On September 13, 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 commenters: Linda Darling Hammond of Stamford, 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 for 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.
With warm good wishes for your start of the school year,
Patrice Maynard and Frances Kane, AWSNA
The Credere Fund
Does your school have a creative project? THE CREDERE FUND, a program of Think OutWord,is receiving applications for funding of cultural initiatives that empower individuals to 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. Who is eligible to apply? Any individuals striving to realize social, scientific, or artistic initiative are encouraged to apply. Applicants must demonstrate that support from the Credere Fund is essential to their initiative and that funds will be used effectively and responsibly. Preference will be given to projects which are anthroposophically-inspired, and there are no age or geographical restrictions.
We have a lot happening on the Why Waldorf Works website, including a new job postings page. Please send us your school's employment openings. Submissions should include AWSNA member school or institute name, position that is open, and contact information (email address, phone number, web link to your school). Your job listing will be up for three months or until you inform us that the post has been filled (please do let us know so that we can include the information in our "People" section!) Please send submissions to the web editor firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books & More
Award-winning author Donald Samson has recently released a new book: "At the Hot Gates." It's the year 480 BC and the greatest army ever gathered in the ancient world is on the march to conquer all of Greece. An irresistible force, they are destroying whatever dares to stand in their path. One man steps forward to stop them, followed by 300 companions. His chances are next to null; yet he goes. This man is Leonidas. And his companions are Spartans. They go to stop the Persian advance and meet their destiny at the narrows known as The Hot Gates.
This is an exciting account of the Battle of Thermopylae. Illustrations are by Adam Agee. Recommended for 4th, 5th, 6th grade reading level on up.
You can find out about more AWSNA Publications on Books & More.
Waldorf Donates Summer Harvest to Food Bank
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: Why Waldorf Works.
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. 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.
Read more Why Waldorf Works.