Dear Friends of Waldorf early childhood education,
Dear Donors and Supporting Members,
France, which is high on the list of favorite travel destinations, is at the bottom of the list in terms of its inhabitants' joy in life and optimism for the future. The June 22 issue of the daily newspaper "Le Monde" quotes the results of a recent survey: the French are more pessimistic than people in Iraq or Afghanistan. France also has a school system that systematically carries out early academic instruction - 96% of all three-year-olds attend public preschool, in which much formal early academic learning takes place. It is interesting that the study cited above makes a connection between early academics and widespread pessimism. This clearly challenges the conventional motto, "Early Learning = Greater Success in Life." (For excerpts and the entire study click here)
Isn't free creative play the most refreshing and sustained way in which young children learn? As of what age is formal learning developmentally appropriate? These were questions explored at a research colloquium at the Goetheanum; you will find three of the presentations in this issue. You will also find reflections of conferences that took place recently in Dornach, Switzerland; Hannover, Germany; and Seoul, South Korea, as well as reports from projects supported by IASWECE in Sarajavo, Bosnia, and Cape Town, South Africa.
For those in the Southern Hemisphere, this issue arrives at an appropriate time in the midst of the school year in winter, but we hope it will also reach those in the Northern Hemisphere who are now enjoying their summer holidays.
With warm greetings on behalf of the IASWECE coordinating group,
Philipp Reubke and Susan Howard
A Colloquium about the Six-year-old Child
by Louise de Forest (Mill River, Massachusetts, USA
An Older Child Colloquium was held at the Goetheanum, in Dornach, Switzerland, this past February. Co-sponsored by IASWECE and the Pedagogical Section, leading experts and researchers on this theme gathered for a week-end of presentations and discussion (Read more)
|From Kindergarten Child to School Child|
by Dr. Edmond Schoorel (Bilthoven, Holland)
In his article, Dutch pediatrician Dr. Edmond Schoorel describes the development of the child in the first seven years and distinguishes between thinking readiness, feeling readiness and will readiness. Often thinking readiness is considered school readiness, without consideration for other important aspects of child development. This article is not a checklist of criteria for making a decision about whether a child should enter school. Instead, it brings a rich collection of examples and descriptions that invite the reader to learn how to observe and inwardly experiences the developmental steps of each child. This is just what is needed for parents, teachers and early childhood educators in order to come to an appropriate decision about a child's readiness for school entrance. (Read the full article)
|School Readiness through Children's Drawings|
by Barbara Ostheimer (Munich, Germany)
| |From her many years of experience with first grade readiness assessments, Barbara Ostheimer has developed perspectives for observing children's drawings. (Read more)
|2013 Waldorf Teachers Conference in Korea|
by Susan Howard (Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
On the morning of April 17th in a beautiful park-like landscape outside Seoul, children from Class 7 of the Cheonggye Waldorf School played rousing traditional Korean music to welcome nearly 400 Waldorf educators and teachers from 17 countries, including Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, India, the Philippines, and Thailand. (Read more)
IASWECE Council Meeting in Hannover, Germany
by Susan Howard (Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
The focus at our May council meeting was on the essentials of Waldorf early childhood education. Today, many Waldorf kindergartens throughout the world find themselves required to articulate their work in relationship to a national curriculum or to government-imposed standards.
IASWECE too sometimes receives requests for an international Waldorf kindergarten "curriculum". However, for work with very young children, is it actually appropriate to use the word "curriculum"? (Read more)
|Birth to Three Conference at the Goetheanum, Dornach/Switzerland|
From June 20 - 23, a conference took place with the theme "Healthy Development and Prevention", sponsored by the Medical Section at the Goetheanum together with the Working Group on the Young Child from the German Waldorf Kindergarten Association.
Excerpts from the lectures can be ordered here.(only in German)
|Capetown - the Birth to Three Project 2013|
by Eldbjörg Paulsen (Arendal, Norway)
After many years of working in Cape Town with "Birth to Three", I still see great needs, even though there has been some progress in the work
. Many children in the townships are attending the so-called "Educare Centers", run by mothers who have not been able to benefit from any form of training. (Read more)
|A Weekend on Waldorf Education in Sarajevo|
by Leila Kostic (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
In April, a second public weekend took place, organized by colleagues and parents of the Waldorf kindergarten.
It was a special joy for us that this time participants were there from all the ethnic groups that had once been enemies. And the Minister of Education, Culture and Youth also came and gave a short speech. (Read more)
NEW SPONSORING AGREEMENT WITH
In 2013, IASWECE is supporting training and deepening courses for early childhood educators in 24 countries, in addition to conferences, country collaboration and research colloquia. Our Association would like to support to everyone who is interested in Waldorf early childhood education and wishes to come into collaborative relationships with others, through which experiences can be shared and insights deepened within individual countries and worldwide. Realizing such tasks cost money - the membership contributions of our country member associations, contributions from supporting members and donors help us to cover our expenses, but do not cover the full costs.
Mercurius International has expressed its support for IASWECE as a corporate sponsor through an agreement signed last month. In exchange for being listed on our internet page and in our newsletters and having an information table at our conferences, Mercurirus International will cover approximately 12% of IASWECE's costs each year for projects in middle and eastern Europe.
|Request for support...|
IASWECE supports Waldorf education for the young child worldwide through training and professional development, conferences, research, translations, advising and mentoring kindergartens.... In order to better support these activities, we welcome your donations, large and small!
IBAN: SE07 9500 0099 6026 1681 8841
Or Would you like to become a supporting member of IASWECE?
Supporting members are individuals or organizations who wish to support the work of the International Association. They make a voluntary contribution to IASWECE and receive ou e-newsletter. If you would like to become a supporting member, please click
|...and for collaboration|
Please send us announcements of conferences and activities, articles and descriptions of the work in your country (with photos if possible!), links to interesting research studies or publications that are relevant for Waldorf education in the first seven years, etc.
In addition to reporting on the projects and activities of IASWECE, we also want this newsletter to serve as a lively and useful resource of exchange of information among Waldorf early childhood educators and friends around the world.
Country Projects, Partnerships and Support:
Clara Aerts, Belgium
Tel 0032 498 223 281
Membership, Working Groups, and World List:
Susan Howard, USA
Tel 001 413 549 5930
Conferences, Country Projects, Newsletter and Publications:
Philipp Reubke, France
Tel 0033 977 197 137
IASWECE Postal Address:
|Vital Years Conference 2013 Sydney Australia|
July 7th - 12th
Keynote Speakers: Louise de Forest (USA), Lakshmi Prasanna (India), Jan Baker Finch (Australia)
|Early Childhood Conference in New Zealand|
|From September 29th to October 3rd there will be a conference with the theme; "Recognizing and nurturing the life forces of the young child, supporting the healthy development of the will"|
|Alliance for Childhood Conference in Brussels|
|October 23 - 26, 2013|
"Creating a culture that allows each and every child to unfold their unique potential and to engage in society"
offers a complete, thoroughly tested range of products specially designed for Waldorf schools and kindergartens.
Mercurius follows the motto of nurturing the senses, and supplies products for practicing the arts.
Please visit www.mercurius-international.com