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Teaching and Facilitation Approach

Dr. Buchanan has served as visiting faculty, adjunct faculty and guest lecturer in two-year and graduate programs in education, cross-cultural human development and business management. She designs and teaches professional development workshops/courses and provides coaching to leaders at all organizational levels. She has taught at community colleges and small private institutions. She worked as an internal professional development practitioner for a higher education research institution and hospital.

Dr. Buchanan creates effective student-centered learning environments grounded in andragogy (adult learning theory), socio-cultural context, anti-bias principles, Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory, and praxis (practical application of knowledge). She believes, as the Quakers maintain, "Everyone has a piece of the truth," and she is widely respected for honoring the inherent brilliance, voice, and humanity of all students.

As a former student and visiting professor of cross cultural human development at Pacific Oaks College, Dr. Buchanan has taught critical consciousness-raising to educators and social service professionals from all over the world.  She honed her compassionate listening, critical thinking and facilitation skills to guide students and colleagues through difficult discourse on prejudice and oppression, which has helped students increase anti-bias awareness, advocacy, and effectiveness. Her expertise has enabled her to meet the needs of a diverse range of learning styles and to make a significant impact on leadership development and organizational effectiveness.

Word Around Town

"...In your class, I feel like I count, that what I say is worth listening to, regardless of whether or not anyone agrees with me..." - Mary

“How do you say thank you to a person who has changed your life?”- Tangie R. 

“Donna, your support, encouragement, and caring has enabled me to achieve goals that I used to think were dreams. You have helped me to see abilities I didn’t know I had, and I’ve developed an inner strength I’ve never known, and for that, I am most grateful. I’ve never experienced someone who enables so many students to excel… I thank you for enriching my life...” - David. B.

“I would like to tell you that this is the best class I’ve ever had...The investment you made in class will pay important dividends, not only in our lives and yours but in the lives of all the people, children, we interact with in the years to come... I learned so much from you…” - Linh D.


"For the First Time, I felt comfortable enough to participate. I felt valued as an individual for my participation. I gained self-confidence & motivation, I Had Fun!"

- Anonymous evaluation

“…  It was one of the most intense, powerful, and insightful educational experiences in all my 55 years!” … I was impressed by your amazing capacity to motivate and empower our group. Very rarely have I experienced such positive power. You’re a wonderful role model. - Pierre Z. 

“All I can say is thank you..thank you..thank you for that very detailed and very easy to read explanation (s). The fact that you took so much time and answered all parts of my question really helped me see what had been so hazy before. I was literally on the edge of my seat trying to absorb every word because you were truly speaking about the exact things that were on my mind. Nothing vague, no other things thrown in for spice, not trying to avoid anything--just straight forward and right on target...Thank you again…I’ve never had an instructor go to such lengths to reach an individual student.  All of us are benefiting from you...” - Teresa B. 

“...Your knowledge comes across in your communication with your students. From the first class I knew you expected my best work. I can honestly say I tried to do my best work and challenged myself. You made me and encouraged me to 'raise my bar.'..I would love to take another class from you!..." - Debbie H. 

“Even if I never took another class here, I feel a door has been open to me in order to seek another way to live my life that has more meaning- because of you and Mary. I have never experienced such learning, caring and love in a classroom...”- Francie M.

"whew, Donna. I am always learning so much from you. (you are giving us so much of yourself, I really appreciate the time and energy you are putting into this class). Peeling off the layers one by one, I have a much deeper understanding..." - Pam G.

“Thank you Donna for a great experience… You’re an extremely passionate person and it comes out in your awesome teaching style.” - Allison

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