry-based approaches to learning. In his first book, "Revolutionary Minds", he tackles the iconoclastic educational philosophy of J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986). Mr. Herder has taught in Krishnamurti schools in America and England.


Paul’s experience includes serving as Teen Program Director at an innovative Self-Directed school, Adjunct Instructor /Teacher Mentor at the University of Arizona’s Master’s of Education Program, Secondary English Teacher, Director of Oak Grove’s Teacher’s Academy, Director of Teacher Development at Oak Grove School and Teacher Trainer / In-service provider for the L.A. Unified School District in inquiry based and student centered learning strategies.


Paul has taught high school in two Krishnamurti Schools; Brockwood Park, in England and Oak Grove School in Ojai, CA. His approach to education is deeply influenced by David Bohm’s approach to dialogue, emphasizing whole group inquiry and the awakening of group intelligence. Paul is currently teaching teens at an innovative self-directed school. He has taught and mentored teachers extensively in public as well as private schools.

"Learning must be extended inwardly so that students learn about themselves in the context of group inquiry."






Caprice has been an innovator in education for the past 15 years. Her experience in education includes co-founding a Sudbury school where she was on the teaching staff, creating a self directed learning and enrichment center and designing two K-12 charter schools in California and won federal start up grants of $500,000. She led teachers to develop learning programs for K-12 public schools.

Caprice worked with SelfDesign, a personalized learning program from Canada for ten years, where she led program design and development and business development.

Before Caprice entered the alternative education space, she consulted to Fortune 50 and start up companies. Early in her career, Caprice worked for two US Senators. She has an MBA in finance from Carnegie Mellon and a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia. She started an International Parent Coaching Program for SelfDesign and is a certified personal and professional coach.

Caprice 's expertise includes strategy consulting, transformative and leadership coaching, entrepreneurship, and self-directed education.

Caprice believes we can transform our world by designing education and work in a different way. Her work with companies and schools has emerged from the understanding that people, no matter their age or stage, need autonomy as they develop mastery by doing meaningful work. 



Frequently Asked Questions


There are no overnight accommodations at the Taft Gardens. Ojai offers a range of places to stay from the high-end Ojai Valley Inn, to a more modest lodging and complimentary breakfast at the Ojai Retreat. The Blue Iguana and the Green Iguana offer charm and comfort and there are many other options for lodging in Ojai. January is a busy month in Ojai so early reservations are suggested.


After registration, you will receive a map to the Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve which is located twenty minutes North West of the city of Ojai. It is located on paved roads through two creek crossings. It will take you into the wild and beautiful back-country of the Ojai Valley.

If participants plan to arrive in Ojai without transportation, please let us know and we will arrange a van to and from your hotel to The Taft Gardens.

If you plan to arrive at LAX and are not renting a car, a convenient shuttle to Ventura is available and then a pre-arranged ride into Ojai. Please let us know how we can help you make arrangements.

The Meal Plan?

Catered organic lunches will be provided on Saturday and Sunday. Most lodging has some breakfast available. The program will provide drinks and snacks for the two days. Participants will be free to enjoy the evening meal in Ojai on Saturday and Sunday. We can make restaurant reservations for a large group if you would like to dine together in town. Please let us know.


Email Address


Mailing Address

P.O. Box 202

Ojai, CA 93024

To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch and receive our updates!

2019 The Soul in Education

Certificate Program



2019 The Soul of Education Certificate Program

October 12th - 14th, 2020



2162 Baldwin Rd.

Ojai, CA 93023

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