A book is now available - consolidates and updates much of the past content of this website
Available from Steiner Books or Amazon
Dear friends, about 9 years ago, I started this website as a way to collect and offer articles and resources that came to me from time to time during my teaching at Aurora Waldorf School, at the teacher development courses offered by the Association for a Healing Education, and during my independent summer intensives and workshop visits to other schools. Now, these gifts from so many people and places can be found, organized and expanded, in Educating for Balance and Resilience, available from Steiner Books/Bell Pond Press. Because it incorporates updated versions of many of the articles that have been on this website, I've deleted some of the content found here in the past, leaving only items that are not in the book. But, the remaining content definitely makes a good supplement to the book.
The Pandemic & the “Pedagogical Law”
Helping each other
in times of stress
Our time on Earth may include a multitude of joys and pleasures, but the facts of life are that all sorts of individual struggles will be frequent, and then death is eventually a universal experience. The COVID pandemic has created a time when all are suffering together (some more, some less, but none unaffected). A global crisis thus unlike any other we’ve experienced is by nature especially disorienting. I guess you could say it’s “normal to think, say or do normally abnormal things under this type of pressure”. How can we help each other re-find our higher selves?
Rudolf Steiner’s “pedagogical law” – together with his description of the fourfold human being – offers a clear lens on the nature and facets of such shared disorientation, and on how we can help each other to better cope with the emotional aspects of this or any other dramatically changed life circumstances.
Feelings of stress and disorientation are the result of disruption of our “finer bodies” as described by Steiner. Our etheric body, also commonly known as our habit body or body of life forces, is under attack, with sleep problems, upsets to daily rhythms or diet, effects of increased screen time, etc. Our astral body, the body of motion and emotion, is pushed and pulled in many ways, including changes in exercise, reduced socialization, and all the pendulum swings of grieving as described by Maslow. Our ego body, our “self-image”, may be presented with great changes and challenges every single day.
Faith, Love and Hope
In various venues near the end of 1911, Steiner delivered a two-lecture presentation entitled “Faith, Love and Hope: The Third Revelation.” In the first of these, he makes a very meaningful and useful declaration about the anthroposophic terminology most often used to label the finer bodies.
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Myths, Legends, Fables,
Stories and Heroes:
Keeping What’s Important
The Waldorf Literature Sequence as
Armament for the Challenges of Life
Many North American Waldorf schools are working on thoughtful reviews of their canon of literary content from early childhood through high school. A knotty task: so many important considerations and viewpoints! Based on the research outlined below, I would offer the thought that “the more things need to change, the more they need to stay the same!” By this I mean that, absolutely, the sources do need a careful 21st century look at ways to bring in greater cultural diversity than was envisioned in 1919.
However, the deepest layer of a school’s literature list, as it progresses from fairy tale, fable, myth and legend to modern biography and history, needs to maintain certain values if it is to continue to do the best possible job of helping to prepare students for life. This deepest layer could be defined as the universal motifs or archetypes, the soul-feeding qualities represented within the plots and characters.
I hope you’ll find it useful to hear about this topic of deeper meanings, of archetypes. We'll look at a comparison of the writings and lectures on this subject from two contemporaries of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Rudolf Steiner, who founded Waldorf Education and many other movements; and Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. These provide a lens on the ways that oral and then written literature have always, since the beginning of time, reflected the unfolding of human consciousness and our universal attempts to find meaning in life. The Waldorf literature track reflects this historical evolution of consciousness, and also supports the way (the same way) that the consciousness of today’s children in fact continues to unfold year by year.
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Juggling - Steps to success
Distance learning environments take away many possibilities for the development of eye-hand coordination. Linked below are: a video of a juggling progression, and an instruction sheet. Since most students will not have juggling balls at home, I offer an easy homemade alternative that works very well.
in the grades
An outline of suggested
goals & ingredients
Here is a very abbreviated outline of the fullest spectrum of student support program elements that a school may wish to build up over time. Expanded detail for this approach is in “Educating for Balance and Resilience”.
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Videos have been
moved to a new home
For technical reasons, I've moved the videos previously displayed on this website, to my youtube channel (the movementforchildhood channel).
Topics of these videos include: