Sen. Kemp Hannon Salutes 'Youth Leadership' Award Winner from Garden City Waldorf School
Sen. Kemp Hannon recently congratulated Garden City Waldorf School student Peter Escribano and Garden City High School student Alix Della Penna on being named winners of his “Youth Leadership” Award. Patch May 19, 2013 Read more
Rudolf Steiner School Fourth-Graders Poetry to Publish
Six fourth-grade pupils at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School will have their original poetry included in the national anthology "Young American Poetry Digest 2013." iBerkshires May 17, 2013 Read more
The Denver Waldorf School featured in a local news broadcast about technology and young children
This video features Mrs. Laurie Clark, Judy Lucas and Dr Gary Small, a brain researcher from UCLA. Watch it here May 20, 2013
New Leaders at AWSNA
AWSNA's Board of Trustees announces the new team leaders!
Please take a ten minute break from your day to see this excellent TED Talk that features Jack Petrash from the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland, speaking about Waldorf Education from the perspective of his 40 years of teaching. May 8, 2013
Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Marks May Day the Old-Fashioned Way
More than 100 revelers gathered on the grounds of the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School on Wednesday to wake the Earth with songs and dance and celebrate the ancient rites of spring. Whether it was the jingling of bells, stomping of feet or Mother Nature's own cheerful disposition, the environment provided a May Day backdrop of clear blue sunlit skies, bright green grass and colorfully budding trees. Read more & view photos Berkshire Eagle May 2, 2013
Head, Hands, and Hearts in Detroit 3rd Annual AWSNA Service Weekend
Eighty-two students, teachers, and parents from Toronto Waldorf School and the Waldorf School of Ann Arbor gathered with two dozen alumni, parents and teachers from around the continental Waldorf community at the Detroit Waldorf School April 19, 20, and 21 . This marks the third annual Waldorf-inspired service event. First we went to the Waldorf School of New Orleans, then the Lakota Waldorf School, and now the Detroit Waldorf School. Each year so much gets done! So many hands make the work light and our communities strong. Read more pdf April 2013
Ithaca Waldorf School: An Education Based in Music, Movement and Neuroscience
At first glance, Mary Ann Vaca’s classroom at the Ithaca Waldorf School appears ordinary; the teacher’s desk is at the front and students’ desks are lined up in rows facing the blackboard. Read more Ithaca.com April 26, 2013
Monadnock Waldorf Awarded $5,000 for Safe Routes to School Program
The N.H. Department of Transportation awarded $5,000 to Monadnock Waldorf elementary school for Safe Routes to School program activities.
Fifth-grade students at Monadnock Waldorf school will also participate in a photography project in which they will take photos along their path to school and develop the photos into a map of parts of the city. Kindergarten through 4th grades will also design posters depicting safe walking and biking habits.
Read more Sentinel Source April 15, 2013
Waldorf Students Reflect on Service Learning Trip to Ethiopia
While many high school students look forward to spending their winter break relaxing, four high school juniors from The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs spent their February vacation this year working with HIV-positive children at the AHOPE Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Read more Saratogian April 14, 2013
Earth Day and All Days: 10 Ways to Learn about the Environment
Check out this great NY Times article from last year's earth day and get prepared for this year - April 22nd is right around the corner!
Read the article New York Times April 2012
Children Should Be Allowed to Get Bored, Expert Says
Giving children time to stop and stare and the world around them without rushing them into a response or an action is inherently part of the Waldorf curriculum. In a BBC interview, education expert Dr. Teresa Belton says that children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative. She interviewed a number of authors, artists, and scientists in her exploration of the effects of boredom and declares that the concept that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination. Read more BBC March 22, 2013
Nominate the Green Businesses in Your School Community!
Tell us why your favorite small, green business should win. You may nominate any green business you wish, but your nomination must tell us BOTH how your choice is a general sustainability leader AND how your choice is advancing a local, organic, and GMO-free food system. The business you nominate could be a farm or CSA, or it could be a business that serves food as part of daily operations: a day-care, a cafe, or a bed-and-breakfast. Food growers, manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and servers are all eligible. Use your imagination in selecting a nominee! And please be as descriptive as possible in explaining why your nominated business is good for both people and the planet. Read more Green America March 2013
Waldorf alum Ziba Cranmer is on the Board of Directors of Women Win, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the use of sport as a strategy to empower adolescent girls. She recently attended sessions under the auspices of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women where governments, community leaders, academics, men, women, and girls gathered to share their perspectives on the issue of gender-based violence. She wrote about the work this international community is doing in this Huffington Post article: Read more Huffington Post March 13, 2013
Waldorf School Clothing Swap
The Pasadena Waldorf School's Parent Council has put together a clothing exchange for the week of February 11th. Collecting clothes from the families at the school commenced the week prior to the swap, encouraging adults and children alike to bring outgrown clothing to exchange at the event. This is one more way that the community integrates the Waldorf values of recycling and sharing. At the end of the swap, remaining clothing will be donated to a local charity. Read more
SFGate February 22, 2013
The Physics of Stuntwoman's Slackline Walk between Trucks
In a video that has racked up 2 million views on YouTube in the past five days, world record-holding slackliner Faith Dickey and alum from the Austin Waldorf School walks across a rope strung between two semi-trucks as the vehicles barrel down a highway side-by-side at 80 miles per hour. Dickey makes it across the rope a split second before the trucks enter separate tunnels, snapping the rope on the brick divide between them. August 2012 See the video here
Highland Hall Waldorf School Student Receives Ausar Consulting Young Entrepreneur Scholarship
12th grade student Najah Diop, a student at Highland Hall Waldorf School in Northridge, CA, is the first recipient of the Ausar Consulting Young Entrepreneur Scholarship and Award. This award is granted in recognition of her academic success and creativity, initiative and accomplishment in the area of entrepreneurship. Diop participated with the College Bound program at the USC Marshall School of Business last summer, where she demonstrated her potential as a promising entrepreneur with her start-up business, Sweet Nuances™, which creates dessert products for people with food allergies. The award for $10,000 is to be used to support the fulfillment of her vision.
Read more SFGate February 25, 2013
Backyard Permaculture: A 12-Step Program
Author Peter Bane grew more than 150 species on less than 2,000 square feet. Here are 12 tips to get you there. Read more Yes! Magazine February 2013
Fashion and the Environment
Waldorf alum Michelle Vey’s documentary From Elegance To Earthworms, a movie about New York’s growing eco-consciousness, was screened at the Tribeca Cinemas in New York, May 2009. Her latest film, Thread expected to be released this summer, focuses on the toxicity of the fashion industry and how new trends can shift consumers toward ethical, sustainable, organic, and healthy fashion choices. When asked what she gained from making Thread Michelle replied: “I gained a great sense of hope for our planet and faith in humanity. I met caring, conscientious people who followed their ideas with commitment and action and the results are very impressive. These are some of the most truly inspiring companies.” See the Thread - a Documentary trailer here
Also found on the film's website is a helpful FAQ section with a number of links related to eco-fashion and green resources. threaddocumentary.com February 2013
Music is at the Heart of Waldorf Education
The San Francisco Classical Voice, which calls itself “the go-to place for great music in the Bay Area, recently added a new feature that tries to give parents a close look at the resources and philosophies that different schools offer in their music programs. The first feature began with the San Francisco Waldorf School and a chat with David Weber, a humanities and music teacher in the Waldorf High School. “Our primary goal,” he says, “is not to turn out musicians but to influence a student’s approach to life and their ability to make sound judgments through the artistic effects of music. We think that the study of music makes students much more well-rounded.”
Read more San Francisco Classical Voice February 2013
Denver Waldorf School's 4th Graders Gain Insight From Two Week Media Fast
A great Colorado Public Radio story on The Denver Waldorf School aired February 8, 2013 Listen here CPR.org February 8, 2013
The Honolulu Waldorf High School started off the new year with a new and improved Learning Resource Center, thanks to a generous donation of $35,000 to upgrade the technology available to students and teachers by purchasing and installing 20 new Apple iMac computers and a 60-in flat screen TV. Read more PDF January 2013
An informative article in CHRONOGRAM by Anny Pyburn discusses how various educational systems incorporate learning and teaching with technology. Waldorf methodology and pedagogy is a main part of the article. "It used to be that education was about a catalogue of information in order to raise informed citizens. Now it's more about how to analyze and synthesize and become discerning users of information—how to prioritize, how to tell the difference between truth and baloney. We spend more time looking at the skills of learning itself and less time dispensing information, although there are still times for direct dispensing of information. Some people may still find it scary, but the task is getting kids to think analytically and critically, to synthesize information into knowledge. And that takes a teacher." Read more Chronogram January 2013
Step inside the doors at Washington Waldorf School and you'll find woodwork, cross-stitch and sculpture classes -- but you won't find web design, graphics or film classes. As schools race to the top, innovation here looks basic, artsy and unplugged. Read more WTOP January 1, 2013
Any former Waldorf student will tell you that returning to a Waldorf school -- ANY Waldorf school -- is sort of like returning home. There is an atmosphere of familiarity, creativity and imagination that fills the rooms of Waldorf schools all over the world. That magical quality can be felt especially when members of the Waldorf community gather together for an event. The Bay Area Waldorf Alumni Holiday Reunion at San Francisco Waldorf School was a perfect example of this. Read more December 2012
Education Push is on for Waldorf Schools
Scott McLewin loved his childhood at a Waldorf school in Spring Valley, N.Y., so much so that he started looking for another one like it in the Kansas City area years before his daughters were even born. He’s now among a small but growing group of people who want to bring more Waldorf schools to the Kansas City area.
Read more 913 Johnson County's News Magazine December 26, 2012
The Good Earth Singers are organizing with Shyla Nelson, Pete Seeger, Bill McKibbon, Paul Winter, Bishop Tutu, and indigenous leaders around the globe to sing together in a choir 15 million strong on December 21, 2012, at 5pm EST for 15 minutes— but all together. Singing to change the very substance of the planet and to call to leaders on the Earth to stop the violence to her. Have your whole Waldorf School community learn the song by heart from the Yoruba tribe of Ghana and Nigeria and sing together with us - One World, One Song, One Voice! Check out the project's web site and come with us to change the world with song! Details here
Shyla Nelson is a trained opera singer, the founder of Good Earth Singers, and she supports Waldorf Education by sending her children to a Waldorf school.
We would also ask that you join us in dedicating this singing to the children, teachers and staff who died on Friday at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, and to their families who face so much in this important season of trauma and loss. We will also sing for all those in the community of our sister school, the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School. They are neighbors in Newtown and experienced the mandatory lock down and the shock of what happened to their friends and colleagues at Sandy Hook very closely. Our support at this time will give them strength, too.
Thank you and we at AWSNA will be singing for you and with you on December 21!
Patrice Maynard represented AWSNA at December's big annual fund raising gala for the Captain Planet Foundation Waldorf Schools
Award Recipients on Captain Planet Website December 14, 2012
In this article the author attempts a balanced report on some controversies surrounding Waldorf Education and concludes with this paragraph: "Supporters of Waldorf say the emphasis on nature is about building tactility. So who's right? Maybe it doesn't matter. When it comes to society-wide metrics, the 1999 Atlantic article notes that Waldorf graduates score "well above the national average" on their SATs. And the schools seem to work for children who don't come from privileged backgrounds: One Waldorf school profiled in the same article works specifically -- and impressively -- with juvenile offenders. For most parents, the roots of the method are a lot less interesting than its results." Read more The Atlantic November 30, 2012
Why Science Is Like Play
Anything creative begins with a question. The problem is that questions take us into uncertainty, which is a very dangerous place to be. If there were a predator next to you and your brain wasn't absolutely sure what to do, then it'd probably be too late. The need to translate ambiguous sensory information into meaningful behavior has been the fundamental drive of brain evolution, without which survival in a complex world would not have been possible. And yet a deep irony is that the best questions -- i.e., the ones that challenge our deepest sense of what is true -- create the most uncertainty. Read more CNN November 11, 2012
Small Changes in Child’s Sleep Can Have Big Impact at School
Small increases in the amount of sleep a child gets can improve behavior at school by a significant amount, while slight decreases in sleep can make them more likely to act out, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Health Freedom Alliance Read more November 9, 2012
Waldorf Graduate Celebrates Life!
Ben Mattlin, a graduate of Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, writes an intriguing New York Times article about the "right to die" laws.
Read the article here: Suicide by Choice? Not So Fast New York Times November 1, 2012
Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say
There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday.
Read more The New York Times November 1, 2012
7 DIY Cooperatives at Home
More good stuff from Green America. You don’t have to belong to a worker-owned co-op to get the benefits. Cooperative models can also help you lower costs and build community at home. Here are their seven favorite ways to save money with cooperatives at home. Read more Green America October 2012
The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual
By Viorica Marian, PhD and Anthony Shook Read more The Dana Foundation October 31, 2012
New research is finding that bullying may be reduced or even eliminated when kids play in natural environments. Read more Huffington Post October 19, 2012
Detroit Waldorf School Celebrates 46 Years
The 88-year-old founder of the Detroit Waldorf School, Amelia Wilhelm, took a two-mile walk on Belle Isle on October 19 to demonstrate her support for the Detroit Waldorf School—the independent school in Detroit’s historic Indian Village neighborhood that she and her husband, Rudolf, founded 46 years ago and housed in a historic Albert Kahn building. “Her commitment to walk is a testament to her lifelong dedication to the school that she was instrumental in shaping,” the school said in a press release. “She is an inspiration to the students and a beloved matriarch of the school community, serving on the board of trustees from the school’s beginning to the present day. Even as middle-class families fled Detroit for the suburbs, the board and faculty of the Detroit Waldorf School remained steadfast in their commitment to stay in the city,” the school said in a press release.” More recently, in light of the economic challenges facing our community, the school developed a sustainable tuition program to make a Waldorf Education accessible to more families. The Detroit Waldorf School an independent, non-profit facility in Detroit with 126 students in grades K-8, high standards, and commitment to the community. It’s a five-star school on www.greatschools.org. Read more Michigan Chronicle October 19, 2012
Our partners, who got started because of Waldorf Education, are celebrated and explained in the Huffington Post! Read more Huffington Post October 12, 2012
Students, faculty, parents and friends gathered Thursday at the Tidewater Waldorf School in Eliot, Maine, to unveil a plaque honoring the man who donated the land and building for the school, and to celebrate the school's traditional fall celebration, Michaelmas. After the plaque was unveiled, Elisabeth Robinson, the daughter of the donor, Douglas McBryde Kinney, spoke about what it meant to the school and to her. She and her husband, Jeffrey Robinson, were among a small circle of seven founders of the school in 1999. "My father is a smart, successful man," she said. "The one investment he believes in the most is education. He bought the land when we needed it."
Read more Sea Coast Online October 8, 2012
The Corvallis Waldorf School fourth-graders were busy Friday afternoon removing invasive species from the Greenbelt Land Trust’s Evergreen conservation property outside of Philomath. As with all invasive species, these displace native plants on which wildlife, insects and birds rely for food and habitat. This year, students from Corvallis Waldorf, Muddy Creek Charter and Kings Valley Charter schools are working to help restore the area’s habitat. Read more Gazette Times October 6, 2012
The actress Tilda Swinton jetted back from promoting her Oscar-tipped movie We Need To Talk About Kevin in Spain to clean her children's school. The Beach star is currently on a promo tour for the movie ahead of the upcoming awards season, and was carrying out interviews in Europe when she dashed back to her home in Scotland to attend cleaning duties at the private Moray Steiner School. Read more Young Hollywood October, 2012
When engaged in what looks like child’s play, preschoolers are actually behaving like scientists, according to a new report in the journal Science: forming hypotheses, running experiments, calculating probabilities and deciphering causal relationships about the world. Read more New York Times October 1, 2012
Play, Stress, and the Learning Brain by Sam Wang, Ph.D., and Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D.
In this article, adapted from Dr. Sam Wang and Dr. Sandra Aamodt's book Welcome to Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College (Bloomsbury USA, 2011; OneWorld Publications, 2011), the authors explore how play enhances brain development in children. As Wang and Aamodt describe, play activates the brain's reward circuitry but not negative stress responses, which can facilitate attention and action. Through play, children practice social interaction and build skills and interests to draw upon in the years to come. Read more The Dana Foundation September 24, 2012
Study on Youth Engagement with Nature and the Outdoors
In the spring of 2012, the David Suzuki Foundation asked Canadian youth between the ages of 13 and 20 to tell them about their experiences outdoors. This report summarizes the key findings from that survey, including a strong correlation between the amount of time youth spend outside and the likelihood of their getting involved in programs in order to learn more about the environment and ecosystems; also, the fact that 70% of Canadian youth spend about an hour or less outside each day! Read more David Suzuki Foundation September 2012
Attention Teachers and Students: 23rd Annual Bioneers Conference: Oct. 19-21
'Bioneers' are people, of all diversities, working collectively in crafting solutions to the world's environmental and bio-cultural challenges. At their 23rd Annual National Bioneers Conference, you'll join global thought-leaders, experts and advocates in exploring breakthrough solutions for a sustainable world. Education programs focus on ecological literacy and youth leadership. The conference will feature well-known leaders such as Paul Hawken, Ai-Jen Poo, and Bill McKibben, as well as “the greatest people you’ve never heard of.” There’s still time for discounts! Education Discounts: To encourage the participation of educators, students, and other sustainability education allies, Bioneers is providing discounted registration options to attend the 2012 conference. It is pleased to offer you these significant savings along with outstanding Ecological Literacy Education and Youth Leadership conference programming. CEU credits in education will also be available. Read more Bioneers September 2012
Watch the whole New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Conference or go directly to the segment Head to Head (34:34) to see Lucy Wurtz, from the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in discussion with Ted Brodheim COO of Epals Conference Link September 13, 2012 The New York Timescenter, New York City
Halton Waldorf School Honours the Earth and Wins Green Award in the Halton Green School Challenge Grade three students at the Halton Waldorf School won the city’s GREEN TEAM AWARD. Schools from Burlington, Hamilton, Ancaster, Flamborough and Oakville competed for the title of most environmentally friendly class. These Grade three students regularly collect composting materials throughout the school for their gardens and are actively involved in growing wheat, barley and rye, which they harvest in the fall to make bread. Dr. Jane Goodall presented the award to two of the Halton students Read more Snap Burlington September 2012
Alternative Models Can be the Right Fit for Some Students Toronto Waldorf School in the news The Globe and Mail September 19, 2012
Pasadena Waldorf High School Opens with Lead Freshman Class of 17 Students Congratulations! Pasadena News Now September 19, 2012
Nominate a Green Business in Your School Community to Win 5K!
Green America is proud to launch their second round of their new People & Planet Awards, rewarding green businesses nationwide for their contributions to a just and sustainable economy. They’ve designed this fall's batch of awards to honor green businesses that are taking extraordinary steps to support cleaner energy. Does one of your school's families, friends or neighbors have a green business that supports cleaner energy? Read more September 2012 Green America
On October 3, Crosby, Stills & Nash will support two Los Angeles area schools with a special benefit pre-show reception and concert at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. The reception is set for 5:00 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. Only three hundred tickets will be sold publically to the benefit concert, with the pre-concert reception limited to two hundred people; twenty of those ticketholders will be invited to a special meet and greet with Crosby, Stills & Nash. Read more Kuam News September 13, 2012
On September 13th Lucy Wurtz, from the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, Douglas Gerwin, Co-Director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education, and Patrice Maynard of AWSNA, attended a New York Times sponsored conference on education. Lucy Wurtz was invited to participate in a panel discussion with Ted Brodheim who invented "e-pals." The conference,"Schools of Tomorrow," was designed to be an open offering and brainstorming with those interested in education and featured many noteworthy educational leaders and commentors: Linda Darling Hammond of Stanford, Sharon Robinson of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Monty Neill of Fair Test, Herbert Ginsburg of Teachers College, Columbia University, and Dennis Wolcott, chancellor of New York City's Department of Education, to name a few. Moderators were all journalists from the New York Times and included Gerald Maarzorati, David Brooks, Bill Keller, and Nick Kristof, to name a few.
In the midst of a mood of technology as a powerful answer to our educational questions, Lucy Wurtz, in her panel entitled, "Head to Head," represented the very different approach Waldorf Education offers to the world. Poised, calm, and prepared she made a clear picture of what students of today are up against and how important the Waldorf approach is for helping the young unfold at their best before becoming dependent on computers to work for them. She drew applause more than once from the audience of teachers, school principles, educational technology experts, Google inventors, and educational consultants. She represented Waldorf Education in a comprehensive way. After the event ended, many approached her to thank her fr her courage in taking a stand on behalf of children, bringing in the arts and practical skills, and citing statistics about our children's habits of hours in front of screens.
The New York Times is to be commended for its active interest in creating such an open forum for educational debate and for the artistic and socially supportive design of the entire day's event. September 13, 2012
The well-known pediatrician Perri Klass writes about studies that show learning how to play a musical instrument in childhood strengthens a range of skills, which last well into college years and after. Researchers at Northwestern University recorded the auditory brainstem responses of college students — that is to say, their electrical brain waves — in response to complex sounds. The group of students who reported musical training in childhood had more robust responses — their brains were better able to pick out essential elements, like pitch, in the complex sounds when they were tested. Waldorf Education has long integrated music into its curriculum: pentatonic harp in early childhood, recorder playing starting in first grade, and a stringed instrument (violin, viola, or cello) starting in third grade. Read more New York Times September 10, 2012
A year ago, weeds sprawled across the vacant field behind St. Athanasius Church in Mountain View. Then Waldorf School of the Peninsula moved its middle and high school grades into the site’s classrooms with the dream of building a garden in the surrounding areas to benefit the church’s food bank. Their dream has become a reality. Read more Los Altos Town Crier September 5, 2012
Does Your School Community Have a Creative Project?
THE CREDERE FUND, a program of Think OutWord, encourages the community to direct its excess capital (usually in the form of small gifts) to cultural initiatives, empowering individuals to freely manifest their visions for the future. Credere awards grants to individuals with creative projects in art, social change, and Goethean phenomenology. These initiatives nourish the cultural life of the whole community, awakening an ethic of mutual support. Details August 2012
National Wildlife Federation Promotes Natural Play Areas
Good news, the idea of outdoor natural play areas inherent to the Waldorf curriculum is rising in popularity. The National Wildlife Federation is making an effort to create guidelines and example play spaces around the country to promote their importance and availability to children. This link includes some simple instructions for how to build natural play spaces for kids. According to the NWF, the idea behind a nature play space is that instead of the standard, cookie cutter metal and plastic structures that make up the bulk of today's playgrounds--people can incorporate the surrounding landscape and vegetation to bring nature to children's daily outdoor play and learning environments. Great to see good green ideas catching on! Read more The National Wildlife Federation August 2012
The Good Earth Singers are organizing with Shyla Nelson, Pete Seeger, Bill McKibbon, Paul Winter, Bishop Tutu, and indigenous leaders around the globe to sing together in a choir 15 million strong on December 21, 2012, at a time yet to be appointed — but all together. Singing to change the very substance of the planet and to call to leaders on the Earth to stop the violence to her. Have your whole Waldorf School community learn the song by heart (at link) from the Yoruba tribe of Ghana and Nigeria and sing together with us - One World, One Song, One Voice! Check out the project's web site and come with us to change the world with song! Details here
Shyla Nelson is a trained opera singer, the founder of Good Earth Singers, and she supports Waldorf Education by sending her children to a Waldorf school.
Animation artist Nathaniel Howe’s work has been seen by millions of people, and he credits his success in part to the creative foundation he built on after attending Spring Garden Waldorf School. Nathaniel Howe helped create the logos used for this year’s Olympics in London. Read more Akron.com August 16, 2012
If you've heard anything about Waldorf schools, it might be that Waldorf students play outside a lot and even in the rain, or that classrooms have chalk boards still, and hardly any computers. You may know, too, that academic lessons don't start until children are seven. I knew all that when my study began. What shocked me instead was a palpable lack of recognizable "positive reinforcement." It surprised me not to hear the teachers say "good job." Read more The Huffington Post August 7, 2012
The unexpected, but welcome, return of the biodynamic course to the core of the new Emerson emphasizes the healing mission of Emerson. It enables us to develop a centre which aims both to cultivate healthy food but also bring healing to farming and the land. Read more August, 2012
Highland Hall Waldorf School Receives Grant from Newman’s Own Foundation for Student Financial Aid
Read more Digital Journal July 31, 2012
Jack Bryant’s eighty students at the teacher training program at Chengdu Waldorf School in Sichuan province, China, affectionately call him “Father Christmas” because his physique and gnome-like beard typecast him for the role. But Bryant doesn’t deliver a sack of toys to be played with for a season and then discarded. What he shares is his experience in Waldorf Education…a gift that will have a positive impact on his students for a lifetime.Read more YahooNews July 30, 2012
Research now demonstrates online activity is hazardous to our health Read more Newsweek July 9, 2012
MEMORIAL TREE PLANNED FOR DAVID MITCHELL
Dear Friends: As an update and reminder, we met last week at the site of the new Children’s Village at Pine Hill Waldorf School to chose a spot for the memorial tree for David Mitchell. It will be placed between the two buildings along a beautiful stone wall that separates the school property from a large, open cow pasture. It will be beautiful and a fitting place for David’s memorial tree. We’d like to set a deadline for donations of August 1st. We are now hoping to purchase a larger tree and are therefore aiming for $2000+. In early August Seana will purchase the largest tree we can afford and plant it in mid-August. Any monies that come after August 1st will go towards further gardening in the area immediately surrounding the tree. Seana has opened a PayPal account to make sending donations as easy as possible. Spread the word and donate ASAP! Many thanks! Laura, Seana and Alice
While individuals are working hard to keep bees illegally in their yards in an effort to combat the global phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, Highland Hall Waldorf School tends five bee hives on campus - legally. Biodynamic gardening, as well as fostering environmental sensitivity in the entire curriculum, led the Captain Planet Foundation to honor Waldorf education with itsGreen School Award. Read more Yahoo News July 19, 2012
They may not have met a six-headed monster or a group of mesmerizing singers, but some students from Monadnock Waldorf High School in Keene faced poison ivy, icy waters and several other hardships during their own “odyssey” last month. Homer’s epic “The Odyssey” was brought to life for 10th-grade students at the Waldorf school during a six-day trip on Lake Champlain. Read more Sentinel Source June 24, 2012
OVER 7,000 strong and growing, community farmers’ markets are being heralded as a panacea for what ails our sick nation. The smell of fresh, earthy goodness is the reason environmentalists approve of them, locavores can’t live without them, and the first lady has hitched her vegetable cart crusade to them. As health-giving as those bundles of mouthwatering leafy greens and crates of plump tomatoes are, the greatest social contribution of the farmers’ market may be its role as a delivery vehicle for putting dirt back into the American diet and in the process, reacquainting the human immune system with some “old friends.” Read more New York Times June 20, 2012
Extraordinary Teacher Wins Prize for Excellence in Education
Eric G. Muller, Humanities teacher, Drama Director, Chorus Director, English teacher, and Advisor at Hawthorne Valley High School, NY, has been awarded the fourth annual James C. Kapteyn Prize. The James C. Kapteyn Prize was established in 2009 as a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to honor the memory of the late James C. Kapteyn, a celebrated and beloved teacher of Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, MA. This annual prize is awarded to a high school educator who exemplifies excellence in “whole child teaching,” serving in multiple capacities within a public or private school community. Eric will be awarded $10,000. Read more June 2012
Robert Schiappacasse, director of the Waldorf School of Lexington, presented Town Recreation Department representatives Sheila Butts and Dave Pinsonneault with a check for $22,500 at an informal ceremony on Monday, June 11 at 6:45 p.m., on the town playground adjacent to the school campus at 739 Massachusetts Avenue. Read more Lexington Patch June 13, 2012
David Mitchell passed away peacefully this afternoon June 8th at 4:12 p.m. MDT. He was at home and his family was with him keeping watch round the clock in his final days. David did not regain consciousness during this last day of his life. A three-day vigil starting this evening will be followed by a brief funeral service celebrated by Reverend Hindes on Tuesday June 12 at 10am at the Ryssby Church out from Boulder towards Longmont. A memorial is being planned to be held in Wilton, New Hampshire, on Saturday, August 25. Read more and view photo June 8, 2012
Family ReSkilling Workshops
Shepherd Valley Waldorf School hosts its first Family ReSkilling on the Farm, a series of workshops to help families live sustainable lifestyles, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the school. Workshops include cooking, gardening, broom-making and yoga. Partners in the project include Eco-Cycle, Everybody Eats CSA and Everyday Good Eating. Read more Times Call June 4, 2012
In a sunny classroom, first graders at the Chicago Waldorf School are not picking up books. Instead, in every student’s hands are two wooden knitting needles.
Listen or read the story here 5:54mins WBEZ 91.5 May 31, 2012
Senioritis (in which students completing their high school careers are so ready to be done with school that they stop doing homework, attending assembly or making it to class on time) is a common affliction in May. But not at the Santa Fe Waldorf School. Located at the end of a dirt road southeast of the intersection of Old Pecos Trail and Interstate 25, the campus was lively and engaged even during the last days of the school year. Read more Santa Fe New Mexican May 30, 2012
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity thanks Waldorf School of Baltimore
Students and staff from the Waldorf School of Baltimore had their first visit to Hawaii and spent a day with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity ReStore prepping it’s store/office for the grand opening. Read more May 2012
Mom Was Right: Go Outside
Young children are increasingly shunning the country, even as scientists outline the mental benefits of spending time in natural settings. Read more Wall Street Journal May 25, 2012
Letter to the Editor Creating a Well-Rounded Student
Letter from a parent of a teenage boy who attended the Washington Waldorf School, explaining his views on Cecilia Kang’s May 13 front-page article “Two schools of thought: High-tech vs. no-tech.” According to this parent, both schools do a very good job of educating students but they do it in very different ways. It is up to parents to decide which approach is right for their children and, perhaps more crucial, at what point in their development. He uses examples from his own experience with Waldorf Education. Read more Washington Post May 17, 2012
Apart from emergency situations, most schools don't officially allow students to use cell phones during class time. However, when the teacher is busy helping out another student or writing on the board, out come the phones as students send instant messages to friends, listen to music, or watch videos on the Internet. A recent Washington Post article profiled two private schools in the Washington, D.C., area - one (the Flint School) that surrounds kids with gadgets and another (a Waldorf School) that doesn't even teach students to use computers. Most schools fall somewhere in between these two extremes. The Waldorf School philosophy of pen and paper, blackboards and chalk, can work fine for some students. But computers in the classroom can also work. What's clear either way is that students must be taught to love learning -- to embrace the process of finding answers. Read more The Atlantic May 18, 2012
WALDORF SCHOOL COMMUNITIES FROM AROUND THE CONTINENT
PARTICIPATED IN A SERVICE TRIP TO LAKOTA WALDORF SCHOOL
Pine Ridge Oglala Reservation, SD – AWSNA’s 2nd Annual Alumni Service Weekend was a miraculous success in that it accomplished all the ambitious goals it set for itself! 53 volunteers accomplished a deck, an outhouse, beautiful silk curtains, a playhouse, a loft, garden bed prep and dozens of toys for the little ones! Heartfelt gratitude to volunteers from these schools:
Anchorage Waldorf School, Waldorf School of Baltimore, Beaver Run/Camphill Special Schoo,l Chicago Waldorf School, City of Lakes Waldorf School, Detroit Waldorf School, Four Winds Waldorf School, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, Kimberton Waldorf Schoo,l Orchard Valley School, Susquehanna Waldorf School, Waldorf Institute of Southern California, Waldorf School of New Orleans, Westside Waldorf School, A Child's Garden of Thyme, Youth Initiative High School Read more
Bright Children Should Start School at Six, says Academic
Formal schooling should be delayed by at least 12 months because an over-emphasis on the three-Rs at an early age can cause significant long-term damage to bright children, according to a leading academic in the United Kingdom. Read more The Telegraph May 16, 2012
Dr. Paolo Carini, a teacher at the San Francisco Waldorf High School, has won an Awards For Teaching Excellence for 2012 from the Herbst Foundation, Inc., a private foundation based in San Francisco, CA. The awards are made annually to a teacher in private and parochial schools located in San Francisco. Each award includes a non-taxable, unrestricted grant of $5,000 to the selected teacher and a general contribution $5,000 to the school to be used to pursue its continuing education goals. Read more
San Francisco Gate May 14, 2012
The Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda is trying its best to stay unplugged. Its teachers think technology is a distraction and overhyped. They believe children are better taught through real-world experiences in the school’s vegetable garden and woodwork shop. Educators here fear that the immediate gratification of texts and Wikipedia threatens face-to-face communication and original thinking, so they ban cellphones, laptops and tablets and require students to hand-write papers until high school. Read more The Washington Post May 12, 2012
Thirty years ago, the building at 62 York Ave. stored paint. Today, paintings hang from the walls, brushed by the children who attend one of the Spa City’s premier independent schools, The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, which celebrated 30 years of education. Read more The Saratogian May 12, 2012
An article in the Burlington Free Press interviews Joan Almon who gives her advice about how to choose a kindergarten. Read more Burlington Free Press May 11, 2012
In an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal Mr. Gelernter declares: "Yes to the Internet, yes to the cybersphere! Yes to modern iMachines and pads, pods, smartphones—and to liquor, fast cars and sleeping pills when you need them. But not for children." Read more Wall Street Journal May 10, 2012
Honolulu Waldorf School (HWS) and its athletes have had much to celebrate this year. In addition to celebrating its 50th anniversary, the school launched its first-ever ILH canoe paddling team, thanks to the efforts and experience of long-time paddler and canoe coach Tambry Young. Read more East Oahu May 10, 2012
According to a recent mother's day poll, 71 percent of mothers support school vouchers for all children to get the best education possible. The poll, conducted from April 17 to 24, asked mothers of school-aged children and other adults in a statistically representative national survey how they feel about education in their communities and school choice. 71 percent of moms said they believe school vouchers should be available to all families regardless of income or special needs.The results are shared by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Read more Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice May 9, 2012
Michael D'Aleo is a founding member of SENSRI and is Director of Research. Michael holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Rutgers University where he graduated summa cum laude. Earlier in his career, Michael was Project Leader in charge of New Product Development at Lutron Electronics. His main interest was to find solutions to technical problems that resulted in designs that were artistic and based on processes found in the natural world. Read more May 2012
Sara Rose Thibaut wouldn’t know what to do if she didn’t have sports to play.
Years ago the three-sport athletes were the norm at most high schools. Nowadays they are rarely found. Thibaut, a 17-year old Folsom resident who is a junior at Sacramento Waldorf High School in Fair Oaks, competes in five sports and in the fall she plans to add a sixth. Read more Folsom May 9, 2012
Bonnie Holden, the school's Director of Pedagogy, says, "Our curriculum asks the question 'What does it mean to be human?' ... We draw. We paint. We sculpt." Students in the school's high school program are allowed to work with computers, but Holden admits they are more likely to build computers than log into them. She says, "We think that anything we use with any machine we want to be a master of it. We should know how it works." Read more San Diego 6 May 7, 2012
From 2005 to 2012, enrollment at Cedar Valley Waldorf School in Squamish has more than doubled, and like Aspengrove, the Squamish school anticipates it will continue to grow at a steady rate. Read more Canada.com April 27, 2012
Interview with Waldorf alum Sojourner Morrell, who is currently on the cover of Italian Vogue. The New Jersey native kick-started her career after landing a spot in Prada's 2012 resort presentation, followed by a solo spread in British Vogue's August 2011 issue, which then resulted in spring 2012 runway slots at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and even Tom Ford. Now in her sophomore season, the established equestrian (she was the first woman accepted to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, mind you) walked the couture runway for Chanel, nabbed Jil Sander Navy's spring campaign, and appeared in editorials for Interview, Dazed & Confused, i-D magazine. Read more New York Magazine April 26, 2012
Glitterary Writing Award Winner
The Glitterary Writing Award winner In the age 14-18 category is Emma Wu Shortt of Eugene Waldorf School. All the Young Writers Association’s Glitterary winners will be honored at the Eugene Public Library on April 28. Congratulations, Emma! Read more Register Guard April 23, 2012
In conjunction with National Screen-Free Week April 30 to May 6, Green Meadow staff and parents will hold a kickoff event Saturday and invite the public to “unplug” with them. Green Meadow Waldorf School limits the use of technology and media for children younger than 11 and encourages families to do the same at home. Read more Lohud.com April 21, 2012
The Socratic Method, in teaching, aims to increase understanding and critical thinking skills through inquiry. Children learn best by asking questions spawned from genuine interest. This goes against an assumption some have about the purpose of schooling, although it is generally agreed that memorized facts are soon forgotten. Waldorf educators believe that the purpose of education is not to instruct students but to increase their understanding through inquiry.
Read more Spring Garden Waldorf School blog April 19, 2012
The Pine Grove Mills resident, writing teacher and mother of two daughters has been published in two prominent haiku journals, Frogpond Journal and Modern Haiku. Burgevin also likes inspiring haiku vision in others. In honor of National Haiku Poetry Day on April 17, she’s starting the Seven Mountains Haiku Club of Central Pennsylvania. She began writing haikus when she was teaching at a Waldorf School in central New York, in Ithaca. Read more Centre Daily April 1, 2012
Remember how you loved your favorite teacher - it changed your life. In this TED video, Lori Kran explains how Waldorf Education infuses a heart connection first to engage deep passion. Students leave prepared to go into the world understanding the needs of others. One practical example is a 4th grade Waldorf teacher directs teaching fraction math not simply by conceptualizing a pizza diagram, but by eating the pizza by its fractioned slice. Watch the video
Pine Ridge Oglala Reservation, SD – Over fifty Waldorf school alumni, grandparents, parents, teachers, and students are converging at Lakota Waldorf School this April 19, 20 and 21, 2012, to work at the Lakota Waldorf School. Projects include building a deck, a play house, an outhouse, and a classroom loft. The Lakota Waldorf School was founded in 1992 by a group of Lakota parents committed to a vision for their children's education that includes traditional Lakota values. Located in the heart of the Pine Ridge Oglala Reservation, the school “strives to initiate the educational process while maintaining the Lakota language and culture. Our goal is to empower our Lakota children so they will create positive active futures for themselves and their community.” The current 8th grade students from the Orchard Valley Waldorf School, East Montpelier, VT, are joining the group of volunteers, as are many parents, staff and alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, and board members.
Lowe's Lumber has contributed materials and teachers at the Denver Waldorf School are dyeing silk for curtains for the classroom. This is the second annual alumni service week sponsored by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Last year members of the Waldorf community met at the Waldorf School of New Orleans. Projects there included lazure painting of classroom walls, building a large storage shed and a porch for play. Volunteers also designed and built a playground. Several staff members from New Orleans are joining the Lakota service weekend in gratitude for what was accomplished at their school last year. AWSNA’s leadership council and board of trustees representing schools from Canada, Mexico and the U.S., will be helping too and will hold their meetings in a tipi near the school.
A group of parents is in the process of starting an alternative school in Duluth like no other; It's called Waldorf Education. When it comes to a child's education, not all parents think the public school system is a healthy option. Waldorf is about learning traditional subject matter through practical, artistic and conceptual ways, while focusing on imagination, and ultimately developing the mind to think in a creative and analytical way. Read more Fox 21 Online April 17, 2012
OTTAWA, CANADA Teaching Without Distraction
There are no computers at the Ottawa Waldorf School. No iPads, interactive whiteboards or flat-screen televisions either. Headphone wires don’t dangle from ears and pockets aren’t stuffed with smartphones. Students here don’t even have calculators. The only apples and blackberries used at this small private school are baked into pies that are cut into pieces as part of a lesson on fractions. Read more & watch video Ottawa Citizen April 16, 2012
From 2005 to ’12, enrollment at Cedar Valley Waldorf School has more than doubled, from 41 to 84 students. Next year, the school will add Grades 8 and 9 and some parents are examining the prospect of opening a Waldorf high school. Read more Squamish Chief April 12, 2012
While many modern-day classrooms are filled with iPads, smart boards and laptops, a Chapel Hill school focuses on what's really important: learning. Elementary and middle school students don't encounter computers or other electronic gadgets on Emerson Waldorf School's 54-acre wooded campus. High schoolers use computers sparingly.
Read more WRAL April 9, 2012
The Impact Of Screen Media On Children: A Eurovision For Parliament
Excessive screen time is no longer merely a cultural issue about how children spend their leisure time. Screen time is a medical issue. Research published in the world’s most
reputable medical and scientific journals shows that the sheer amount of time children spend watching TV, DVDs, computers and the internet is linked with significant measurable biological changes in their bodies and brains that may have significant medical consequences. Given that children undergoing key stages of development are spending increasingly large parts of their lives watching screen media, the EU must take a serious interest and establish a view on the matter. The following research article provides the reasons why. Read more (17 page pdf) by Dr Aric Sigman Health Education Lecturer, Fellow of the Society of Biology, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society August 2010
AWSNA is proud to officially endorse Screen-Free Week (April 30-May 6), the annual celebration where children, families, schools, and communities turn off screens and turn on life. Please visit www.screenfree.org to join the fun and to download your free Screen-Free Week Organizer's Kit. It’s packed with fact sheets, great suggestions for screen-free activities, pledge cards, and more. We all know that children spend far too much time with screens: an astonishing average of 32 hours a week for preschoolers and even more for older children. Excessive screen time is harmful for children—it’s linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention problems, and the erosion of creative play. Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is a wonderful way to help children lead healthier, happier lives by reducing dependence on entertainment screen media—including television, video games, computers, and hand-held devices. By encouraging children and families to unplug, Screen-Free Week provides time for them to play, connect with nature, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time with family and friends. Join with us in working to have a completely free-of-screens week to emphasize the importance of this effort. Read more: Screen-Free Week
Waldorf Alumni Event May 2nd, 2012 in Washington DC With strength through collaboration this event is co-sponsored by AWSNA, Waldorf School of Princeton, Kimberton Waldorf School, Waldorf School of Baltimore,Washington Waldorf School, Green Meadow Waldorf School and the Waldorf School of Garden City Event details
Before becoming parents you might have regarded routine as the opposite of joyful spontaneity, but once children enter our lives it transforms into something almost sacred. For adults, routine provides peace of mind, but for developing babies and children it is absolutely essential to healthy development. Read more Expectant Mothers Guide
Environmental Science Curriculum from Expert Educators: Craig Holdrege, Michael D’Aleo, and Gary Banks (both Waldorf teachers and scientists with a passion for environmental topics) participated in the development of an environmental science curriculum for the middle school for the Detroit Waldorf School. Craig’s curricular outline for the topic of Plant and Human Interactions (Craig Holdrege, 2011) is available online
Tyler O'Brien, a twelfth grader at Merriconeag Waldorf High School in New Gloucester, Maine, triumphed over nine other strong finalists on March 23 to become Maine's 2012 State Poetry Out Loud champion. The contest, which involved reciting work from well-known poets, began in February when high schools across the country selected representatives to compete at the regional level within each state.
Read more March 2012
FLAME (the Foreign Language Association of Maine) hosted a video contest for foreign language classes and 13 schools from across the state submitted videos.
Merriconeag Waldorf High School's 11th grade French class won first prize. Watch the video March 2012
This interview with Megan Durney, Head Gardener at the Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, NY, is the first in a series of AWSNA interviews with leading green Thinkers and Doers connected to Waldorf Education. Megan shares from her work in the garden, with both adults and children, and her experience that through Waldorf Education children can cultivate a sense of service towards the Earth and its creatures. Read more Interview by Sarah Hearn for AWSNA March 2012
An interesting blog post explores the importance of using systems thinking and how that approach can aid in solving energy issues now and in the future. Harnessing any form of energy for human consumption creates impacts to social, political, economic, and environmental structures. System thinking encourages the understanding of how individual fuel sources like wind function, for example, in a life cycle analysis, then how wind fits into the larger energy complex. From there, we look at how energy fits into the even larger system that includes water use and food production. Assessing positive and negative impacts using this holistic approach, allows greater understanding of our global system, and not only looking at things in isolation. Read more Unintended Consequences blog March 12, 2012
CNN's Dan Simon reports on the Waldorf School of the Peninsula! Terrific news!
View the video CNN March 13, 2012
A Waldorf parent blogs about discovering Waldorf Education for his children. He contrasts Waldorf with traditional public schools, pointing out the lack of technology in the classroom and the hands-on learning approach. He also includes an informational video, entitled "Why Waldorf," produced by the Marin Waldorf School, that further shows the beauty of Waldorf Education. Read more Unintended Consequences blog March 8, 2012
A group of second and third graders at Prairie Moon Waldorf School learn to speak Chinese through play. Sonia Coady, a Taiwan native, teaches the class Chinese twice a week during 50 minute sessions. Language and movement are intertwined. Rarely does Coady speak to the class in English. And when she does, it is to pass along instructions, not to provide translations. Read more LJWorld March 3, 2012
The success of Waldorf schools, which purposefully de-emphasize technology, demonstrates that teachers and content are far more important than technology in determining student achievement. Read more The Stanford Daily February 29, 2012
The story on the Roadrunners upcoming quarterfinal game is on the YNN website. Austin Your News Now February 23, 2012 Last year, 200+ Waldorf fans cheered on the Roadrunners to a win over San Antonio St. Gerard 64-52 in the same quarterfinal location for their 35th win of the season.
Live and Learn
An article in the Calgary Herald describes various educational options, including the Calgary Waldorf School. “I think Waldorf trains you to be very adaptable," says one of the interviewees. Read more Calgary Herald February 23, 2012
Huffington Post Education: John M. Eger, Professor of Communications and Public Policy and Director of the Creative Economy Initiative at San Diego State University, writes about Waldorf Education, referencing media and screen-time, as well as other positive factors about the curriculum. Read more Huffington Post February 23, 2012
For his eighth-grade service-learning project at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in Harlemville, NY, Yuk decided to put his talents toward the greater good. Read more Berkshire Eagle February 22, 2012
Beautifully written op-ed piece talks about media and computers in Waldorf Education. Matt Richtel of the New York Times is quoted as saying: "Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans." Which is not to say technology is without value. The goal is to delay its use, forestall a learned dependence upon technology that has the potential to cripple the developing mind. Read more IT Jungle February 20, 2012
A Burlington, Ontario school has been named a winner of a waste-reduction contest. The Halton Waldorf School in the Orchard community is one of the 30 schools recognized by the organizers of the Waste Free Lunch Challenge. Developed by the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) last October, nearly 800 schools entered the challenge, which was launched to mark National Waste Reduction Week.
“Since the success of the Waste Free Lunch Challenge, I always have enthusiastic volunteers to help with the recycling each week,” said Grade 4 teacher Suzanne Hill.
The school promoted Waste Free Wednesdays after the challenge and is now going one step further with Waste Free Weekdays. Read more Inside Halton February 17, 2012
The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship commissioned ITN to make this short film to look at some of the key features of a Steiner School including:
- how Steiner Schools nurture spiritual development in keeping with the cultural setting of the school and without being tied to a particular faith;
- the emphasis on "doing" to complement academic learning;
- how the absence of testing in the younger years nurtures enthusiasm for learning;
- the importance of quietness and contemplation as part of the school day.
Watch Short Video 11:12mins
Waldorf Education Reported on Fox News
News and reports on the low-tech, media-free ways of educating children continues to roll in. Fox News reported on the Waldorf School of Baltimore and on the Waldorf School of Philadelphia. Here are links to their news broadcasts:
Waldorf School of Baltimore Watch Video Fox News February 8, 2012
Waldorf School of Philadelphia Watch Video My Fox Philly February 3, 2012
Sensory Delight: Keeping Education and Technology in Perspective
Waldorf schools continue to champion the integration of the senses. It’s not uncommon for students to draw their math lesson, or sing their French conjugations. And though the model has been around for almost a century, it’s beginning to gain attention for its tendency to eschew technological innovations for educational approaches that may seem old-fashioned. Read more Ledger Transcript February 2, 2012
How much genuine value is there in fancy educational electronics? Don't let companies or politicians fool you. Although this article doesn't mention Waldorf Education, it's an excellent look at the politics behind technology in the classroom. Read more LA Times February 4, 2012
Documentary “The Challenge Of Rudolf Steiner” to Premiere at End of February
A new documentary about the holistic pioneer Rudolf Steiner by the award-winning documentary film-maker Jonathan Stedall will premiere at Rudolf Steiner House in London at the end of February. The documentary, “The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner," involved filming in five countries and three continents. The two-part documentary gives a historical overview of Steiner's life, as well as looking at examples of his legacy around the world. Read more NNA News February 10, 2012 Watch the Trailer
The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs announced that they received two substantial gifts that will help support the Steiner Scholarship which provides an opportunity for minority students to attend the school during the middle school years. The scholarship was established in 2011 thanks to lead gifts by Saratoga Springs residents Barbara Glaser, a former WSSS parent, and Jennifer Armstrong, a current parent at the school. Both women became parents through trans-racial adoption and share a strong interest in supporting cultural diversity in the community. Read more The Tiimes Union February 9, 2012
Ann Arbor Rudolf Steiner School is reclaiming community bonds in the form of the Ann Arbor ReSkilling Festival. "Reskilling" is all about sharing often abandoned skills for “resilient, low-energy living,” in a face-to-face community setting. Since 2009, people have gathered at the Rudolf Steiner high school twice a year for a day of free workshops and seminars on such abandoned skills as cattail mat weaving, composting and canning fruits and vegetables, among many others. The idea of reskilling through community events is part of the world-wide transition movement, and it’s taking shape in all sorts of ways around the world. Read more Michigan Radio February 6, 2012
Review of Jan. 29th Panel Discussion “What is a Waldorf Education”
The “What is a Waldorf Education” panel discussion was held on Sunday January 29, 2012 at the Shaker Nature Center. The discussion was a fruitful event that introduced new ideas about education to families and also further created connections within the community to build The Cleveland Waldorf School. The momentum of this initiative has growing strength and will continue to develop. Read more Cleveland Waldorf School Inititive February 6, 2012
Eco-Cycle is piloting a private school program this year with two schools, Shining Mountain Waldorf in Boulder and Lyons Community Montessori preschool. The program has three basic components -- expanding the school's recycling program, starting large-scale composting for all food waste and non-recyclable paper, and developing waste-reduction projects. Dietz said most schools start with recycling a third of their trash, composting a third and sending a third to landfills. Read more Daily Camera February 3, 2012
An article in Creative U: The University of Toronto's Student Newspaper Since 1880 describes Waldorf Education as a positive way to develop imagination, amongst other things: "A good attempt can be seen in the Waldorf Education system, loved and loathed since its creation in 1919 by philosopher Rudolf Steiner. Waldorf schools believe any worthwhile education should be interdisciplinary, integrating practical, conceptual, and above all, artistic elements." Read more January 29, 2012
A mother blogs about the education system in Mexico, saying she fell in love with Waldorf. "Beauty is very much part of Waldorf Education. Even the colours on the classroom walls and the way teachers paint them is important. Art is an important part of the curriculum; children create their own school books, they learn how to play musical instruments, learn a second and sometimes a third language; they watercolour, knit, weave, bake, do carpentry as part of their classes and it is all tied in to their main class." Read more January 28, 2012
A new study of how preschoolers spend their days may make you want to run around screaming, which is apparently more than the tykes themselves get to do. After interviewing child-care providers from 34 very different Cincinnati-area centers—urban to suburban, Head Start to high income—researchers found that kids spend an average of only 2% to 3% of their day in "vigorous activities. Read more Wall Street Journal January 27, 2012
To raise funds for the Eurythmy program at the Ottawa Waldorf School, the school is turning to Eurythmy itself as it presents a "Music in Movement Concert with Eurythmy" on Saturday, Feb. 4 starting at 7 p.m. at the Glen Cairn United Church on Abbeyhill Drive in Kanata. Eurythmy which means "harmonious rhythm" is a form of artistic movement. Through their movements, participants strive to make the sounds of speech and musical tones visible and filled with feeling. Read more EMC Stittsville Richmond January 26, 2012
The author discusses the need for a science of early childhood education, comparing the educational teachings of Froebel, Steiner, and Montessori. Steiner, founder of the Waldorf schools, believed that education should be holistic. In Waldorf schools, handcrafts, the arts, and music are integral parts of the curriculum. Whereas Froebel and Montessori focused on having children learn from their own individual activity, Steiner’s activities were more social and collaborative. Read more Education Next
This article profiles Rudolf Steiner: Steiner proposed that an interdisciplinary approach to education is crucial for integrating physical, emotional and intellectual growth.
Read more Business 2 Community January 25, 2012
The school incorporates two curricula - the Waldorf approach, which uses interdisciplinary lessons that merge academics with artistic expression and practical learning, and the Saskatchewan government curriculum. Read more Leader Post January 25, 2012
One of the big concerns Waldorf educators hear from prospective parents is about the school’s lack of testing. This articulate and well-substantiated blog post from Spring Garden Waldorf schools shows how Waldorf Education is beneficial and highlights the advantages of the education system. Read more Spring Garden Waldorf School blog January 19, 2012
In a nation where public school students often encounter computers in the classroom as early as kindergarten and one to one student laptop programs are increasingly popular, Lake Champlain Waldorf School isn’t having any, thank you very much. The Waldorf philosophy is that younger students learn to think more deeply and creatively without computers. Read more Burlington Free Press January 21, 2012
AWSNA member Halton Waldorf School in Burlington, Ontario, Canada was one of 30 grand prize winners Read more Canada Newswire January 18, 2012
Join Chicago Waldorf High School science teacher, Brian Glykoff, and Water’s Edge Waldorf School’s Grade 7/8 teacher, Kathy Matlin, as they discuss the unique approach Waldorf Education takes in the teaching of science. What is a “phenomenological approach” to teaching science? Why wait until adolescence to bring certain material? Waldorf Eduction provides a strong foundation in the sciences and this workshop shows how. Read more Trib Local January 19, 2012
From July 9-21st 2012 the Rudolf Steiner Health Center in Ann Arbor, MI will be hosting the Learn-Work-Share Summer program, a new Youth Initiative for 16-30 year olds. In this program, kids will be introduced to anthroposophical medical, nursing, therapeutic, and biodynamic principles while building a community of anthroposophically oriented youth. Read more Eco Bites January 18, 2012
Where Education is Child’s Play, Yet Not
The benefits of Waldorf Education are many, and gives a general idea about the curriculum and its history. The learning experience the Steiner/Waldorf Education has introduced worldwide has been gaining positive response from parents who only want the best for their children. Read more Sun Star January 14, 2012
Make a list of the requirements for playing the violin, and the first few items are pretty obvious. Love of music, a good ear, dedication - check, check, check. What about two good arms? Now that's where you want to be careful about jumping to conclusions. Read more SF Gate of the San Francisco Chronicle January 7, 2012
On Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, Abigail Matlack won't be preoccupied with candy hearts; instead, she will be on a trans-Pacific flight heading to Southeast Asia — Seoul, Bangkok, and then to the isolated Burma. Read more Knox Village Soup January 11, 2012
Interview with author Stephen Sagarin Read more The Wonder of Childhood December 12, 2011
Minister of Education Dr. Angel Castillo from Imbabura Province, Ecuador, toured the school on Monday. Castillo will be sharing what he learned with the Ecuadorian government, trying to expand his art program and apply more Waldorf concepts. Read more The Pheonix December 17, 2011
She says, "My children are my kind of political laboratory. I am very much involved in their education. My children go to a Waldorf Steiner School. I am very involved in trying to build a further program for the school so that they can stay in that project until they’re 18." Read more Entertainment Inquirer January 7, 2012
Oak Park Schools Should Take a Step Back from Fast ForWord
The author of this opinion article, which is critical of a recent school board's inclination to adopt a computer-based reading intervention program, Fast ForWord, uses the following to support his argument: A recent New York Times article, "A Silicon Valley School that Doesn't Compute" (Oct. 22), provides a fascinating counterpoint to the questionable step that D97 is contemplating. A Waldorf school in California, where the top executives of many Silicon Valley companies send their children, rejects technology in the formative educational years, in favor of old-fashioned chalk on the blackboard, books, interpersonal teaching, and hands-on tasks.
Read more Oak Park January 3, 2012
Ann Rosenbaum, a former military police officer in the Marines, does not shrink from a fight, having even survived a close encounter with a car bomb in Iraq. Her latest conflict is quite different: she is now a high school teacher, and she and many of her peers in Idaho are resisting a statewide plan that dictates how computers should be used in classrooms. Read more of Matt Richtel's article in The New York Times January 3, 2012
The holidays are a wondrous time of year, and I can't think of anything more wonderful than the joy brought to a child from a simple toy. With high tech gadgets all around us, it is tempting to rush out and buy the latest electronic games. This holiday season I am making a plea to go back to the basics. Not only is it more economical, but traditional toys capture a child's imagination in a way that a video game cannot. Read more Huffington Post December 20, 2011
Princeton’s Waldorf School received a visit from Angel Castillo, the director of education in Ecuador, on Dec. 16 as part of a Waldorf schools research tour. Mr. Castillo came to this country to study Waldorf’s methods of education, which he hopes to implement in Ecuadorian public schools. Read more Central Jersey December 19, 2011
The Denver Waldorf School and 910 Arts (www.910Arts.com) announce the opening of a unique art exhibition entitled, Two Kinds of Truth: Exploring the Interweaving of Art and Science, running January 6-14, 2012 at EventGallery at 910Arts in Denver. The show is an exploration of the interweaving of art and science in Waldorf Education. It features works from The Denver Waldorf students (Kindergarten – 12th Grade) in mediums such as: watercolor and oil painting; clay busts and stone carvings; blacksmithing and woodworking; and, sustainable clothing and handworks. To kick off the event–to be held in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe on Friday, January 6–an opening reception will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and the public is invited. Read more December 2011
According to one teacher: "Knitting uses the math center of our brains, keeping students focused with automatic movement.” Read more Twin Cities Daily Planet December 17, 2011
High Mowing School is bursting with excitement to let you know about a new scholarship opportunity for students entering High Mowing in September 2012! In honor of their 70th anniversary, their Board of Trustees has established the Founders Merit Scholarship. In all, five scholarships will be awarded each year, in the amount of $10,000 for boarding students and $7,500 for day students. Awards will be made without consideration of financial need. details and application December 2011
The author writes: "My four-year-old daughter is illiterate. She can only sight read her own name, has not memorized short board books, and can barely write five letters of the alphabet. I am more than fine with all of this. In fact, I am proud." Read more December 6, 2011
As schools across the country try to fit the digital era into lessons by experimenting with iPads as textbooks and reverse classroom models, the Waldorf School, a private institution, sticks to its hundred-year-old ways: blackboards and chalk. No computers in elementary grades, and sparse use of technology in high school grades.
Read more Huffington Post December 1, 2011
Duane Plantinga, executive director of the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta, discusses independent education in the Calgary Herald.
Read more Calgary Herald November 22, 2011
New Waldorf Initiative in Mexico!
We're always glad to announce the continuing spread of Waldorf Education in North America.
This one is in Cuajimalpa near Mexico City and they've just launched their new website: www.colegioinlakesh.edu.mx We wish them well.
CBS National News Covers Waldorf Education
As teachers across the country turn to laptops and iPads as education tools, one school in Silicon Valley, Calif., has actually banned computers. Priya David Clemens reports on why The Waldorf School of the Peninsula has gone low-tech. Watch Video CBS News December 5, 2011
Suncoast Waldorf School in Palm Harbor, FL on the Local Evening News
Watch Video WTSP 10 News December 1, 2011
From the moment you walk into the Waldorf School of the Peninsula there are clear signs that something different is happening. Allysun Sokolowski, a third-grade teacher, greets each one of her 29 students by name and shakes their hand as they enter the classroom. Read more NBC Nightly News November 30, 2011
Control • Halt • Delete
Why some educators and scientists believe technology is bad for brains — especially young ones
Read more Colorado Springs Independent November 24, 2011
Some Ohio Schools Say Computers Don’t Belong in Classrooms
This article profiles Spring Garden Waldorf School in Copley, just North of Akron. Where most schools these days have a computer room, Spring Garden has a wood working shop. There are no photoshop lessons, but there is an arts and crafts room and lots of music, without the help of Apple’s Garage band. The philosophy of these schools collides with a major focus of state education policy.
Read more State Impact npr November 21, 2011
Rudolf Steiner - Profile
Rudolf Steiner is well known for pioneering an alternative education system but it's less well known that his ideas on agriculture, philosophy, architecture and medicine were way ahead of his time. In honor of the 150th anniversary of Rudolf Steiner's birthday, Andrew Hill, the principal of Glenaeon Steiner School, profiles the man and his ideas. Read more ABC Radio National November 21, 2011
The Boston Globe reports on educational research that shows how Americans' view of high school needs to change. "A long-term study by sociologist John Clausen tracked children born in the Great Depression for six decades and found that those whose lives turned out best — who obtained more education, had lower rates of divorce, had more orderly careers, achieved higher occupational status, and experienced fewer life crises such as unemployment — shared something he labeled “planful competence,” a combination of dependability, intellectual involvement, and self-confidence. Those factors, he found, didn’t necessarily correspond to higher education or test scores. “There’s nothing that predicts better,” he wrote “than what they were like in high school.”
Read more Boston Globe November 20, 2011
Students Participate in Model United Nations
Monadnock Waldorf High School students participated in their first Model U.N. event of the year at Alvirne High School in Hudson earlier this month. Along with students from four other high schools, the Monadnock Waldorf students participated in a Security Council meeting on the topic of U.N. sanctions against Syria. Last month, the (real) U.N. Security Council failed to pass sanctions because of vetoes from Russia and China. Read more Sentintel Source November 20, 2011
Grade 4 teacher Dean Husseini and his students from the Toronto Waldorf Academy are featured in a news report on the slow death of cursive writing. Yes, Waldorf Education continues to be the candle that continues to keep this vital flame alive. Read more Global Toronto November 18, 2011
Charles Greenhalgh: Waldorf School Can Provide Best Education for Your Child
Letter from Charles Greenhalgh, Waldorf parent, about the White Mountain Waldorf School and how well his daughter has done at the school. Read more The Conway Daily Sun November 15, 2011
Celebrating Rudolf Steiner — Audio Recordings
RSF Social Finance has made available the audio recordings made from from panels and discussions at their “Celebrating Rudolf Steiner” event. Read more RSF Social Finance November 14, 2011
A lot of school districts in America place a very high value on the results of standardized tests, which may not be the ideal way to measure the success of an educational endeavor. The success of a school can be measured without those tests, and instead educators can use retention rates, graduation rates, and other less tangible things such as the spirit of the school. The author says that teachers need to be given the license and freedom to innovate and to re-invoke the creativity of the teaching profession, otherwise opportunities to recognize the true talents of students could be lost. Read more Los Altos Patch Novermber 13, 2011
NPR Interview with Arthur Zajonc
What happens when you bring together science and poetry on something like color or light? National Public Radio interviews Arthur Zajonc, who says we can all investigate life as vigorously from the inside as from the outside. Zajonc is professor of physics at Amherst College and director of the Academic Program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. His books include Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love and The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal. He was also one of the founders of the Hartsbrook Waldorf School in Hadley, Mass. Interview (51:09) American Public Media November 10, 2011
Waldorf Teacher Featured on Radio Show
David Blair is featured on a webcast/live radio show hosted by a parent at Shining Mountain. It is broken into three segments: Who was Rudolf Steiner, what are the essentials of Waldorf Education, and finally what would he would say to parents in the audience. Worth listening too!
Listen Here to Archived Interview Gaeta Communications November 10, 2011
Software entrepreneur Shawn Rucks and his wife Angela discussed several educational routes for their daughter, Zoe. They ended up choosing a school that aims to unlock a child's potential... without a computer. Read more KVUE (Local ABC Affiliate) November 10, 2011
At the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, first grade students shuck corn and build a garden, while fourth graders explore the philosophy behind Celtic knot drawing. In a high school humanities class students read their own poetry, while math students work with a compass and protractor. Read more
CBS San Francisco November 10, 2011
Three Rivers Waldorf School in La Crosse is one of around 160 Waldorf schools in the country that believes children learn the best through relationships, not by using high tech gadgets. Waldorf education prides itself on providing a balanced education for the whole child... meaning physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
Read more News8000.com November 8, 2011
Waldorf School of San Diego is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year!
Read more here November 2011
The trend in early education is to move from a play-based curriculum to a more school-like environment of directed learning. But is earlier better? And better at what?
Read more Scientific American November 2011
“Looping” makes a lot of intuitive sense: teachers don't have to give up students so soon after they've figured out their personalities, learning styles, and habits, and they can go into their second year with a solid grasp of their students. And since everyone knows they're all in the same boat for at least two years if not more, there's more incentive on both sides of the equation to make the student-teacher relationship work. There’s not a lot of hard data on looping, in part because it's so uncommon. But what's out there is mostly positive. Read more Chicago Magainze October 31, 2011
In schools and in homes, teachers and parents wrestle with the role of technology in children’s lives. New York Times readers weigh in on Greg Simon's Op-Ed article on Waldorf Education's low tech option. Read the letters here New York Times October 29, 2011
"Are Quebec schools embracing computers too zealously? I don’t know the answer – I’m no pedagogue – but it’s a question worth asking. Two things are clear." Read more Montreal Gazette October 26, 2011
The New York Times is asking for your letters in response to a letter to the NYT from Greg Simon. Mr. Simon wrote a follow-up letter on the Op-Ed page to last Sunday's article on Waldorf Education. From 1993 to 1997 Mr. Simon was the chief domestic policy adviser to Vice President Al Gore, and oversaw the Clinton administration’s program to connect classrooms to the Internet. He writes in his letter: "At the same time both of my children attended a Waldorf school. I wish parents who surround their children with technology and adult-created graphic images as early as 2 years old would realize that they are robbing their children of their greatest treasure and skill — being a child." The New York Times "invites readers to respond to this letter for our Sunday Dialogue. We plan to publish responses and Mr. Simon’s rejoinder in the Sunday Review." Please E-mail your letter to: email@example.com The New York Times October 25, 2011
Even in today's tech obsessed world, many kids would rather doodle than Google. Parents and educators alike have honed in on this this notion, and some are seeking a distinctly-low tech way to teach their children. Computers, tablets and gadgets are set aside in some classrooms, in favor of primitive teaching tools like pencils, pens, paint brushes, knitting needles and, at times, cake and mud. Read more myfoxny.com October 25, 2011
An article in the Daily Mail, UK, expounds on the New York Times article. Read more Daily Mail UK October 24, 2011
An Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post concerning the high-tech, low-tech debate. Read more Washington Post October 24, 2011
Some of the finest minds at high-tech companies such as Apple, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and Google are enrolling their children in technology-free schools that teach through the time-tested methods of hands-on exploration and project-based learning. Read more GazetteXtra.com October 24. 2011
Although this NYT article does not mention Waldorf Education, it does reference studies that show less homework has its benefits - as Waldorf educators have known all along. Read more New York Times October 23, 2011
Excellent New York Times education series continues on why Silicon Valley, Google, and other high-tech parents choose to educate their children in low-tech Waldorf schools. Read the article here New York Times October 23, 2011
Benjamin Weber was selected as the 2011 Outstanding Secondary Level Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award recipient. Weber is a graduate of Hawthorne Valley School. The award will be presented during the 91st Annual, Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies, “Dimensions of Diversity,” in Washington, D.C., in December at a special Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award ceremony. Congratulations, Benjamin Weber! Read more 2011
"How can we find the right imagination to bring to the strengthening festival of Michaelmas? Barbara Klocek writes about some of the rich traditions that a carried annually at her school. These include a large dragon constructed by the sixth grade class, so large that they all fit inside. The third grade grade dances a harvest dance when the dragon arrives, who is then bravely slain by a twelfth grader. In the kindergarten the rituals include telling the story of George and the Dragon and making wooden swords."
Investigative reporter Matt Richtel researched the impact technology in the classroom has had on test scores and other factors, and comes to some interesting conclusions.
Read more New York Times September 3, 2011
Honolulu Waldorf School is 50 Years Old
The Honolulu Waldorf School celebrates its 50th anniversary this year! The festivities begin on Friday, October 7 with an alumni gathering.
'Tastes and Treasures' - the school's annual feast and silent auction - is on Saturday, October 8 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. On Sunday there will be a grand Luau on the school campus. For more information, click here
Waldorf alum Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan has an apartment-therapy business and has also written a book about apartment cures. Read more
Corporate Influences on Children
The New York Times published a letter written by Alexandra Gruskos, Esq., Board president of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, who was responding to an op-ed piece written by Joel Bakan called "The Kids are Not Alright" and wrote about the media-free policy of Waldorf schools and the beneficial effects that children experience when raised in such an environment. To see the letter and read the article written by Joel Bakan, go here New York Times August 26, 2011
The Calgary Waldorf School offers a very different approach to education from other institutions in the city. Read more Calgary Herald August 10, 2011
Challenged by some formidable health issues, a former Waldorf student looked for alternative health care. Initially, she discovered that massage therapy helped get her Type 1 diabetes under control. Then she found other ways of improving health that were not suggested by mainstream health practitioners. As an adult she founded a wellness center, Body in Balance Center in Alexandria, which uses alternative treatments (in concert with medical ones) to help people cope with cancer, ALS, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases and conditions. The wellness center has seven practitioners who specialize in non-conventional fields, such as reiki and acupuncture.
Washingtonian July 6, 2011Read more
Come on down to the second annual WaldorfFest party on Saturday, July 30 at Club Helsinki, in Hudson, NY. All participants in the Waldorf journey are welcome: teachers, board members, parents, and friends of Waldorf schools from around the world. Last year we had representatives from seven Waldorf schools! Read more June 2011
"The Detroit Waldorf School is a place that matters because we are committed to using our historic building as a gathering place to bring people of all different backgrounds and ages together to learn, play, and revitalize our community." Read more June, 2011
Raphael Academy is a new Waldorf-inspired private school initiative for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as Aspergers, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Developmental Delay, ADD/ADHD and other conditions associated with intellectual disability, located in the city of New Orleans, LA. "Our concept is to establish the first mixed-age classrooms for the fall of 2011. We are in the process of enrolling students, hiring faculty, organizing the board of directors, negotiating a lease for the school, and looking into alternative funding sources!" Read more May 2011
A Council of Europe committee examined evidence that the technologies have "potentially harmful" effects on humans, and concluded that immediate action was required to
protect children. Read more The Telegraph May 14, 2011
Early this month, several Hearthstone high school students left on a service trip to New Orleans. The group's travel expenses were partially paid for by a grant from the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, awarded for their willingness to help rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, which is still struggling to overcome the devastation of Hurricane Katrina five years ago. According to one of the students: "It was a great learning experience, and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, although I have high hopes of returning to New Orleans in the future to help with the rebuilding and experience the culture all over again."Read more RappNews April 28, 2011
Pine Hill Waldorf School graduate, Kerren McKeeman, explains how her career in circus arts started with her circus arts teacher, Jacqueline Davis, and has ended with a performing position in Cirque de Soleil Read more The Telegraph March 21, 2011
Over the past few months, students in a 12th grade physics class have been working after school and on weekends to create a variety of electric-based science projects: everything from motors and Van de Graaff generators (or electrostatic generators) to rail guns and Tesla coils (also known as lightning generators). Read more March 21, 2011
As so often happens in science, two studies from different labs, using different techniques, have simultaneously produced strikingly similar results. They provide scientific support for the intuitions many teachers have had all along: Direct instruction really can limit young children's learning. Teaching is a very effective way to get children to learn something specific---this tube squeaks, say, or a squish then a press then a pull causes the music to play. But it also makes children less likely to discover unexpected information and to draw unexpected conclusions. Read more Slate March 16, 2011
On April 18-24, children around the world will celebrate Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) by turning off televisions, computers, and video games and turning on the world around them. Waldorf school communities are ideal partners in this global effort to eliminate screens for a week from the lives of children. In the curriculum at Waldorf schools, the human voice and human speech are cultivated through recitation and storytelling; imaginative play is a pillar of the work at school from early childhood on, transformed into drama through twelfth grade; and current brain research indicates that the curriculum in a Waldorf school supports development of the whole mind through play, the arts, and rigorous academics. Waldorf school communities already know the benefits of a week with no screens, but we can all do a bit more to focus away from the distractions of electronics that are so enmeshed in our complex and beautiful world. Join with us in working to have a completely free-of-screens week to emphasize the importance of this effort. For more information: Screen-Free Week
How a handful of researchers are trying to save childhood. When it comes to the value of play, "The science is clear." Read the article in The Chronicle for Higher Education: here February 20, 2011
Teacher Education Colloquium Report
For two-and-a-half days in January, forty Waldorf teacher educators met in Fair Oaks to consider the ideals and challenges of their work. Here's a brief summary of the meeting: bacwtt.org
'Race to Nowhere' is Racing Through Schools
A new film about the stresses imposed on American students has been quietly drawing intent viewership across the country. Race to Nowhere is now popping up with screenings at schools and other institutions around the country. Read more Chapel Hill News February 13, 2011
Interview with Rudolf Steiner alum Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens became an indie darling following a string of excellent albums such as Michigan and Seven Swans, and which culminated with brilliant 2005 album Illinois. However, Stevens disappeared for a while -- made some films, a Christmas album, and an hour long EP. However he finally re-surfaced (in terms of an album) with his excellent 2010 album Age of Adz.
Under the Radar February 2, 2011 Read more
The annual Civil Rights Brunch, now in its 13th year, had an audience of over 100 people on January 15, who gathered to listen to C. Fraiser Smith talk about the Civil Rights years in Baltimore -- anecdotal stories about famous people from Frederick Douglas to Thurgood Marshall, as well as stories about ordinary people in history who make a difference in the lives of others even if we never know their names. Each guest received Peace Seeds as part of the Weed Out Hate---Sow the Seeds of Peace project, founded by Marc Daniels. Read more Examiner.com January 14, 2011
The "Play Movement" addresses the fact that too little playtime may seem to rank far down on the list of society's worries, but scientists, psychologists, educators and others say that most of the social and intellectual skills one needs to succeed in life and work are first developed through childhood play. New York Times January 5, 2011 Read more
Looking to combat both classroom distractions and the fever pitch of children's advertising, a number of schools around the nation have policies in place prohibiting media characters from joining students in the form of backpacks, T-shirts, shoes and other apparel. Chicago Tribune January 4, 2011Read more
His engineering talent has taken one local graduate all over the country; one day, his ideas could be flown in space. Michael Maylahn, 19, a 2009 graduate of The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, recently led a team of engineering students in creating a prototype Mars rover at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala Read more The Saratogian December 5, 2010
Waldorf grad Julia is an exciting new talent who has taken elements of jazz, pop, country and folk music to create her own unique sound. With her new CD of vintage and classic songs, she is positioning herself as a bridge artist to her generation, introducing many to these older, vintage musical styles. With her singular presentation and ultra-cool vocal delivery she is uncovering musical gems from another era. But her focus isn’t on the past. Her visual presentation and her flawless musical phrasing, position her as an artist leading a new direction rather than offering mere nostalgia. Read more Examiner.com October 2, 2010
WALDORF ONE WORLD
On Friday, October 1, Waldorf students and teachers from all over the world will be engaged in work on behalf of disadvantaged children in an effort to give them access to a Waldorf Education and to improve their circumstances. With the money earned on last year’s (2009) WOW-Day (approx. € 278.000), the WOW project was able to assist forty projects in twenty countries. These projects included one-day jobs, walkathons, handwork and selling activities, circus performances, and many other wonderful activities that helped to improve the living conditions of children all over the world. Everyone is welcome to take part: find out details at the WOW website September 2010
On a warm and breezy summer Friday evening, July 30, 2010, alumni, teachers, board members, parents and friends of Waldorf schools from around the country met at the newly opened Club Helsinki Hudson, in Hudson, NY, to greet old friends and make new ones. The networking opportunity was a kick off for future Alumni Parties at the Helsinki Hudson and around the country. Read more
The event drew close to 80 people from seven northeast Waldorf/Steiner schools including graduates from the Waldorf School of Garden City, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, the Green Meadow Waldorf School, the Hawthorne Valley School, the Kimberton Waldorf School, the Rudolf Steiner School of New York City, and the Waldorf School of Princeton. Read more
Waldorf alum Colum Riley, class of 1992 at Kimberton is the co-founder and director of operations for one of the hottest new companies on the west coast. His company “Malibu Compost” not only makes and sells biodynamic compost, but also rescues cows that are about to be slaughtered for beef. Read the article in the LA Times April 19, 2010
The international Waldorf organization known as “Friends of Waldorf Education” has sent a crisis intervention team to Haiti to help traumatized children come to terms with their terrible experiences. “The Friends of Waldorf Education intend to send a crisis intervention team, consisting of educationalists, psychologists, therapists, physicians and translators, to the disaster area in mid-February to stimulate the children’s natural self-healing processes and counter possible delayed reactions,” the group said in a statement. Read more News Network Anthroposophy Limited January 28, 2010
ETHOS, a French designer of environmentally friendly clothing, will preview its latest collections at the CIFF trade show, to be held in Copenhagen from 11 to 14 February 2010. Johanna Riplinger, ETHOS’ Stylist and Collection Manager, is a graduate of the Munich Fashion School (in Germany) and previously worked for Guy Laroche. Also in Germany, she attended a Rudolf Steiner school that helped her develop her love and knowledge of nature, which provides the inspiration for all the company’s collections. Read more Infotechfrance.com January 18, 2010
Several Montréal schools, like École Rudolf Steiner, participate in a program called Roots of Empathy (Racines de l'empathie), which was created by award-winning Canadian educator Mary Gordon to teach young people “emotional literacy.” What is emotional literacy? It means being able to “read” emotions: to know and express how we are feeling, and then, to recognize and handle how others are feeling. Emotional literacy can be a powerful tool in families, schools, and society. Read more Examiner.com January 14, 2010
A University of Otago researcher has uncovered for the first time quantitative evidence that teaching children to read from age five is not likely to make that child any more successful at reading than a child who learns reading later, from age seven. Read the article here. Voxy News December 21, 2009
This article by Adam Blanning M.D. discusses how warmth works throughout the entire spectrum of human experience: physical warmth, emotional warmth—the warmth of love, of generosity, of true morality—and all of these “warmths” pour over and merge with each other, and why it's especially important to pay attention to warmth for young children. November 2009 [link to pdf]
The Merger of two Venerable Canadian Educational Associations has Created a new National Voice in Independent Education The membership of both the Canadian Educational Standards Institute (CESI) and the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), has voted to dissolve their respective associations and to endorse the creation of a new organization that would combine the strengths of both founding groups. Read more ... October 28, 2009
"Reclaiming the Link Between Independence and the Essence of American Education," an article by Patrice Maynard, has just been published in Independent Schools Magazine. In it she writes: “If we can identify for our culture the unique opportunity available in America, a national treasure of freedom in education, with rigorous debate between independent schools and government-provided schools, we can protect the variegated landscape of ideas and methods available to us into the future. If we can build a platform for discussion about education that transcends special interests (industries, unions, politics, ideologies) and squarely debates the needs of our nation’s youth, we can lead the world in forging true excellence in education.”
During the last week of September, Patrice Maynard, AWSNA leader for development and outreach, spent two days in Washington, D.C. with the CAPE (Council for American Private Education) Board and one day at the Private School Leadership meeting hosted by the Office of Non-Public Education in the Office of Innovation. Here is her report... October 2009
Background television could harm the development of your child, claim scientists who found that it reduces the amount that families talk to each other. Read more The Telegraph September 15, 2009
Swallowtail School in Hillsboro has adopted the Accessible-to-All tuition adjustment program currently used nationwide by many Waldorf schools. This program allows schools to practice the ideal that Rudolf Steiner envisioned, that Waldorf Education should be accessible to all families who wish it for their own values, regardless of their economic status. It also views adjusted tuition as a contribution to the financial well being of the school, rather than a reduction of income. Read more Oregon News August 28, 2009
Steiner's thought on children's growth and evolution is the basis of the famous Steiner-Waldorf Education, and is more modern than ever. Read more Suite101.com August 9, 2009
On Wednesday, May 6 Johns Hopkins sponsored a one-day Roundtable on Arts and the Brain, based on the report released last year from the Dana Foundation, indicating that the arts light up parts of the brain like nothing else can do. This was followed in Washington, DC by the tenth annual conference on Learning and the Brain. Both the Roundtable and the conference were attended by Patrice Maynard, AWSNA Leader for Outreach and Development, who sent this report. Read more May 6, 2009
New Study: Home Computers Affect Grades Negatively
Waldorf educators are delighted that research is finally catching up with what they have known all along: excessive screen media has a negative impact on growing children. Three researchers from Duke University in Durham, N.C. used data gathered from a survey given to 1 million fifth through eighth graders for their paper: Scaling the Digital Divide: Home Computer Technology and Student Achievement. Read more (PDF with link to research paper) January, 2009
Assessment without High-Stakes Testing: Protecting Childhood and the Purpose of School. A team of Waldorf educators and researchers has published an important research paper. Read more (12 page PDF)
ARCHIVED ARTICLES can be found under Why Waldorf Works Articles