Instead of rote learning useless facts, children should be taught wellbeing

To equip young people to face the challenges of the 21st century, they need to understand their minds and bodies

By Alice O'Keeffe


‘Young people are also questioning the value of an education system with priorities that seem out of whack with the world around them.’ Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

In his treatise on the future of humanity, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the philosopher-historian Yuval Noah Harari offers the young people of today some advice. In order to survive and thrive in adulthood, they should not rely on traditional academic skills such as solving equations or learning computer code. These will soon become obsolete in a world in which computers can perform such techniques more quickly and accurately than humans. All information-based jobs, in fields as diverse as journalism and medicine, will be under threat by 2050.

Instead, Harari predicts that the key skills they need to survive and thrive in the 21st century will be emotional intelligence (it is still difficult to imagine a computer caring for a sick person or a child), and the ability to deal with change. If we can predict nothing else about the future, we know that it is going to involve a rapidly accelerating pace of change, from the growth of AI to a warming climate. Coping with this level of uncertainty will require adaptability and psychological resilience.

These are best fostered by an education system that prioritises not traditional academic learning but rather “the four Cs”:

Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity.

None of this will come as news to the parents of today, who instinctively prioritise the emotional and physical health of their children over academic results. A survey released earlier last week by the Youth Sport Trust charity showed that 62% of parents with children aged 18 or under feel that the wellbeing of school pupils is more important than academic attainment. Another recent study by the ethnographers Bad Babysitter into the childcare sector in the US identified a similar cultural shift, away from parents aspiring to “the reassured child”, who is rewarded with prizes and certificates, towards “the resilient child”. “Being adaptive,” remarked the researchers, “is a 21st-century skill.” Young people themselves are, of course, also questioning the value of an education system with priorities that seem out of whack with the world around them.

As one motto from
the school climate strike had it,
“No school on a dead planet”.

It should worry all of us that our education system currently points in exactly the opposite direction. Since the inglorious reign of Michael Gove at the Department for Education, the Tories have doggedly stuck to his outdated vision of children as vessels to be filled with facts. It is bizarre, in a world in which we can look up any fact on the internet within seconds, that this should be the priority. Where we need creativity, we have a 28% decline in uptake of creative subjects at GCSE since 2014, thanks to an emphasis on the rote learning of useless information (fronted adverbials, anyone?).

Where we urgently need to promote physical health, we get cuts to physical education provision, with 51,600 hours of PE lost from timetables in English state-funded secondary schools between 2010 and 2017. Meanwhile, one in five children in year 6 (aged 10-11) was obese in 2018-19. Obesity is one of the biggest public health threats facing the UK, and the biggest human-generated burden on the economy after smoking.

Most worryingly, where we need a major drive towards psychological resilience, we get a dramatic decline in mental health among both children and teachers. Rather than schools supporting good mental health, the evidence is that an emphasis on exams and academic attainment is having a detrimental effect. Research released last week by the departments of health and education in Northern Ireland found that the pressure to achieve at school is one of the biggest threats to children’s mental health. The pressure is getting to teachers, too, with 5% reporting lasting psychological problems, up from just 1% in the 1990s. This is hardly a picture of an environment likely to build resilience.

he private sector, on the other hand, finds itself having to be more responsive to the priorities of parents. It helps, of course, that private schools have the resources to give teachers mental health training, and to invest in facilities for sports and arts. In fact, private schools increasingly compete to attract parents with ever-more blinging facilities (there are now more theatres in London’s private schools than there are in the West End).

There are undoubtedly excellent wellbeing initiatives within the state education system. Schools are having to invest in mental health support, and mindfulness is taught in many places. The new curriculum also emphasises teaching children about mental health (although needless to say this is not backed up with the necessary resources). What is missing, however, is a commitment to putting mental and physical wellbeing at the very heart of education.

In 2005, Jamie Oliver created a cultural shift by pointing out that it was counterproductive for schools to serve their students junk food. But this only scratched the surface of what it would really mean for schools to prioritise mental and physical health, and promote resilience.

To create a system that equips young people to face the challenges of the 21st century, we need to look at every aspect of what they do at school. This means teaching children to understand their minds and bodies, encouraging them to have contact with nature, helping them to negotiate relationships with others, fostering excellent communication skills, and nurturing creativity. Philosophers know this, and parents know it; it’s about time policymakers caught up.
 

Alice O’Keeffe is a literary critic and journalist, and author of On the Up.

from The Guardian

 


If I could offer the children of today one gift

By Carol Kelly

If I could offer the children of today one gift, it would be the feeling of security.

That feeling that they are being carried and held by people and powers above them who are tending to everything, who are attentive to them. When children are allowed to be in nature, they let themselves go. They feel the Divine Presence moving through everything including themselves. How joyous is the sound of children’s voices on the playground! They are free and yet they are held.

Our sense of security resides in the reality that the world of nature is a mirror of the Divine world, and that we are part of this world and have a relationship to it.

In his new book Climate, a New Story Charles Eisentstein proposes that the only way we are every really going to solve the climate crisis is to love the earth. “The key to our salvation lies beyond what science currently offers; It lies in facing the world as a living being, a sacred being, and a beloved being.”

I have had the honor to direct a children’s summer camp for 19 years. I have watched our children come from a world of fear, anxiety, media indulgence and isolation, completely unfold and open up in the world of singing, woods, stars and sunsets. They are led by admirable young people who feel the responsibility for setting a good example for these children. They work together on their relationship to the earth and on gratitude and reverence for every living thing.

There are children who come to our camp who are “media impaired.” They do not relate to others, they hardly know how to have a conversation at mealtime, or to wait until everyone has been served to start eating. They find it challenging to go along with group activities or to live in real time without being “bored.”

It only takes three days for them to start creating something new. Each group has to perform a skit for the whole camp on the third day. The pressure is on. They figure out a rough story line, they find wacky costumes and they are busy!

They find out without being able to articulate it, that they can create something wonderful, entertaining and funny with no help from any outside source. They can create. They weave baskets, they make journals, they make jewelry, they paint, they whittle, and they sing in four-part harmony. And they are happy!

Camp Harmony Lake is one of the many ways that children can be children again. They make friends for life, they sing all day, they laugh at the drop of a hat and they learn to live in community with others, in real time, in real space.

I cannot think of a greater gift.


Carol Kelly is a former Waldorf class and music teacher, now a Christian Community priest working in Washington DC. You can contact her at carolkelly.cc@gmail.com.

Learn more about Camp Harmony Lake at campharmonylake.org.


 
Rejuvenate in the wild places: 6-day trip for Waldorf teachers this summer

From Matt Mohi, Deer Hill Expeditions

Are you in need of some time in nature and some soul restoration? Join your fellow Waldorf teachers for a 6-day trip which includes floating down the ancient and majestic San Juan River in SE Utah. We'll also spend some time at our beautiful Basecamp at the beginning and the end of the trip. Deer Hill is situated on 130 acres in Mancos, CO among the pinion-juniper forests that roll from the foothills of the San Juan Mountains to the desert of the Colorado Plateau.

Experience the beauty of the Four Corners and see why so many Waldorf schools choose to bring their classes to our little corner of the world. We have made this trip affordable in honor of the support and affinity we have for the Waldorf community by discounting it by 40% from what we normally charge. Live in the rhythm of the river and celebrate with song, art and movement with colleagues.

Deer Hill staff will support the trip and master teacher Sonya Schewe-Warren will offer Waldorf inspiration and singing. Spaces are limited, so please get in touch soon.

Details and registration info just click here.




 

Exploding myths about Waldorf high school graduates:
What they really do in college, in the professions, and in personal life  


By Douglas Gerwin

Sometimes it is assumed that Waldorf graduates are doomed to a career as artists, given the time they have spent in school learning through the arts. Douglas Gerwin, Chair of the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP) at the Center for Anthroposophy and co-author of a new study concerning Waldorf graduates, reports on some surprising trends –– especially among the more recent alumni. 

In June 1943, the first Waldorf alumni of the North American continent graduated from High Mowing School, a four-year boarding and day school in New Hampshire that had opened its doors the previous September. Since then, some 15,000 students have graduated from Waldorf high schools sprinkled across North America – from Quebec to Georgia along the Atlantic East Coast to British Columbia, California, and Hawaii in the Pacific West. 

As of this year, out of the roughly 120 Waldorf schools belonging to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), some 40––or about a third––include the high school grades. Of these schools, five are free-standing educational institutions; the remaining 35 are linked to an elementary Waldorf school, including one in a Camphill community for the handicapped. In addition, there is a small number of public high schools in California belonging to the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.

For the purpose of the latest survey, which like the previous one a decade ago was conducted by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education (RIWE), a “graduate” was defined as a student who had completed 12th grade in a Waldorf high school, and the study limited its purview to those who graduated between 1990 and 2017. Nearly half of those who responded to the survey’s online questionnaire were so-called “Waldorf lifers” –– i.e., graduates who had attended all 12 years of Waldorf elementary and high school. 

For the first time, Waldorf graduates could be compared to alumni of other independent high schools, thanks to the collaboration of RIWE with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Generalizations about education––including this one––are always dangerous, and never more so when describing Waldorf graduates, who by nature represent a very broad spectrum of backgrounds and destinies. That said, RIWE collated their online responses to form a statistical portrait of shared traits suggesting that Waldorf graduates:

  • Attend college after high school (98%), of those about a quarter first have a “gap year”
  • Feel prepared by their Waldorf high school for college life (95%)
  • Complete their initial college degree (92%)
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree or higher (88%)
  • Say they would recommend Waldorf education to a friend or family member (87%)
  • Report that their Waldorf education has influenced their own parenting (85%)
  • Study or work in fields of science and technology at similar or higher rates than students from other independent schools
  • Feel more strongly, when compared to students from other independent schools, that their education prepared them to:
Be open-minded, Be creative and innovative, Empathize with others, Think in whole pictures, Take leadership roles, Develop a meaningful perspective on life

Although Waldorf students have the option to pursue unusual post-high-school options related to their education, over 90 percent of Waldorf graduates responding to the survey opted to complete an undergraduate degree, and about half of those who graduated pursued post-graduate studies of some kind. 

Overall, more Waldorf graduates major in the sciences, including social sciences, and math (45%) than in the humanities (38%). This statistic dispels the myth that Waldorf alumni shy away from majoring in science and math at the college level. Though some graduates were sharply critical of their math and science skills coming out of high school, a great number of respondents, including the critical ones, reported that their study of science and math in high school stimulated their interest in these subjects; they also often commented that their Waldorf education prepared them well for taking on the challenge of improving their skills and excelling in these areas. One graduate reported: “I understood science metaphorically. We were given everything we needed to know. Then we had to figure things out for ourselves.”

Another remarked: “I am now taking a biology class and I thought I was going to be terrible at this. I haven’t taken science since high school. Now I am so excited about it. It is just a matter of figuring things out . . . . I didn’t like the sciences as much as I liked literature. But now I love science and I am thinking back on my zoology class in high school.”

A trend already apparent in a previous alumni survey ten years ago is confirmed by the latest poll: namely, that more recently graduated Waldorf student are majoring at higher rates in science, technology, engineering, and math––the so-called “STEM” subjects––than earlier Waldorf alumni. The following chart illustrates this trend:

Waldorf Science Majors on the Rise

Percentage of STEM majors (1943-94)            12% 
    
Percentage of STEM majors (1990-2010)         17% 
    
Percentage of STEM majors (2011-2017)         22% 

In short, in recent years, Waldorf graduates take up STEM subjects at virtually the same rate as alumni from other independent schools, of whom 23% major in STEM, according to a recent survey conducted by NAIS.

Indeed, Waldorf graduates at home and abroad have received major awards in the sciences; most recently the German neuroscientist Thomas Südhof, a Waldorf graduate and now professor at Stanford University, was awarded the Nobel prize for his work in cellular biology. (For examples of celebrated Waldorf graduates worldwide in many walks of life, readers are invited to visit the website www.thewaldorfs.waldorf.net.)

In terms of career, the most popular fields for Waldorf graduates include education (23%), medicine and health care (12%), and various fields of artistic practice (12%). As a whole, 41% of graduates take up professions that are devoted to helping others. These numbers are markedly higher than the percentage of graduates entering such fields from other independent high schools in the United States, according to the NAIS study.

Careers with lower-than-average appeal for Waldorf graduates include finance (about half the national average) and retail (only one fifth of the national average). Careers involving entrepreneurship draw about the same percentage of Waldorf alumni as graduates from the general population. 

In Their Own Voices

As part of the RIWE survey, Waldorf graduates were asked to name their greatest gifts, joys, and challenges. Their responses underscored the significance that Waldorf graduates attach to the cultivation of community. Most common responses to the first two categories––gifts and joys––included family, friendships, and community activities. Many graduates explicitly listed their Waldorf education under these headings. Challenges, as one might expect, centered around financial constraints, problems of health, and, for some, a lack of direction in life or career path.  

In response to open-ended questions, which invited more expansive narrative replies, an emphasis on valuing community was repeatedly expressed. In the words of one respondent, “Everything about the way the education is structured influences the capacity to create healthy, balanced relationships.”

Another theme emerging from the RIWE survey was an appreciation by alumni of a certain flexibility in thinking that they attributed to their Waldorf education. Said one graduate: “The multi-disciplinary approach to training your mind to look at something from all sides is extremely valuable. It lends itself to flexibility in thinking, creativity, and confidence and being able to teach yourself something.”

In a similar vein, a post-college Waldorf graduate added: “In my college classes, I found myself asking all of the questions that no one else thought to ask . . . . I thought for myself and I like to think that I still do. I thank my Waldorf education for that.”

“It makes you a really well-rounded person,” a further respondent noted. “I had all the regular English, math, science classes and then I also did woodworking and blacksmithing. I learned my times-tables with bean bag games, so I talk about turning theory into practice and how we went to Hermit Island and we had the opportunity to learn in the ocean what we were learning about the ocean. It is very interactive learning.”

In summing up experience in a Waldorf high school, another post-college graduate concluded:

The level of teaching was largely comparable to college at an Ivy League school. And in addition to excellent teaching, we learned many useful skills – carpentry and so forth - that have saved me thousands of dollars in home maintenance costs!

In addition to surveying graduates, the RIWE researchers also solicited reflections from some 75 Waldorf high school teachers. Leed Jackson, a practical arts teacher at the Toronto Waldorf School, wrote: 

One of my students, a fourth-year engineer who still knits, was repeatedly given responsibility in a nuclear steam engineering company even before she graduated because she could not only see the overview of the theory but also the practical blueprints and paper layouts. She could see the need for spaces within the technical designs for fork lifts or people to navigate around all of the heavy machinery, as just one example. She could think and perceive whole to parts.

As in the previous survey, graduates were again asked to describe aspects of their Waldorf education they may have viewed critically as high school students but now perceived differently. By far the most common response was “Eurythmy!” One respondent reported: “I play ice hockey with many people who have had several concussions. I have never had a concussion and am very skilled at avoiding collisions. I attribute this partly to eurythmy and also to outdoor play in lower school.”

Others admitted they had revised their attitudes about Waldorf schools’ restricted use of electronic media, especially during the elementary grades. “I work in videogames,” one respondent noted, “and my limited exposure to media as a child helps me bring new ideas and perspectives to my work.” 

When asked whether they would send their own children to a Waldorf school, 56% responded in the affirmative, though quite a few expressed reservations regarding cost and distance to the nearest school, as well as (in some cases) a perceived lack of racial and socio-economic diversity.

Among those alumni who are now parents, a resounding 85% said they would recommend Waldorf education to a friend or family member, adding that their Waldorf schooling was influencing the way they were raising their own children –– specifically in limiting their children’s exposure to television and digital media, maximizing their time in nature, enriching their lives with the practice of the arts, reading to them at bedtimes, creating regular rhythms in their day, encouraging free play, and focusing on creativity and wonder. In the words of one Waldorf alumni parent: “Waldorf education is the education of the future. It has been my biggest privilege, and I would want my children to experience the same.”

Given that, overall, independent schools are facing pressures of higher costs and lower enrollment these days, it is encouraging to recognize that Waldorf high schools are generally holding their own, with 40 high schools extant as of this year across the North American continent. Many of them are recruiting new faculty this year. Teachers seeking training as Waldorf high school teachers can apply to the WHiSTEP program of the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire, which each July runs the only teacher training program in North America designed specifically to prepare Waldorf high school teachers in six areas of subject specialization.

Henry Barnes, that venerable leader of the Waldorf school movement, was fond of saying: “Waldorf education prepares you especially for the second half of life!” In that sense, Waldorf teachers bestow on their children hidden gifts that take many years to mature. Put differently, Waldorf education may require years to show its full worth in the lives of its graduates. Or, in the words of a thoughtful respondent to the alumni survey, “There were so many seeds planted within me that are even now just beginning to break the soil. So many things that teachers told me that I didn’t understand at the time, but now feel that I do.”

The full survey is now published  in book form by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education with a title taken from the first line of the Morning Verse recited by Waldorf students at the start of each day: Into the World: How Waldorf Graduates Fare After High School. A PowerPoint summary of this survey has been posted on the websites of the Research Institute, www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org.

Douglas Gerwin is the Executive Director, Center for Anthroposophy
douglasgerwin@gmail.com
www.centerforanthroposophy.org

 

 



































 

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Talking to children
about
COVID-19



By phillywaldorf

COVID-19 is in the news and on everyone’s mind. Our children, unfortunately, are not likely an exception. Even when children are shielded from media, peers, siblings, and overheard conversations can give children just enough information to bring forth concern. Children are also incredibly intuitive to their family’s emotions and will pick up on any fear and anxiety their parents or extended family may be feeling. 

So what is the best approach to sharing when it comes to children and coronavirus? 

Shielding vs. Communicating

With small children, shielding them from troubling information is ideal. Children in early childhood should be kept from the news if possible. This includes making an effort to talk about coronavirus only when they are not present and not exposing them to televised news. Children in young grades, such as first through third, would also ideally be shielded, but exposure to older children on playgrounds or siblings at home means this is less likely to be possible.

When it becomes apparent that the child has knowledge about the virus, then age-appropriate communication can begin, with the foremost focus being to help the child feel safe and more secure. It’s important to communicate once you know a child has some, even very limited, knowledge of the virus to be sure that they do not awfulize the small amount of information they have in the absence of a parent giving age-appropriate guidance.  

Listening and Tailoring Responses

If you suspect your child knows about the virus, begin with an open-ended question about what they know and then actively and intently listen. Once their level of knowledge is known, follow up with a question about concerns and listen intently again. By keeping the conversation fluid and open, it will help to prevent oversharing on the parent’s part and bringing more concerns to children then they may already have. 

It’s also important to note that adults have different needs for coping than children. While an adult may relieve anxiety by learning all they can or preparing their home for extended quarantine, children will not necessarily take comfort in these measures. Consider that children under twelve will have a primarily emotional response to the news and as such require lots of listening from parents and lots of reassurance. 

While this reassurance can involve sharing encouraging data, it’s essential to remember the real question behind the questions, whatever form may take is, “Am I safe? Is our family going to be okay? How can I feel more in control?” As such, answers need to ultimately address these concerns that lie behind questions, even if questions are detailed oriented such as talking transmission rates or talking points picked up from news or an older peer. 

A  key part of listening will be making sure, as a parent, that you are never dismissive of the child’s fears, even if they seem irrational. 

In The New York Times Parenting article How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus, Abi Gewirtz, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and professor at the University of Minnesota discusses this issue:

“If your child is afraid because some kid on the bus told him he might die, that’s a real fear and you should take it seriously. If you simply tell the child, you’ll be fine,” they might not feel heard. Listen to them and track what the child is feeling,” she said. “You can say something in a calm voice like, ‘That sounds pretty scary, I can see it in your face.’”

Empowerment and Control

Fear of the unknown and anxiety of what’s to come can often be mitigated by empowerment.

In the Time Magazine article, How to Talk to Your Kids about Coronavirus, Ellen Braaten, co-director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital says there is benefit in reminding children of things that are in their power, like washing their hands and covering their sneezes and coughs to avoid getting and spreading illness. She says, “Knowing there’s something we can do makes us feel less powerless.”

In this study about empowering families and children during a healthcare crisis, experts recommend four areas of focus — choice, agenda-setting, reframing negatives and providing emotional support. 

In this current scenario, choice and agenda-setting can look like something as simple as choosing snacks or some favorite activities to do in case of school closure. In terms of reframing a negative, a school closure might be suggestive as having positive aspects, such as, “It’s going to be nice to spend more time at home together as a family.”

Older Students and Teens

Being informed and being anxious do not have to go hand in hand. Details for this age group, and learning about encouraging details specifically, may be very helpful. There is much misinformation, conspiracy, and fear-based reporting online that an older child may be exposed too, even in texts of conversations with peers. Arming teens with knowledge about realistic and trusted news sources and information may be extremely valuable to share.

Also involving older children in empowering activities can be helpful, with the understanding that a little goes a long way. It might include giving the child hand sanitizer for their backpack, taking them shopping for medicine or food to have on hand during a longer stay at home, or talking about ways to pass time if school is canceled for more than a week. 

Here are some more helpful resources: 

This article is from the Waldorf School of Philadelphia blog Loving Learning.

To view this article there, just click here.


 
Assuming goodness: Why children need great expectations



“It is very important that during these early years a child should be surrounded by noble-minded, generous-hearted and affectionate people with good thoughts, for these stamp themselves on the child’s inner life.” – Rudolf Steiner

Children imitate what surrounds them, especially the thoughts and beliefs of those in places of authority. If a school community or classroom fosters goodness, in one another and in the children, it provides security and wellbeing for all. This wellbeing is essential for children’s learning. Students must trust their world to take risks and meet new challenges with openness. Teachers that meet a child’s openness with gratitude, reverence, respect and an assumption of goodness, help the child encounter learning and struggle with confidence and calm.  

This is particularly important in early childhood classrooms. Teachers can build that sense of goodness and security through routine, stability, modelling kindness and finding the good all around, including the good within the children.

And, young children, according to recent scientific study, are inherently good. In the Smithsonian Magazine article, Are Babies Born Good? a review of recent research led authors to declare: 

“A child arrives in the world provisioned with rich, broadly pro-social tendencies and seems predisposed to care about other people. Children can tell, to an extent, what is good and bad, and often act in an altruistic fashion.”

The terrible twos are not so terrible in regards to kindness as this natural tendency toward good persists in toddlerhood: “Toddlers… are natural helpers, aiding distressed others at a cost to themselves, growing concerned if someone shreds another person’s artwork and divvying up earnings after a shared task, whether the spoils take the form of detested rye bread or precious Gummy Bears.”

The fact of the matter is that schools can and should build upon this early empathy, kindness and altruism by continuing to regard children as good, surrounding them with goodness and fostering goodness within the children and their classrooms. This is essential, not just in early childhood, but in the grades as well because assuming the best of older children has been shown to improve social emotional and academic learning.

The Institute of Education Sciences publication, Reducing Behavior Problems in the   Elementary School Classroom, found great benefit to positivity and goodness, namely coming from within the school and from the teachers themselves. In brief, students who have overwhelming positive interactions with teachers show greater social emotional skills, engagement, motivation and academic achievement. In turn, those experiencing negativity displayed the opposite results. 

In fact, this phenomenon, commonly referred to as The Pygmalion Effect (or oppositely The Golem Effect ) was greatly publicized after a 1964 Harvard study done in a San Francisco Elementary school. The results, summarized here in the NPR article, Teacher’s Expectations Can Influence how Students Perform, found that when teachers were told that certain students were gifted and others were not, although the children were chosen at random, the “gifted” children outperformed their peers academically. 

Further study revealed that the expectation teachers brought to a student subtly changed a teachers’ moment-to-moment interactions with the children. Essentially, when teachers believe children are smart and good, they treat them as such, and the children live up to those expectations. 

So, how do we build upon goodness in our classrooms? 

The Institute of Education Sciences paper gives this simple advice: “Teachers should show the warmth, respect, and sensitivity they feel for their students through small gestures, such as welcoming students by name as they enter the class each day, calling or sending positive notes home to acknowledge good behavior, and learning about their students’ interests, families, and accomplishments outside of school.” 

Waldorf teachers are trained to make these kinds of gestures part of each child’s day, to enhance the student’s well-being and also to improve learning. In Waldorf Education, special attention is given to the child’s whole being — head, heart, and hands — with the heart being the emotional core. A key part of this attention given relies on the assumption and cultivation of goodness in all human beings. It’s done through modeling goodness, genuinely caring for students and their families, and believing in a child’s potential.

from Spring Garden Waldorf School


 

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