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Detail Mentor Profile: FLEURETTE SWEENEY

Graduate Institute for Transformative Learning


Fleurette Sweeney

University of British Columbia, Ph.D. (Education), 2002

Fleurette started teaching in 1950 and has spent more than 45 years researching the connection between singing and speaking and the effects of social play on the educative process of children. She collaborated with Mary Helen Richards (1967 to 1985) developing Education Through Music and taught ETM at universities and school districts throughout the US, Canada and Japan. Upon retiring (1996) Fleurette began doctoral studies at UBC. She graduated in 2002. Her dissertation From Sound to Symbol: The Whole Song as Curriculum; The Whole Child as Pedagogue; Observation as Methodology is the basis for her continuing work with children of all abilities, families, and teachers. She founded the Living Language Institute Foundation (1987) under the auspices of which Fleurette and colleagues have developed such projects as: the Singing English Pilot Project (2002-04) to address the needs of teachers and children learning in the multi-lingual classrooms of Metro Vancouver; the Co-lingual Pilot Project (2005) an intergenerational, inter-cultural sharing of folk song-games among neighborhood families living in South Vancouver; and the LLIF Early Childhood Education Training Program (2012). She offers directed studies in Sound to Symbol Praxis at SelfDesign Graduate Institute.


  • SelfDesign Graduate Institute, M.A. (Honorary), 2015
  • College of the Holy Names, Oakland, CA, M.A. (Music Education and Psychology), 1970
  • University of British Columbia, B.A. (Music and English) 1968
  • Royal Conservatory of Toronto, Associate (Piano Teaching) 1959


Main Interest

Education and learning; the effect of social play and movement on learning; the connection between singing and speaking; economy of place as antidote to globalization; inter-cultural relations.

Vancouver, BC


SDGI Courses

SD 503 Living in a Learning Community (3 credits) Second Year Residency

Each learner in this course is given an opportunity to facilitate the learning of the cohort and faculty by engaging the community in topics and activities chosen by the learner. In this way each learner can share her/his learning from the first year of the program and have the opportunity to engage colleagues in the trajectory of his/her M.A. program. The faculty share their own learning edges in the same manner.


  • Sound to Symbol Praxis


Publications/Presentations/Professional Projects

  • Forsythe, Kathleen: Recursion in Language and Learning: What Autism teaches us about Praxis, Paper given to the ASC Bateson Group Ecology of Ideas Conference, Asilomar, 2012
  • Forsythe, Kathleen- and Madeline Von Foerster: Poetry and Art Performance, ASC Bateson
    Group Ecology of Ideas Conference, Asilomar, 2012
  • Forsythe, Kathleen: SelfDesign, presentations given to several universities in Poland, 2009 and
  • Forsythe, Kathleen – Cathedrals of the Heart: Towards a Caring Economy – First Conference on Systemic Management , Institute for Systemic Coaching , Vienna, Austria, May, 2001
  • Forsythe , Kathleen – Evil and Ethics Revisited, American Society for Cybernetics, July, 2000
  • Forsythe, Kathleen – We Have Only One Home: Environmental Justice and the Future of Hope, World Congress on Systems and Cybernetics, Toronto, July, 2000
  • Bunnell, P. and K. Forsythe, 1999 The Chain of Hearts: Teaching the Biology of Love, Proceedings of the BodyMind Conference, Vancouver, in prepublication.
  • Bunnell, P. and K. Forsythe, 1999 Intelligence Arises in Relationship, International Society for Systems Science, Asilomar
  • Bunnell, P. and K. Forsythe. 1996. Software Design and Knowledge Architecture for FutureQuest, Vancouver, BC.
  • Bunnell, P. and K. Forsythe. 1995. Coversaation and Creativity in the Development of a CD-ROM Game. Invited paper. American Society of Cybernetics Conference, Chicago.
  • Bunnell, P. and K. Forsythe. 1995. Design for a People’s Earth Monitoring System, prepared for the Earth Council. Vancouver, BC.
  • Designs for Wonder: Tools for Conceptualization- Paper given to the National School Board Association Conference, Dallas, 1990
  • The Natural Way of Learning and Technology, Paper given at the NCCE Conference, Portland, Oregon, April, 1991


  • First Solo Art Exhibit: Autogeography: Maps of the Infinite Interior, May-August, 2006, Full Bloom Flowers Gallery, Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • ArtSPacific Show: three juried paintings Delta Arts Council, April 2013

Floortime Training

  • Floortime Advanced: Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning September 2014
  • Floortime Basic: Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning July 2013
  • Floortime Intermediate: Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning January 2013