David Edmund Moody was the first teacher hired at the newly opened Oak Grove School in Ojai, Calif., in 1975. He subsequently served as Educational Director (1980-1984), and as Director of the school (1984-1987), the position he held at the time of the death of the school’s founder, J. Krishnamurti.
Moody was born and raised in southern California, and attended undergraduate school at UC Berkeley during the 1960s. He took his Master’s Degree in Political Science at UCLA in 1970 and completed much of the coursework for a doctoral degree in Political Theory.
After he left Oak Grove, Moody returned to graduate study at UCLA. He took his Ph.D. in Education in 1991. His dissertation research focused upon cognitive obstacles students encounter in their efforts to understand the theory of evolution. Portions of Moody’s research were published in the journal Science Education and in a book he co-authored, Mapping Biology Knowledge (Kluwer, 2000).
Moody’s observations of Krishnamurti and his experiences at Oak Grove are described in his book The Unconditioned Mind: J. Krishnamurti and the Oak Grove School (Quest, 2011). He continues to pursue research in science education and related subjects, including the Gaia hypothesis. He remains vitally interested in the teachings of J. Krishnamurti.
Raji Swaminathan is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Community Studies. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of emerging methods in qualitative research, urban education and alternative education. Her scholarship utilizes historical and sociological lenses to examine and critique inequities in education as they relate to race, class, gender, sexuality and disability as well as to document exemplary practices in educational settings.
In the past she was a teacher at The School in India and Brockwood Park School in the UK, both schools founded by Krishnamurti. Her recent projects have been in the area of leadership in urban schools with an emphasis on mentoring new principals, succession planning, social justice leadership and investigating what conditions allow for innovation or constraints for newly appointed principals.
Jaap Sluijter, is the moderator and one of the facilitators of this conference. He has a long-standing interest in the questions raised by J. Krishnamurti. Currently, Jaap is the Executive Director of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. Previously, he lived and taught for nine years at Brockwood Park School in England. He has an MA in Mechanical Engineering and worked as a design engineer in the field of camera systems and musical instruments.
Pathik Wadhwa is a Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, where he directs the UC Irvine Development, Health and Disease Research Program. Pathik received his medical degree from the University of Poona, India, and his doctorate from the University of California, Irvine. His research addresses the question of how is it that we come to acquire our specific (individual) mental and physical characteristics, with a focus on the role of developmental processes before birth (i.e., during the intrauterine period of life), the biological pathways that underlie this phenomenon, and its implications for future health and disease susceptibility. Since its inception, this research program has been continuously funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Pathik has a long-standing interest in many of the questions, issues and perspectives advanced by Krishnamurti.