douglasWith the start of the new school year, we are celebrating the inauguration of several fresh initiatives, both in the fields of digital media worldwide and of high school teacher education on this continent, along with a preview of new programs to be launched during the months ahead. And we celebrated the advent in our midst of a newly married couple!

We invite you to read up on these promising new ventures.

Douglas Gerwin, Director
Center for Anthroposophy

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Dateline Prague, Czechia: Digital Media in Waldorf Schools Worldwide — How Are We Doing?

Twice a year, Waldorf teachers from all six continents come together to take the pulse of Waldorf education, identify areas of concern, and formulate suggestions to remediate them. As a member of this circle, Douglas Gerwin reports on its most recent deliberations regarding the vexed topic of digital media in schools around the world.

For the first time, the International Forum (formerly called the Hague Circle) met in the capital of the Czech Republic, a city that Rudolf Steiner visited a total of 12 times during the course of his life and in which he gave some 50 lectures including his first on what we know today as Waldorf education. In fact, as our Czech hosts proudly informed us, Steiner spent more time in Prague during his adult lifetime than in any other city outside those places where he actually had a home.

Robot from Eddie Allen on Vimeo.

Chief running theme of our meeting was “digitalization in education”, or what we in North America would more likely term “electronic media”. Dusan Plestil, high school science teacher and our genial and unflappable host, introduced the topic on the opening night with a stunning pair of images: the one, a painting of the revered Czech monk St. Prokop with the devil in harness pulling a plough through the deep Bohemian soil under the command of the noble monk; the other, a brief video of today’s Czech school children receiving their test results and oral commendations at the hand of a giant-sized robot towering over them and their teacher. The sole task left to the teacher was to hand a piece of paper into the robot’s mechanical hand in an upwards gesture of what can only be called obeisance.

Saint Prokop

Saint Prokop

Dusan estimated that in 20 years’ time, this kind of robotic ceremony would be commonplace, and he pointed out that computer engineers were already replicating the most difficult movements of a human being — namely the movements of standing, running, and jumping. (In fact, on the very evening of Dusan’s talk I watched a CNN video showing a robot trotting through a field like a decapitated quarterback that was able not only to run at a steady clip but also jump up onto a box, then do a back-flip and land steadily on its bionic legs.)

Like many other IF representatives at this meeting, Dusan reported how state schools in the Czech Republic–a country some call “Czechia” these days–were introducing digital media into first grade with the intention of using computers and tablets in virtually every class through to high school. In some countries, this practice starts already in kindergarten.

Dusan recounted how in the course of the last two centuries technology has taken on, first, the tasks of human will (through the mighty engines of the industrial revolution), then proceeded to assume many tasks associated with our life of feeling (speech, music, communication, etc.), and now through the computer performs many of the functions of our thought life (mathematical calculations, scientific experimentation, theoretical modeling, and the like). In each case, a technological device intended simply to enhance an aspect of human activity is seen instead to be taking it over, to the detriment of human physical strength, emotional expression, and perhaps now cognitive acuity. (How many of us, one could ask, relied on smart phones to guide us to this conference, rather than struggling to find our own way?)

On the following morning, Bernd Ruf from the Waldorf school in Karlsruhe presented the preliminary draft of a “charter” intended to call attention to the effects of digital media on children and on education generally. He described how robots mow his neighbor’s lawn and clean his house; how human-looking robots can now be programmed to replicate the 50 muscular movements needed to generate facial expression in a simulation of feelings; and how other devices called “Eco-bots” are programmed to exude a perfume designed to attract flies, which the robots then ingest and dissolve–it is tempting to say “digest”–internally in order to generate their own fuel. In this way, human beings create a new world of creatures that then turn around and become the creators of a new society.

In the words of Rudolf Steiner, it is a cosmic law that all creation not of the spiritual world needs later to be reintegrated into human culture. (This is not the case, he adds, with anything that iscreated from out of the spiritual world.) Indeed, Steiner foresaw a time when machines and the human body would be smelted together, something we see already with bionic limbs, plastic hearts, and the prospect of smart cars that will rely not on a key fob to adjust the seat, tune the radio, set the thermometer, swivel the rearview mirrors but will instead respond to “vibrations” emanating from the thoughts of the driver. Likewise, new AI helmets make it possible to place oneself into the virtual scene one is observing so that one can become a player in one’s own video game. In this way, the barrier between real and virtual is dissolved and we enter a world no longer called “uni-versum” but rather “meta-versum”, or what Steiner and others have called “the Eighth Sphere”.

Wherever technological forces are at work dissolving the nature of the human ‘I’, there too strong forces gather to promote this very same core of the human being. Looking to the future development of technology, Bernd sketched three possibilities:

  • An evil technology inspired entirely by the motive of selfish egotism (for instance, by financial greed)
  • A good technology arising out of the selfless deeds of altruistic individuals
  • A mixed technology working in “resonance” with the human being; it will behave according to the nature of the human beings who create it and use it

In summing up this portion of the discussion, Bernd concluded that technological advances cannot–indeed, should not–be prevented. Rather it is the quality of these advances that we can influence to good or ill effect.

This theme of technology and its effect on human development served also as the focal point of a shared afternoon of discussion with worldwide representatives of the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE). In this setting we focused on what is unique to the human or, put differently, what (at least as yet) the computer cannot do. Humans, it was suggested, can uniquely process the unknown, establish dynamic rhythms (as opposed to regular beats), create inner pictures, and sleep! Seen from the other side, computers (as binary structures) can’t draw diagonal lines on a grid (only ever more finely grained alternations of vertical and horizontal lines that simulate diagonal lines); they can’t forget, act freely, shake a hand and mean it, see pictures in their wholeness. In short, the computer cannot think, feel, or will – though it is ever more able to simulate all three of these human soul capacities.

School Reports

The theme of digitalization in schools could be heard through virtually every national report.

Michael Merle

South Africa (Michael Merle): As of 2012 in private schools, children in grade 3 typically are expected to submit their homework via electronic tablets; it has been recommended that this practice be introduced earlier from kindergartens onwards. Though Waldorf schools are the exception (waiting till high school), and parents are drawn to these schools partly for this reason, even these parents start lobbying for digital devices to be introduced by sixth grade. Most Waldorf schools are free of WiFi (or what we learned–after considerable confusion–the Czechians call “Wiffy”).

Japan (Rieko Hata): In general, 90% of the population use cell phones – half the time to play video games, especially the highly sophisticated animations for which Japan is famous. Technology has the tendency to keep people emotionally young: teachers now see children still wearing diapers in kindergarten and even in first grade. Use of tablets usually starts in first grade; by third grade each child has its own tablet. In the Waldorf school, parents are asked to refrain from giving their children smart phones until they have studied their effects in a grade nine main lesson, but holding the line is a continual struggle.

India (Gopa Malaker-David): Given that 67% of the population lives in rural areas, education tends to end early and be poorly attended. At least half the students (especially girls) drop out before finishing school, and on any one day about half of the students are likely to be absent. Classes are huge, in some cases staffed by a single teacher with a hundred students. The government is linking schools to hi-speed internet, but many villages do not even have electricity. Barely 9% of rural regions are linked to the internet. As in South Africa, parents seek out Waldorf schools because they do not apply this technology in the elementary grades, and yet by fifth grade these same parents are angling for its introduction into the classroom. The use of digital technology by younger teachers is discouraged but there are no policies in place. “It is like firefighting.”

Christopher Clouder

Christopher Clouder

England (Christopher Clouder): England–as distinct from other parts of the U.K.–has quietly signed on to the “Baby PISA” project organized by the OECD to start testing children as young as 5. At the other end, the “e-Bac”, as the name suggests, is a new school-leaving exam that will be conducted electronically in five subjects (none of them arts); only that which can be measured will be tested.

There is a new religion arising called “data-ism”. Humans are seen as accumulations of data that give a better picture of the human being than humans can give of themselves. However, data–by its very nature–can only be of the past, not of the as-yet-uncharted future.

Olena Mezentseva

Olena Mezentseva

Ukraine (Olena Mezentseva): With only two weeks’ notice, the Waldorf curriculum had to be rewritten in order to be accepted by the government. In the end, some Waldorf parents–one of them a member of parliament–lobbied for a new charter to cover private schools. After some strained discussions, the government minister agreed that Waldorf education espoused the same values as state education and so could proceed. The only criticism: that Waldorf schools don’t introduce computers as of second grade.

Czechia: Two representatives spoke at length about the situation of Waldorf education in their country. After the political upheavels of 1989, Waldorf education was at first introduced as state education, but now is largely independent. However, even independent schools get government funds – up to 60% initially, more after a few years of successful operation. In the past six years, there have been six ministers of education, which means the real power is held at the level of the civil service. Now the law is being changed to favor enrollment of students in state schools. The latest development is that Waldorf schools have suddenly been officially registered without explanation. However, new laws will have the tendency to centralize control over all forms of education – for instance, in questions of vaccination and digital curriculum.

Technology in Light of Waldorf100

Paul Zehrer, director of a promotional film on the forthcoming Waldorf100 celebrations, spoke to the group concerning a new film he is making about the Waldorf treatment of technology. Many other Waldorf100 projects (presented at previously IF meetings) are also underway; the anniversary events will culminate in a large festival in Berlin on 19 September 2019, coinciding with the festival held 100 years earlier to mark the opening of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart.

Closing Thoughts on Digitalization

On the final day of our meetings, we returned once more to the global theme of digitalization, recognizing that whereas the currency of the 20thcentury was oil, the currency of the 21stcentury, it was suggested, will be data. We see already that data collection entails power, and power entails centralization, a highly anti-democratic tendency.

It was pointed out that digital technology is following the path of much innovation, which starts with an initial stage of euphoria–accompanied by the suppression of concerns about any ill side effects–but then erupts in some kind of disaster. This is what happened with nuclear energy, for instance, which was initially greeted with great acclaim while problems of safety and storage of nuclear waste were suppressed – and then happened Fukushima. We referred back to Dusan’s initial image of St. Prokop driving the devil and noted how this image could all too easily be flipped, with the devil taking the role of the driver of the plough and the human now pulling it. A take-away from this discussion: The task of Waldorf education is to keep the human being in control of the plough!

Specifically, to retain a healthy relationship to digital media, a campaign needs to be undertaken at three levels:

  • the level of the individual human being
  • the level of society (sub-divided between political and economic considerations)
  • the spiritual level

Nothing less than the future of humanity is at stake, and beings far greater than we are engaged in this campaign. This is the reason for crafting a “charter” for the digitalization of education. A group of five IF members was mandated to reformulate this charter to give it more “bite”. This work will be brought back to the next IF meeting in November 2018.

Post Scriptum: In the Footsteps of Rudolf Steiner

In preparation for our night-time walk-about of Central Prague, where Rudolf Steiner gave more than 50 lectures over a period of 12 visits, Tomas Zdrazil offered a carefully-researched overview of Steiner’s relationship to Czech culture. Among the many interesting stories: the fact that on his initial visit in 1907, Steiner spoke for the first time about education in a lecture (repeated elsewhere later) on “The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy”, fully a dozen years before the founding of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart. Likewise, according to Tomas, Steiner’s last public lecture on Waldorf education was also given during his final visit to the Czech capital.

Occult Physiology

Occult Physiology

Perhaps Steiner’s most celebrated lecture cycle in Prague, however, concerned “Occult Physiology”, which was attended by over 500 participants. Albert Einstein, at that time still an up-and-coming scientist, was in the audience, as was Franz Kafka, who lived just down the street from the majestic hall that had been rented for the occasion of this lecture series and who was able to secure a private conversation with Steiner. Neither man became a student of anthroposophy, and yet one can ponder the impact Steiner may have had on these seminal figures of contempoary science and modern literature.

Prague Charles bridge_ Czech Republic. Scenic landscape of Prague city with historical architecture of old town over Vltava river on clear summer day

The Charles Bridge spanning the Moldau River in Prague

The Charles Bridge spanning the Moldau River in Prague. Photo: Sergey Ashmarin, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Dateline Temple NH: A Sunlit and Star-Studded Waldorf Wedding

Under a white gauze sash laced with tiny sparkling lights and looped beneath the bough of a giant maple, Milan Daler, Administrator of the Center for Anthroposophy (CfA), and Genevieve Dagobert were married in a ceremony embracing the cultures of Haiti and the Czech Republic. Douglas Gerwin, a guest at this outdoor event, recalls the festive occasion.

It was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding – sunny yet cool, breezy without bluster. On the first day of September, close to 100 guests streamed onto the lawn of Alice Groh in Temple NH to witness the marriage of Milan Daler and Genevieve Dagobert.

The bride all in white, the groom in white tie and charcoal suit walked down the aisle between white folding chairs to a spot beneath an ancient overarching maple, where the ceremony–based on a service developed by Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversation with God
–was conducted by the eurythmist Carol Renwick.

Under her genial guidance, the couple each lit a tall white taper, exchanged red roses, and pledged their troth with slender golden rings, capping the ceremony with a warm embrace.

Afterwards, at a sit-down luncheon under a spacious white tent, we learned that Milan and Genevieve first met during a telephone exchange when the bride phoned the office of the Center to enquire about taking one of its courses. From the get-go, each was entranced by the voice of the other — Milan by Genevieve’s melifluent Haitian lilt, Genevieve by Milan’s rich Czech accent. Between them, it turns out, they speak six languages in all: Haitian Creole, French, Czech, German, Polish, and of course their shared English.

Eventually they got to meet each other in the context of CfA’s summer campus in Wilton NH – Milan in his role as attentive administrator, Genevieve as student in the Waldorf teacher education program of Antioch University New England hosted by CfA.

Genevieve, having moved to Temple to join Milan, is embarking on a new venture this fall to open a charter school in Manchester NH during the coming year. As for Milan: he returned to the office following the Labor Day Weekend to resume his role as CfA administrator.

Here are some photos of the newlyweds, including one of Milan holding the flags of Haiti and the Czech Republic.

 

 

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Dateline Asheville NC / Jacksonville FL /Washington DC: Jacksonville East Coast Explorations

The first cycles in a new serious of workshops in the arts and contemplative practices based on the work of Rudolf Steiner are about to open. Here is a brief preview.

Formerly known as Foundation Studies, and now re-designed to meet the present needs of parents, new teachers, administrators, and board members in Waldorf school communities, this program will feature:

  • Weekend workshops in the arts with some study and reflection in a central location.
  • Seminars on self-development, meditation, intuitive thinking, adult development, the life of Rudolf Steiner, and the initiatives arising out of anthroposophy. Seminars will run concurrently, either face-to-face or on online for those living at a distance.

The first of these workshops started at the Azelea Mountain School in Asheville NC in mid-September, to be followed by the series in Jacksonville FL. A third cycle is scheduled to begin at the Washington Waldorf School in mid-winter. Details are available hereat the website of the Center for Anthroposophy, which is organizing these workshops.

Despite the torrential rains from Hurricane Florence flooding the southern portions of the Carolinas, the first of these workshops got off to a lively start at the Azelea Mountain School in Asheville NC in mid-September, to be followed by the series in Jacksonville FL. A third cycle is scheduled to begin at the Washington Waldorf School in mid-winter. Details are available here at the website of the Center for Anthroposophy, which is organizing these workshops.

The Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch University New England recognizes a certificate of completion from our Explorations Program as part of its entrance requirements.

If a community can gather 18-20 interested people, a member of the CfA faculty will come and offer an information session/orientation event to describe the program in more detail and answer questions.

Contact: info at centerforanthroposophy.org or (603) 654-2566.

Click here for more on Explorations

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Dateline Wilton NH: Summer Synopsis

Summer 2018 will be remembered for bursting enrollment, blistering heat, and a sprinkling of foreign students attending the summer programs of the Center for Anthroposophy in Southern New Hampshire.

Each summer, the Center for Anthroposophy (CfA) offers five weeks of courses for perspective and practicing Waldorf teachers and those who support them in Waldorf schools. This year saw burgeoning enrollment for the two weeks of Renewal Courses, along with strong enrollment in the nine cohorts of teacher trainees – three for high school teachers sponsored by CfA plus six for elementary teacher trainees sponsored by the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch University New England (AUNE).

Renewal Courses

Michael Kokinos, Karine Munk Finser, and Lakshmi Prasanna, MD

Michael Kokinos, Karine Munk Finser, and Lakshmi Prasanna, MD

The growing popularity of so-called “grades-specific” courses boosted enrollment during the first week alone of Renewal Courses to more than 200. During the second week, a good turn-out for a new course on autism offered by the Indian physician Lakshmi Prasanna brought enrollment close to another 200 students (plus teaching faculty taking the total number to a record 440 for the fortnight). Karine Munk Finser, Coordinator of Renewal Courses, reports on plans for next summer separately in this issue.

Teacher Training Programs

A further 9 high school teachers graduated from CfA’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program, all of them already active in schools. Among the new and returning students in this program were high school teachers from as far away as Australia, Britain, Canada, Korea, as well as all four corners of the North American continent — some 24 in all in addition to the graduates.

Among the six groups of Waldorf teachers in the Waldorf Program at Antioch University New England, three groups received graduating stoles and certificates this summer, including members of a satellite program based in Alaska. In all, some 40 Antioch trainees graduated from their programs this July. Jaimen McMillan, founding director of the Spacial Dynamics Institute, delivered a memorable five-point commmencement address, all ex tempore.

As in previous years, these groups endured a string of hot high-summer days, though an increasing number of classrooms now benefit from newly installed units of air conditioning.

At their final weekly teachers meeting, the faculties of both Antioch and high school programs performed a raucous pop song (with customized lyrics) in a bittersweet farewell to Carol Kelly, Waldorf music teacher and now active priest who for many years has led the music courses during our summer sessions. Carol will be fondly remembered for her soaring soprano voice and wicked sense of fun – as well as an eloquent rendition of songs she sang with her nephew this summer during one of our weekly evening assemblies.

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Dateline Wilton NH: Renewal Courses Reviewed — and Previewed

Karine Munk Finser, Director of CfA’s popular Renewal Courses, looks back on a sumptous summer – and offers a peak into the next one.

Dear Friends,

First, I would like to thank each participant who came to our Renewal Courses this summer, helping us make it one of our best seasons yet. Not a single course was canceled and around 440 participants and faculty were on campus over the two weeks. It is my hope that they returned home and entered the fall season with renewed insights, inspiration, and joy! It was a festival of encounters.

Thanks to generous donations to the Renewal Courses scholarship fund, many participants received financial aid that allowed them to join or to stay on for the second week. We are sincerely grateful for these scholarship that made this possible.

Christof Wiechert

Christof Wiechert

The first week saw grade-specific courses as in previous years, along with Christof Wiechert’s course on The Child Study; we also welcomed a creative group of painters who painted all day under Charles Andrade’s masterly guidance. Christof’s keynote and morning lectures were attended by several hundred of us and we benefited as usual from his depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and keen humor.

Roberto Trostli and student

Roberto Trostli and student

RobertoTrostli returned to enrich the program with much appreciated science classes in the upper elementary grades; he also offered an evening lecture on the importance of College work in our schools. Elizabeth Auer, artist extraordinaire, supplemented classes with painting and clay, while Julianna Lichatz taught movement and games. David Gable made all sing their hearts out and helped most classes with grade-specific music. Finally, Cezary Ciaglo, our Renewal eurythmist, helped us begin each day and taught eurythmy to most of the classes. Class teachers leading these grade-specific courses included: Regine Shemroske, Rob Lanier, Shannon Wiley, Christopher Sblendorio, Patrice Maynard, Lynn Thurrell, Signe Motter, and Helena Niiva.

Evening events were plentiful. We enjoyed an evening of conversation with one another around the topic “Why do we teach what we teach?” led by Christof in the spirit of preparing for Waldorf100. Christopher Sblendorio led us in a Contra Dance following a brief talent show and ice cream social. Finally, we were treated to a highly artistic and moving evening of eurythmy with Ivilisse Esguerra and Clifford Venho, Barbra Renold and Gili Melamed-Lev

Ivilisse Esguerra and Clifford Venho, Barbra Renold and Gili Melamed-Lev

Ivilisse Esguerra and Clifford Venho, Barbra Renold and Gili Melamed-Lev

Greatly warmed by this first week, the second week of Renewal allowed us to enjoy an array of marvelous courses that lived up to the Renewal Courses’ mission: to deepen our understanding and develop new capacities while going deeply into a chosen topic, guided by an adult educator teaching out of a wealth of experience.

I will just mention the names of the teachers who walked through our doors and facilitated courses for the 220 people who attended Renewal Courses during this second week: Janet Langley, Karsten Massei, Lakshmi Prasanna and Michael Kokinos, Brian Gray, John Cunningham and Leonore Russell, Cat Gilliam, Jeff Tunkey, Jamie York, Michael D’Aleo, Signe Motter, Charles Andrade, Daniel and Colleen O’Connors, Ian Chittenden, and Scott Springer. Special arts faculty included Meg Chittenden, Elizabeth Auer, Cezary Ciaglo, and Connie Helms. This week also featured a powerful keynote by Michael D’Aleo, a Baroque evening of music, as well as lectures by Lakshmi and Michael, and Brian Gray. We closed our 2018 season with a stellar performance of The Refugees Tale,performed by Laurie Portocarero and Glen Williamson.

Preparations are already underway for next summer. It is still too early to announce the entire roster of courses but we are looking forward to welcoming Phil Pherty in the first week and several other new faculty to teach in our grade specific classes. In the second week we are excited to feature Kim John Payne among our new faculty.

Next year we will launch an annual training for teachers in the practical arts. Daniel O’Connors will teach this course with Patrick Stolfo. We are hoping to welcome back Karsten Massei and Janet Langley, and are in conversation with a lot of wonderful people. And once again we will have Christof Wiechert, who has graced our program with his genial presence for many years and who has indicated that next summer will be his last as he prepares his retirement.

As soon as we can confirm all our 2019 courses we will let you know!

Wishing you all a beautiful Autumn,

Karine

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Dateline Wilton NH: New Scholarship Fund Launched for High School Teachers

To celebrate its “coming of age”, CfA’s high school teacher training program is launching a new tuition scholarship fund for practicing and prospective high school teachers. Torin Finser, CfA’s board president, reports on this new initiative.

The scene is the gymnasium at the Washington Waldorf School. The occasion is the yearly delegates meeting of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), and the hall is packed with several hundred representatives from 150 schools.

A carefully dressed speaker strides to the podium to report on a recent gathering of the International Forum, a worldwide group of leading adult educators to which he belongs. His every word is chosen with care, each thought articulated with crystalline clarity. Adding an occasional sparkle of humor, he holds the audience in concentrated attention.

As you may have guessed from this description, the speaker is Douglas Gerwin, ambassador of Waldorf education, founder and chair of the only American adult education program designed specifically for high school teachers, and Executive Director of our Center for Anthroposophy (CfA) in New Hampshire. Himself a Waldorf graduate and widely known among our schools internationally, Douglas is also Co-Chair of AWSNA’s Teacher Education Delegates Circle–comprised of leaders from each of the recognized Waldorf teacher training programs in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.

This summer CfA’s high school education program, which Douglas has led from its beginnings in 1996, graduated its 21stgroup of high school teachers. To mark this program’s “coming of age” and to honor its founder, we are thrilled to announce the inauguration of the

“Douglas Gerwin Scholarship Fund for High School Teacher Education”

As CfA’s third endowment fund (joining the line-up of our “Georg Locher Scholarship Fund” and “Karine Munk Finser Renewal Courses Fund”), this new dedicated scholarship fund will help lessen the burden on schools seeking Waldorf high school educators and, in this way, will further stimulate the growth of Waldorf high schools across the continent.

Despite current economic pressures, the number of Waldorf high schools is growing once again, but all of them will need qualified teachers if they are to fulfil their mission. In the end, the future of Waldorf education will hinge upon the quality of its teachers.

Please give generously to the Douglas Gerwin Scholarship Fund for High School Teacher Education, and help us reach out to new donors by bringing this appeal to the attention of board members and special friends of Waldorf education. The times in which we live demand ever greater levels of Michaelic initiative and collaboration. Please respond to our call!

Donate on our website
Douglas Gerwin

Douglas Gerwin

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Dateline Wilton NH: A Score and More of Graduates

Next summer, CfA’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP) will graduate its 22nd group of high school teachers. Douglas Gerwin, founder of this program, briefly previews the forthcoming cycle.

The next round of the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP)–starting in July 2019 on the campus of High Mowing School, a Waldorf school in Wilton, New Hampshire–will mark the beginning of the third seven-year cycle of this program. In terms of human life cycles, this program is now fully adult!
Launched in the summer of 1996, this three-summers course has graduated over 190 high school teachers since its first class completed the program in 1998. At present some 130 current and graduated students are working in more than 50 Waldorf schools across North America — a few have even retired after two and more decades in the classroom.

As in previous years, next summer’s program will be offering specialization in:

  • Arts/Art History — with Patrick Stolfo
  • Biology and Earth Science — with Michael Holdrege
  • English Languages and Literature — with David Sloan
  • History and Social Science — with Paul Gierlach
  • Mathematics and Computer Studies — with Jamie York
  • Physics and Chemistry — with Michael D’Aleo

The schedule is arranged in such a way that students can specialize in either one or two of these areas.

The program also features hands-on seminars in “Living Thinking” with Michael D’Aleo, “Human Development and Waldorf High School Curriculum” with Douglas Gerwin, and “Professional Research” with Paul Gierlach, as well as workshops in drama (David Sloan), dynamic speaking (Craig Giddens), eurythmy (Laura Radefeld), sculpture (Patrick Stolfo), and daily singing (Meg Chittenden).
In addition to these three summer intensives, students undertake two years of independent studies including a research project and internship. Details of our forthcoming summer program–starting on Sunday 30 June and running until Saturday 27 July–can be viewed on our website: www.centerforanthroposophy.org.

High School Class of 2020

High School Class of 2020

High School Class of 2019

High School Class of 2019

High School Class of 2018

High School Class of 2018

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Dateline Wilton NH: Where Are They Now?

All 9 students who graduated this summer from CfA’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP) are already fuly employed in the classroom. Here is a brief outline of where they are working.

Of the Class of 2018, some two-thirds were working in Waldorf schools even before they entered their training three summers ago in CfA’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP). As the 21st graduating group, they represent the “coming of age” of this program.

These latest graduates represent a full spread of North American addresses, from Southern California and North Washington State to Upstate New York and the Peach State of Georgia. Six of the nine are themselves Waldorf school students.

  • Paul Beasly: teaching physics and math at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs in Saratoga, NY
  • Dan Kotin: teaching history and math at Highland Hall in Northridge, CA
  • Liva Laswell: teaching English and history at the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, MD
  • Clara Lippert: teaching Spanish at the Seattle Waldorf School in Seattle, WA
  • T.G. Pelham: teaching English and history at the Academe of the Oaks in Decatur, GA
  • Jim Rowe: teaching physics and math at Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, NY
  • Jennifer Staub: teaching life sciences and math at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Mountain View, CA
  • Amelia Vance: teaching math at the Waldorf School of San Diego in San Diego, CA
  • Sam Wasko: teaching life sciences and math at the Portland Waldorf School in Milwaukie, OR

Looking ahead to the summer of 2019, a new group of high school trainees is already forming, with specializations offered in

  • Arts and art history
  • English language and literature
  • History and social sciences
  • Life science and earth science
  • Mathematics and computer studies
  • Physics and chemistry

For details, contact Douglas Gerwin, Executive Director of the Center for Anthroposophy.