Why do people come to Conferences? For many reasons, some of which might appear to be secondary, but are both valid and worthy of recognition. There is a need to see what's happening in one's field of interest. Then, there is the desire to have formal and informal exchange with other people in the same or related fields. Sometimes it is for a change of pace or place. These changes make us better workers or colleagues. They feed our energy and save us from burnout. A new town or place can do that for us too - shopping, browsing, seeing museums, and making new friends. While all the above are legitimate needs, most conferences are designed on the male business model which officially only recognizes the first two.

Feminist education is characterized by its search for new forms and its validation of informal and often unquantifiable learning. This conference, Educating Women for Change, has been designed to meet the participants' intellectual and afflictive needs. We are carrying things a step further though. We want to reflect in our conference plan, in the structure of this particular learning situation, the feminist attention to holistic education. It is feminist thought which has most consistently tried to break down the artificial barriers between private and public, body and soul, mind and matter. While non-traditional learning is not restricted to women, it is the major force in feminist education. In this conference we emphasize that each participant is a teacher as well as a learner. For these reasons, we have afflictive groups called "focus groups", countless opportunities for physical exercise, a vast variation of styles of presentation, an orientation towards creativity, and the services of women who have lived and examined alternatives to those male educational structures which often hinder rather than facilitate our learning.

Because this conference is a new design, we are watchful for reaction of our participants. We wish to document the conference model for conference use. We welcome critiques, suggestions, emotional complaints, outrageous Flattery... the works. We need reaction so that we can improve the model. We think we are onto a good thing.

Eleanor M. Christopherson Greta Nemiroff
Conference Coordinator Conference Committee

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