DouglasWelcome to the inaugural issue of our new electronic newsletter. As we head into another full summer of rich offerings, we are taking a moment to share with you some brief news items of activities connected with the work of the Center for Anthroposophy. We are looking forward to a star-studded summer, with guest faculty coming from England and Switzerland to the East, California and Hawaii to the West.

For further details of our summer programs––Renewal Courses in June and July followed by the 15th summer session of the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program––go to our website where you can also find first announcements concerning next year’s clusters of our Foundations Studies in Anthroposophy and the Arts. In addition, we invite you link up with the Center’s newly minted Facebook page.

Please pass this newsletter along to those who might be interested –– and let us know your own news and commentary. We will be publishing this newsletter on a monthly basis and welcome your contributions.

Cordially,
Douglas Gerwin, Director
Center for Anthroposophy

In this Issue
New Video About Waldorf Teachers
Douglas Gerwin Keynote Speaker at AWSNA Annual Conference
New Waldorf High Schools on the Horizon
One more thing
Upcoming Events
June 27, 2010
Week 1 of our 11th annual Renewal Courses begins

July 4, 2010
Week 2 of our 11th annual Renewal Courses begins

July 11 – 30, 2010
Antioch University Waldorf Program and the Center’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program summer intensives.

News from the Center for Anthroposophy

New Video About Waldorf Teachers

8855f7cffdWant to know what it’s like to be a Waldorf teacher? Look for a new video filmed by Karl Schurman, a professional cinematographer and Waldorf high school history teacher who took part in the Center’s high school teacher education program between 1999 and 2001.

Karl is currently putting finishing touches to his new film, in which he interviews Waldorf kindergarten, elementary, and high school educators about the joys and struggles of being teachers. The film––shot on the campuses of the Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, Maine; the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York; and the Waldorf School of Baltimore, Maryland––includes lively footage of children at work and at play, as well as teachers in their on and off duty moments.

The 15-minute film, commissioned by the Teacher Education Network (TEN) of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), is due to be released in the next few months. It will be posted on the websites of the Association as well as the sites of the TEN members, which include the Center for Anthroposophy.

Hint: if you are a graduate of the Center’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP), you may spot in this film one of your fellow students describing Waldorf teaching as “the best gig in town.” Stay tuned!

Douglas Gerwin Keynote Speaker at AWSNA Annual Conference

Douglas Gerwin, Director of the Center for Anthroposophy and Chair of its Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP), will be a keynote speaker at the forthcoming annual conference of North American Waldorf teachers to be held in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference, from 22-25 June 2010, is devoted to the transition from the elementary to high school years. In a talk entitled “Sword and Rose”, Douglas addresses two new creative capacities that arise in the burgeoning teenager –– sexuality and intellectuality. He explores what happens when these two potent powers lay siege to each other, and how teachers and other guides can help them become partners in healthy adolescent development.

New Waldorf High Schools on the Horizon

Starting in September the number of Waldorf high schools in North America will top 40 for the first time. New high schools are opening at the Monadnock Waldorf School (grades 9 and 10) in Keene, New Hampshire, and at the Aurora Waldorf School (grade 9) near Buffalo, New York. Both new ventures are being spearheaded by teachers who received their training at the Center’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP).

Torin Finser’s recent presentation

TorinTorin Finser, the founding member of the Center, recently gave a presentation at the President’s Council at Antioch University on a topic of innovation. Following are two selected quotes from that presentation (citations are from the work of Peter Drucker):

Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation. How can we make the organization receptive to innovation, want innovation, reach for it, work for it? When innovation is perceived by the organization as something that goes against the grain, as swimming against the current, if not as a heroic achievement, there will be no innovation. Innovation must be part and parcel of the ordinary, the norm, if not routine.

Practices, and measurements make possible entrepreneurship and innovation. They remove or reduce possible impediments. They create the proper attitude and provide the proper tools. But innovation is done by people. And people work within a structure, the entrepreneurial, the new, has to be organized separately from the old and existing. Whenever we have tried to make an existing unit the carrier of the entrepreneurial project…we have failed.

Torin also led a discussion on how non-profits, schools and universities can create a culture of innovation. In these challenging times, no one can afford to simply do the same old, same old. Are we willing to test assumptions, try new ways of working, and remove organizational hindrances to innovation? What is the world asking of us today? Can we find the clarity of vision to perceive and the courage to act?

Newsletter June 1, 2010