threeInhabiting a Different Worldview

In the early 1970s, one of our colleagues, Robert Kenny, helped develop and lead educational and mental health programs for youth in New York City. Inspired by the work of the visionary educator Erling Thunberg, Kenny began to put into practice the values of community, personal authenticity, and collaborative leadership advocated by Thunberg. He noticed that even casual visitors to these youth programs commented on the “palpable atmosphere, or field, that they sensed—the therapeutic milieu, as we used to call it.”1 Many of the students’ public school teachers expressed amazement that these students, engaged and focused, were the same kids they knew to be violent and destructive.

Kenny became fascinated with ...

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