This thorough introduction to Transformative Language Arts (TLA) encompasses the personal and the global, the contemporary and the historic, and how TLA can be practiced through writing, storytelling, performance, song, and collaborative, expressive and integrated arts. Each week includes short readings, a lively discussion, and invigorating writing prompts to help you articulate more of your own TLA callings.
Participants should plan on spending 3-5 hours on class assignments each week. We will also have two 40-minute conference calls (time to be determined in concert with everyone’s schedules), at the beginning and end of the class, to get to know one another and discuss questions and topics voice-to-voice. Every week includes website to visit and engage with, whether that engagement be simply perusing a site and learning about a movement, organization, watching a video or listening to a podcast. Weekly writing prompts give you room to work and play through what you know, are coming to know, and how this knowledge cross-pollinates with what you do and who you are.
This class is also required for TLA Foundations Certification.
Week by Week
Week One: TLA history, fields and traditions
An overview of theory and practice, including genres, arts and community practices, ethics, and your own values informing your TLA. Explore TLA in many forms–from poetry therapy to social change theater to healing storytelling–and share what ignites your soul and work.
Week Two: TLA in Service: health, healing, spirituality, and personal growth.
We’re explore how TLA can help people find their way home through health or emotional crises or wounds, spiritual callings, and many manner of personal growth. Starting with the personal, and recognizing how the personal is political, we look at ways in which TLA can foster health, healing, and homecoming, and also some of our cultural biases and blindnesses about such directions.
Week Three: TLA as Catalyst: community, culture, history, and social change.
We’ll look at TLA in relation to community-building, culture-shifting, history-revisioning, and social change, and particularly explore what it means and can mean to be part of various communities.
Week Four: TLA and Right Livelihood: Ways to Make a Living and a Life.
What are our callings for how we make a living and how we live a life? We’ll dive into how TLA intersects with our life’s work (whether that work relates to a paycheck, volunteering, or other aspects of our life), and develop plans for where we’re led to go.
Week Five: TLA in Action: Facilitation, Consulting, Collaboration, Coaching and More.
Looking at the ethics of our work, art, and community involvement, we’ll discuss and write about the specific forms of TLA we do and want to do.
Week Six: TLA and You: Plans, Visions, and Maps.
Deepening our plans for the work, art, and community-making ahead, we’ll clarify what’s right for us to pursue next, what support and tools we need along the way, and the future envision.
This class is ideal for a wide variety of people, including professionals who want to infuse TLA into their teaching, counseling, pastoral work, arts collaboration, and community work; writers, storytellers, performers and other artists who want to develop their facilitation of writing, songwriting, expressive arts, drama therapy and community theater, collaborative arts, storytelling, and integrated arts; and perspective or current students or alumni of TLA studies.
This is an online class. Each week, a new week will open full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week perusing resources and readings, answering a discussion question, engaging in several writing prompts, and responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.
Required Text: The Power of Words: A Transformative Language Arts Reader, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Janet Tallman. You can purchase the text on Amazon.
Joanna Tebbs Young is a Writer and Transformative Writing Facilitator and Coach. She holds a Masters degree in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College and is a certified instructor through the Center for Journal Therapy. Joanna writes weekly columns for two local newspapers and offers workshops at her writing center in Rutland, VT. Her blog and coaching information can be found at http://wisdomwithinink.com.
Read TLA Founder Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s article, “Why I’m a Transformative Language Artist” in Huffington Post.
"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 873 Lansdowne, PA 19050 USA