Study Inclusive Social Development

Inclusive Social Development is an interdisciplinary field concerned with building inclusive communities within which individuals of all abilities can find wholeness in life and biographical fulfillment. Its concerns are thus broader than those of conventional social work and human services. They include all aspects of individual and community life, from physical and psychological health to social and spiritual wellbeing. These different aspects are seen together as integral components of an unfolding biography. 

Practitioners and professionals in the field of Inclusive Social Development strive to approach individual situations out of an understanding of the integrity of each individual’s unique biography. They allow this holistic insight to guide the way social, educational and therapeutic support is provided as an integrated whole. As a result, the study of Inclusive Social Development brings an integral transdisciplinary approach to a field of work defined by the intersection of a wide range of disciplines, including not only education, psychology, social work and nursing, but also such elements as the arts, agriculture and community building. With a transdisciplinary orientation, practitioners and professionals in this field must be able to perform comprehensive diagnostic assessments, integrating contributions from a wide range of professional perspectives, including developing, implementing and coordinating educational, social, and therapeutic approaches and drawing on the widest possible range of tools and methods. 

Inclusive Social Development is based on a holistic, transdisciplinary understanding of human situations and biographical themes and challenges. The development of such deepened insight as a basis for community-building and therapeutic action requires:

  • comprehensive transdisciplinary knowledge of the human being in its body, soul and spiritual organization 
  • an understanding of human development from childhood to old age, and of general educational and social principles 
  • the ability to engage in phenomenological study of the human being, including its imbalances and pathologies

The programs in Inclusive Social Development are offered within the context of community life at one of the participating communities dedicated to the practice of inclusive social development on an anthroposophic foundation, through inclusive community building with adults with developmental disabilities. Students are fully integrated into the daily life and activities of their community, gaining practical experience while pursuing their studies. In addition to academic and artistic coursework, students’ activities in the community include participation in extended-family living, the cultivation of an active cultural and spiritual life, and supervised practice within the context of various workshops, including, homemaking, crafts, food service and retail, education, biodynamic gardening, and other inclusive enterprises (refer to ‘Participating Communities’). The experience of life and work in the community forms an integral part of their educational experience and provides the foundation for the growth of their personal and professional capacities. 

These programs aim to lay a foundation for the lifelong development of these capacities and equip students with the means for ongoing, self-directed personal and professional development.

Concentration Areas
Students enrolled in the Inclusive Social Development programs choose to pursue their studies through one of the following concentration areas: Curative Education, Social Therapy, or Social Agriculture and Biodynamics, depending on availability at the participating community location. Although there is significant overlap between concentration areas, and students take many of the same courses regardless of concentration area, there are also some distinct differences. 

Transfer between concentration areas is possible after completing Stage 1, the Foundation Studies Program. Students interested in pursuing a different concentration, should plan to do so before enrolling in the Paraprofessional Certification Program (Stage 2). 

Transfer between concentrations areas after Stage 2 is not recommended and generally not permitted. Those who are approved to transfer to another concentration area during the Paraprofessional Certification Program may be asked to re-take a program stage and coursework completed as part of their former concentration area, even if they have successfully passed it previously. 

Students intending to transfer in any stage should begin to explore the options and conditions applying to their individual situation with Program Directors as early as possible. Decisions are always made on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of Program Directors.

Levels of Certification

The Camphill Academy offers three full-time academic programs in Inclusive Social Development which are offered within the context of community life at one of its participating communities dedicated to the practice of inclusive social development on an anthroposophic foundation and which correspond with three consecutive levels of certification: 

  • The Foundation Studies Program
  • The Paraprofessional Certification Program
  • The Diploma Program

Degree Completion Options

The Camphill Academy provides pathways for students who choose to complete bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in a field related to Inclusive Social Development through partnerships with several colleges and universities. 

For complete details about the program and Camphill Academy, refer to the Camphill Academy Program Handbook (PDF).

Participating Communities

To view the various communities’ websites, visit Our Affilitions page.

Camphill Communities California (Soquel, CA)

Camphill Village USA (Copake, NY)
Students from Cadmus Lifesharing, Camphill Hudson (Hudson, NY) and Triform Camphill Community (Hudson, NY) may also join this cohort.

Camphill Village Kimberton Hills (Kimberton, PA)

Heartbeet Lifesharing (Hardwick, VT)

Plowshare Farm (Greenfield, NH)

The Camphill School (Chester County, PA)

The Camphill Academy is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students at The Camphill School, Camphill Village USA, Camphill Communities California, Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, and Heartbeet Lifesharing locations.

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