for performance activists and other social change leaders

Hosted by the Eastside Institute
For practitioners and academics with a range of educational
and life experiences, and a passion for innovation.

A 9-Month Intensive Online Program
Oct 2022 — June 2023

Download the Application

An Eastside Institute Workshop

With deepening social, environmental and political crises worldwide, many who want to make a difference in the world are finding that they need new tools to make social change, to grow, and to develop their communities. 
The East Side Institute’s International Class is a 9-month virtual immersion in creative and cultural approaches to human development, learning and social change. The course introduces and examines social therapeutics, a philosophically informed, practically oriented method in which human beings develop themselves while building the ensemble, group and community.

Social therapeutics has influenced both the postmodern and cultural-historical, activity-theoretic movements in psychology, education, community and organizational development. And as a unique synthesis of individual and community development, social therapeutics has unlimited potential to reinvigorate social activists and reinitiate developmental social change. 

For over a decade, The International Class has been using and creating tools for long distance learning with diverse groupings. Our faculty have expertise in fostering rigorous and intimate class environments and for mining the ever-expanding potential of technology for creativity and development. Participants in the class have the opportunity to create a global support network, to engage the philosophical, political and psychological issues of their practices and to study as developmentalists. 

A Flexible Structure and Curriculum

Week-long Intensives. The International Class meets for three week-long intensives, one in October, one in February and one in June. Students will have an opportunity to observe and participate in social therapeutic group activities, improv classes, workshops and seminars. Intensives will include an introduction to the Institute’s alliances and initiatives with guest faculty who will introduce cultural, educational and political change organizations that the Institute works with closely.

Ongoing Study (both live and asynchronous). In between intensives, students continue their studies with International Class core faculty through Google Groups discussion and bimonthly live Zoom calls.

Public Classes, Event & Workshops. Students will engage in a variety of classes, events and workshops offered to the public by the Institute throughout the year.

Topics for Week-long Intensives and Ongoing Study include:

  • The Politics, Philosophy and Psychology of Social Therapeutics
  • Youth Development
  • Performance Activism
  • The Postmodernizing of Marx, Vygotsky and Wittgenstein
  • Play, Performance, Learning and Development
  • Improvisation and Theater
  • Community Organizing
  • Independent Fundraising

Hear what our alumni say:

“The International Class has made me learn to challenge some of my old beliefs and to peel away the rigid self-image that we all try to portray. The cultural and economic differences of students in the program gave us an even broader viewpoint on all the topics that were discussed.” — Ishita Sanyal, psychologist, India

“I’ve been a school principal for 25 years and now work with teachers from four different countries and students representing six different nationalities. The International Class helped me find a path toward creating relational and emotional activities which keep me developing — independent of ideology​, truth, ​labels​ and ​programmatics. I am immensely grateful to Lois Holzman, wh​o​ gave me back the pleasure of learning and teaching in the classroom.” – Qazi Abdur Rahman, school principal, Oman

“I joined the International Class to play, perform and develop the unknown together with the community and my class. I loved the provocations for us to be more playful, more philosophical, more activistic, more group and community focused, more whatever we were!

I already knew a community was not made up of just one person, i.e., of myself. However, in the International Class we really developed the meaning: “it’s never about me, it’s about us.”— Viviane Carrijo, Textbook author and researcher, Applied Linguistics, PUC-SP/Brazil