Issue 2, #1 January 2009
Dear Friends,

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. Their study shows  that middle school students who have access to home computers and high-speed Internet achieve lower scores in reading and math assessments than their counterparts who do not have a home computer. Students who do have home computers but use them twice a month or less achieved better scores than those who used computers indiscriminately.

You can read more and download the study by going to Why Waldorf Works.

Frances Kane            Patrice Maynard                    Michael Soule
    Administration      Development & Outreach       Programs & Activities
How Giving Kids a Test Became a Political War

The Canadian government's mandatory standardized testing system, known as the Foundational Skills Assessment (FSA), has recently come under fire. Vancouver's school board trustees voted to send a letter to parents that includes ministry-approved reasons why a child can be excused from taking the test. Other school boards and teachers are following suit, claiming the test discriminates unfairly, humiliates by publicly posting student results, and discourages disadvantaged districts. Some educators claim low test scores are more closely related to socio-economics than to classroom skills and learning.

Read more Why Waldorf Works.

Waldorf Schools Teach with Solar Panels

The Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Los Altos partnered with SolarCity to commemorate the opening of the school's new solar energy system (at the December Holiday Faire). The installation of the system followed Waldorf's becoming the first Los Altos school certified as a Santa Clara County Green Business by the Bay Area Green Business Program last spring. The half dozen solar panels mounted atop the Chicago Waldorf School in Rogers Park are able to power just a handful of light bulbs, but they provide students with hands-on experience in physics and environmental science. "They'll learn about solar power, online data analysis, how electricity works and even global warming," according to science teacher Jim Kotz, who wrote the grant proposal and received the grant for the panels from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and Commonwealth Edison.
Read more at Why Waldorf Works.


Waldorf Alum Wins
Prestigious Architecture Award

"If you follow the same path through the city, each day getting off the subway at the same station and walking the same route to your destination, you eventually become disengaged and stop fully perceiving the surroundings. The moment you miss your usual stop and are forced to drift from your routine, you perceive the city with new eyes...." So begins the opening paragraph of Reilly O'Neil Hogan's architectural project which was recently awarded First Prize at the prestigious International VELUX Award 2008 ceremony in Venice, Italy. A graduate from the San Francisco Waldorf High School (class of 2003), Reilly went on to attend Cornell University's College of Architecture and graduated in May 2008. His thesis project was called "Embodied Ephemerality." In it Reilly challenged the concept of daily city routines by getting off the subway at a new or even a wrong station, in this case the Path station in Lower Manhattan. You can view drawings from Reilly's project at Why Waldorf Works.

"Weaving the Educational Task
with the Social Mission of Waldorf Schools"

A gathering of teachers, staff, parents, & trustees from across N. America.

Now is the time to register for the AWSNA Summer Conference 2009,
June 23 - 27 at the Portland Waldorf School in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Keynote lectures by Virginia Sease from the Goetheanum in Dornach.
A range of artistic, pedagogical, and school organization workshops.
Daily round-table sessions exploring critical issues in Waldorf Education.
Meet old friends, make new colleagues, network, and share resources.
Fresh local food carefully prepared for each day's meals.
A salmon bake and evening of folk dance.

See a brochure and find out details at Why Waldorf Works.

You are welcome to send us Waldorf-related events for posting on our web site.
About Us
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The Association for Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) is a not-for-profit membership organization that supports independent Waldorf schools, initiatives, and teacher training institutes, and promotes Waldorf education throughout North America.

Waldorf education is a holistic and developmental approach that integrates academic, practical and artistic elements as it addresses the changing needs of the growing child and maturing adolescent. Waldorf schools engage the heart and hands as well as the mind with a lively, experiential curriculum rich in the basics, literature, history, languages, the arts, the social and natural sciences and technology.

AWSNA provides leadership to schools by facilitating resources, networks and research as they strive towards excellence and build healthy school communities. The Association performs functions that its member schools and institutes could not do alone, including outreach and advocacy, accreditation and school support services, professional development activities, research and publications.

Please contact us if you have any questions about AWSNA or this newsletter.

In This Issue
How Giving a Test Became Political
Teaching with Solar Panels
Waldorf Alum Wins Award
AWSNA Summer Conference
About Us
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