About Us

NALM, the New Adult Learning Movement, is a network of people who dedicate themselves to investigating “adult learning processes” based on sevenfoldness.   The individual human being is seen as an integrated entity of physical, soul, and spiritual substance and the new key to the evolution of the cosmos.

The NALM processes were developed by Coenraad van Houten, author of Awakening the Will, Practising Destiny Learning, The Threefold Nature of Destiny Learning, and Creative Spiritual Research.  (www.nalm.net).   The processes and the three paths of learning he developed are being used by adult educators, personal coaches, mentors, therapists, and community and organizational innovators all over the world.  

It was at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto (www.rsct.ca) that seeds of the New Adult Learning in Canada were sown by Coenraad van Houten.  “After the Michaelmas event in 1979, five of us from the founding group in Toronto went to England (June 1980) to the Centre of Social Development for a four-week course with Coen van Houten on adult education.  Out of this we formed the first course, which began in 1981. My own part in the initiative of the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto has always been connected with the way of working that I met in the Centre for Social Development.  This comes from an impulse to make the spiritual (out of Anthroposophy) operational in daily life.” Shirley van Houten Routledge, 2004.

Arlene Thorn met the New Adult Learning at the RSCT.   Coenraad van Houten was a presenter at the Centre for many years.  He was offering a week in Destiny Learning, and the program was fully booked.  A chance meeting in the bookstore brought the two together, and he asked if she would be attending the program.  When she Indicated that there was no space, he responded by saying ‘You can be in my group.” Thus began Arlene’s relationship with Coen and Shirley, which led to her enrollment in the New Adult Educator program in Engen, Germany in 2003/4.

On Arlene’s return to the RSCT, she started a 12-session course based on the New Adult Learning.  Since then she has developed the Connections program for personal and professional development, the My Child Myself program for parents, and the New Adult Educator program, which is a “train the trainers” program.  These programs work with the seven processes and the three3 learning paths.  

We are a collective of New Adult Educators who have been studying, researching, and offering NALM programs in our communities.  We each have taken the New Adult Educator program and attend the yearly research weeks for personal and professional development. It was in the 2018 Research Week that we identified a wish to work together to develop the New Adult Learning impulse in North America.   Our study of the “The Destiny of the Michael Community: Foundation for the Future” by Peter Selg spurred us into recognizing the uniqueness of the NAL curriculum and its importance as a path of initiation for our times.

Coenraad van Houten came through the Dutch anthroposophical stream that led from Rudolf Steiner to F.W. Zeylmans van Emmichoven to Bernard Lievegoed.   Coen, born of Dutch and American heritage, hoped that the seeds that he sowed in Toronto would bear fruit in North American communities. We would like to take up cultivating these seeds and facilitating each individual on their own path of learning, transformation, and creating.  

We look forward to meeting you in our programs and welcoming you to our network.                                          Heather Church, Laurie Harper-Burgess, Carlina Heins, Arlene Kamo, Carol Lewis, Arlene Thorn, Elisa Van der Hout.