A sampling of national articles on Waldorf education and on education supporting Waldorf principles
On Child Development
Delaying kindergarten until age 7 offers key benefits to kids — study
“When children have educational experiences that are not geared to their developmental level or in tune with their learning needs and cultures, it can cause them great harm, including feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and confusion.”
– Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin and Joan Wolfsheimer Almon from a report titled “Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose” in The Washington Post
Report: Requiring kindergartners to read — as Common Core does — may harm some
“When the standards were first revealed in March 2010, many early childhood educators and researchers were shocked. “The people who wrote these standards do not appear to have any background in child development or early childhood education,” wrote Stephanie Feeney of the University of Hawaii, chair of the Advocacy Committee of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.”
-Nancy Carlsson-Paige, professor emerita of early childhood education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., and author of “Taking Back Childhood” in The Washington Post
Mozart, Newton and You?
“Creativity is essential to particle physics, cosmology, and to mathematics, and to other fields of science, just as it is to its more widely acknowledged beneficiaries — the arts and humanities.”
-Lisa Randall, author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World in The Creative Post
Bring on the learning revolution!
“We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.”
-Sir Ken Robinson on Ted.com
David Gelernter: Make It a Summer Without iStuff
“Minds need rest and work. They rest when you let them wander freely—go where they please, perch where they like. They work when there is a dangling mental rope for them to grasp hard and climb. But the iWorld fails to supply the child-mind with either of these basic needs. These fancy digital toys create a new kind of mental purgatory instead.”
-David Gelernter, Professor of Computer Science at Yale in The Wall Street Journal
A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute
“Teaching is a human experience. Technology is a distraction when we need literacy, numeracy and critical thinking.”
-Paul Thomas, former teacher and an associate professor of education at Furman University, author of 12 books about public educational methods in The New York Times
Sports Should Be Child’s Play
“Children are playing sports in too structured a manner too early in life on adult-size fields — i.e., too large for optimal skill development — and spending too much time in one sport. It can lead to serious injuries and, a growing body of sports science shows, a lesser ultimate level of athletic success. We should urge kids to avoid hyperspecialization and instead sample a variety of sports through at least age 12.”
-David Epstein, reporter at ProPublica and author of “The Sports Gene” in The New York Times
Tom Brady opens up on youth sports today
“It’s just different now, and I’m experiencing it with my own kids with all the organized activities that you put them in. I’ve made a comment for a while now: ‘I hope my kids are late bloomers in whatever they do.’ Because they are going to be exposed to so much at such an early time that yeah, you do worry about what their motivation may be. As they get older or if they feel like they’ve been in something for so long and it’s been hyper-intense and hyper-focused for so long, I think that can wear out a young individual, a young teenager… sometimes it’s nice for kids to just be kids.
-Tom Brady, Jr., American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL) in The Boston Globe
Are parents ruining youth sports? Fewer kids play amid pressure.
“We no longer value participation. We value excellence… The adults have won… If we wiped the slate clean and reinvented youth sports from scratch by putting the physical and emotional needs of kids first, how different would it look? Nothing would be recognizable.”
-Mark Hyman, professor of sports management at George Washington University and the author of several books on youth sports in The Washington Post
My Waldorf-Student Son Believes in Gnomes—and That’s Fine With Me
“I love that recess and flopping about in the mud in all weather and movement (that’s Waldorf for “gym”) are considered not discardable extras, but central parts of learning. ”
-Noah Berlatsky editor of the online comics-and-culture website The Hooded Utilitarian, author of the book Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-48. in The Atlantic Magazine
Is the Common Core killing kindergarten?
“Over the last half century, there’s been a continuous decline in children’s freedom to play. It’s through play that children gain the social abilities, the grit, the ability to control their impulses and solve their own problems that makes them resilient.”
-Peter Gray, Boston College psychologist in The Boston Globe
On Nature Based Education
10 ways to get your kids out in nature, and why it matters
“In his book, Last Child in the Woods, Louv shares many studies that have shown that spending time in nature has tremendous health benefits, among them improved concentration, a greater ability to engage in creative play, an aid to help treat mental illness (in particular ADHD and depression), and exercise that beats out organized sports with its hour-to-hour physical activity. Children who spend more time in nature develop better motor fitness and coordination, especially in balance and agility. And the benefits of the mind are not to be overlooked; greater time in nature can help children develop a healthy interior life, greater mental acuity, inventiveness, and sustained intellectual development.”
-Lauren Knight, blogger at Crumb Bums in The Washington Post