Library Lady's Corner
Entry Points: A Study Guide to Rudolf Steiner’s Study of Man
In 2003-2004, when eBooks were launched, before any test marketing or forethought, and eBook readers were “the new best thing” with Nooks and Kindles competing for the “best Christmas present of the year,” the word was that books were a thing of the past. Books were so “yesterday.” But books are holding steady. Maybe it is because reading a book holds an 85% comprehension and retention rate while reading eBooks (any screens, really), comprehension drops to 34% on average.
Book Review: Towards the Deepening of Waldorf Education October 19 2017In the 1980s and early 1990s, The Pedagogical Section Council of North America worked closely with the Pedagogical Section in Dornach, Switzerland, to develop a publication that gathered the esoteric material Rudolf Steiner gave to the Waldorf teachers in the first Waldorf school in his first training lectures and along the way at teachers’ meetings. The book was beautiful and lovingly compiled. It had a linen hard cover with gold leafing for the title.
Book Review: Award Winning "Helping Children on Their Way" August 16 2017Waldorf Publications is proud to be recognized by Mom’s Choice Awards with Helping Children on Their Way
Elizabeth Auer has assembled a remarkable group of educators to write about many aspects of supporting children in their different and varied “stuck places” along the road to a balanced development for life.
At this time of year being a teacher looks like a good career. After all, teachers “get the summer off!” Sure, they don’t have to show up at school every day, and sure they can wear shorts and sandals instead of dresses and collared shirts. However, once school ends, once reports are completed and meetings subside, the energetic work of preparation begins.
Through books galore, teachers travel to exotic lands from times gone by — India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece if you are a rising fifth or tenth grade teacher — back in time to the reformation in Europe and the many wars around the world in the last 150 years if you are a rising eighth or ninth grade teacher — ‘round the world for the first conscious time with Magellan (was it worth it when so many died along the way?) if seventh grade will be you destination in the fall — back to the land of stories from before recorded history if you are starting as a first grade teacher — and lost in a miraculous world of new life in embryology if you are a twelfth grade teacher.
To be ready for classes in autumn, the reading is varied and enormous in volume.
The Seven Core Principles of Waldorf Education (Waldorf Publications, 2017, 124 pages, $24).
The Pedagogical Section Council developed the seven, essential elements that make a school truly a Waldorf school. Pedagogical Section Council members then took up elaborating on each of these principles, the essays written were published in the Research Bulletin over a couple of years, and then the essays were gathered with a few additional treatises on the principles and made into this fine book explaining what makes a Waldorf school a Waldorf school.
Book Review: The Falconer June 11 2017
In Waldorf schools, history is taught largely through the medium of biography. The life stories of individual human beings, famous and not so famous, good and not so good, are told by the teacher or read in books. Each life, interesting in itself, illuminates the events and conditions of the time in which the person lived.
Can Morality be Taught? June 08 2017
Math and Arithmetic in a Waldorf School May 24 2017
Children learn arithmetic in school. Most of what we call “math” is arithmetic — the skills of computation and calculation. When we do addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, times tables, square roots, calculating area — for examples — we are doing arithmetic. Arithmetic is a division or department of mathematics. Geometry, algebra, and calculus are other branches of mathematics.
Teaching children skills in arithmetic tends to be a cause of anxiety in our culture. Comparative studies accomplished in the latter part of the last century, comparing the attitudes of Japanese parents and American parents about arithmetic skills was revealing. Read More
Today "difficult children"—children with attention deficit disorder, high levels of anxiety, restlessness, aggressiveness, and other emotional and behavioral problems — are a major challenge for parents, educators. and therapists. Once the child has been diagnosed and labeled as having ADD or autism or some other condition, the standard approach is to use psychotherapy and/or psychotropic drugs to change behavior. Millions of children today, for example, take the drug Ritalin for attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. Continue reading...
Traditional Tales Retold by Kelly Morrow April 20 2017
Lazy Jack; King Thrushbeard; The Prince and the Dragon; and Sylvain and Jocosa
When class teacher Kelly Morrow’s search for first readers appropriate and challenging for her students proved fruitless, she created her own. The four little books range from 18 to 38 pages. Each book tells a folk story in a simple, clear, but interesting way, and each story is enriched by a moral truth. The cover of each is an engaging color illustration, and there are black and white drawings throughout.
There’s No Minute Like the Last Minute! December 16 2016Waldorf Publications and the Research Institute for Waldorf Education have many fine possibilities for thoughtful gifts when thoughtfulness in the hectic season becomes hard to muster.
Consider the caliber and depth of some of these gifts — remember, books and subscriptions keep giving long into the future!
A Waldorf teacher's presentation on Martinmas & Veteran's Day! November 10 2016The feast of St. Martin coincides with Veterans’ Day. This is no accident because St. Martin of Tours started his life as a conscripted soldier in the Roman army. He was even in his youth, remarkable and he rose in rank to a leadership position quickly.
Happiness is Winning the World Series after 108 Years November 04 2016Just ask the Chicago Cubs what happiness is and they will tell you. Winning the World Series for their team and their community after 108 years of no participation in the Series or championship wins is the “sweetest thing, with no words to describe it,” one elated team member said to a journalist when the last inning was completed and the Series was won.
That word, “happy” or “happiness,” is a mysterious word, overused in the USA. Deviating from the sports arena for a moment — the word happiness is used frequently about schools and teachers and education. Recent surveys done by private schools indicate that many parents....
The Truth About Age Twelve June 20 2016The age of twelve is remarkable. As childhood comes to its end, the twelve-year-old can feel accomplishment and mastery of many skills in jump rope, running, reading, arithmetic, high jumping, memorization, writing, logic, and reasoning. Just as the sense of mastery peaks, the child’s body begins to change. Though the first changes are invisible, the child feels them with a growing sense of alarm at what the changes might be. Read More...
Being Nine Years Old June 16 2016
The teacher knelt before the boy to explain how to cross the street carefully and to check to see if he felt uneasy about crossing without a teacher holding his hand. The boy’s mother was taking a job in the area and she wanted her children in a Waldorf school. The boy had come to visit the second grade that day. He had, up till then, been home schooled, and there was a question about whether or not the boy belonged in second grade or third grade because of his age—older than the youngest in the third grade and younger than the oldest in the second grade.
After the teacher had completed explaining carefully how to cross the street without a teacher helping him, the teacher asked, “Can you do that?.....
The Waldorf School and the End of Year Report May 27 2016Assessment is a “hot topic” in the news and in educational debate. In Waldorf schools assessment takes many forms, none of which includes standardized testing.
During the year, concentrated “blocks” of study might include an end-of-block assessment. A block might be three or four weeks long and concentrate study on one topic. After a botany block in the fifth grade an outdoor “treasure” hunt to find, for example, a monocotyledon, a pistil, a tap root, a deciduous conifer branch, a dicotyledon, and so on, might be the "test.” Read More...
Stories for Upper Grade Students April 19 2016At this time is becomes important to think of the child’s true and higher self. Misdemeanors or illegal actions must be dealt with quickly with appropriate consequences directed but without harshness or judgment. To remember who the child really is in his or her best character, understanding that these developing pre-teens are capable of many downright dumb experiments that instruct and pass away. To give the student the impression that he is condemned to a label of “bad” or “untrustworthy” is unbearable for one so young. This can engender bitterness or instincts of revenge or retaliation. Warmth and decisiveness and unwavering adherence to whatever the consequence is for a misdeed are important. Once the consequence is completed, the youngster should know that the burden of that misdeed is lifted and that the child’s goodness can again prevail. This may need to be repeated a number of time before the young person regains equilibrium.
Book Review: Solving the Riddle of the Child: the Art of the Child Study by Christof Wiechert January 25 2016The very essence of Waldorf education lives in the Child Study. Observing the children is primary task of every Waldorf teacher. The entire curriculum should be formed out of this child observation practice and new organs of perception are developed from this practice. This is why Rudolf Steiner was so insistent about administration being done by those who are with the children every day, not by others who have nothing directly to do with teaching the children. The real revolution lives in this open secret of Waldorf education: that the observation of children is the heart of the curriculum… Read More...
The Green Curriculum in Waldorf Schools ~ Part XII October 30 2015The Waldorf student’s final year brings many inspiring, yet difficult questions to the surface. Many of these questions come at the level of the individual: what are my strengths and weaknesses and how do I work with them? Where do I go from here? Why might I choose a particular path or direction in the world, and how do I approach the many opportunities and challenges before me? The Waldorf twelfth grader feels at last his or her part as a citizen of the universe, eager to step into the world and to leave school behind.
The Green Curriculum in Waldorf Schools ~ Part XI October 27 2015In eleventh grade, the Waldorf students experience their thinking opening to its intellectual zenith. The sciences lead them to continued explorations into the world. New levels of questioning are possible and asking “why” is now in a matured and deepened way. The inquiries of the students show a yearning for the true meaning of things – the reasons and intentions behind a particular phenomenon, action or institution in order to understand comprehensively and to discern their relationship to it. Why are we a nation? Why do plants differentiate themselves? Why are there forces of good and evil at work in the world?
The Green Curriculum in Waldorf Schools ~ Part X October 23 2015By grade ten the students’ have a turning to capacities for intellectual pursuits, and for self-knowledge, invite questions of evolution and transformation. Childhood fades completely and students begin to step up and out of the confines of their previous youthful modes of perceiving, through tensions and polarities, towards experiences of inner and outer balance. A process-orientation echoes through the tenth grade Waldorf curriculum in support of this delicate transition.
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