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May 14, 2013
In order to develop these three capacities, we must educate our children in a multidimensional way in school. The place to begin is through self-directed play with the young child. Play is the wonderfully creative work of early childhood. When young children play, they are focused, attentive, and completely involved in what they are doing. This is a characteristic of genius and innovative individuals often keep this playful nature intact throughout their lives. The second way to educate children for the future is through art. In the grade school it is possible to teach all of the academic subjects in a manner that integrates art. In doing so we create an educational program that addresses a child’s need to be engaged imaginatively and emotionally in each lesson. When we teach children through a foundation of active play and a solid framework of artistic experiences, we help them develop the third essential ability, a capacity for dynamic, curious, and original thinking, a thinking that enables our children to ask the questions that are still waiting to be asked. More »
May 13, 2013
Imagine a young child learning to stand for the first time. He has seen his older sister do it countless times, and he is determined that he, too, will stand and then walk towards the things that interest him. He crawls to the coffee table and pulls himself into an upright position, then his legs wobble and he promptly falls back onto his bottom. He pulls himself up again, and falls again. Again, and again. The wise parent watches without intervention, ensuring safety but not interrupting the learning that is going on. The child may become distracted at times, but he will keep trying until he is eventually standing solidly and walking confidently towards his interests. More »
May 7, 2013
Touch is a fundamental human need, like eye contact and movement. Touch is a proprioceptive sense meaning that it gives us a sense of our own body. Actually it is quite unique in that it gives us a sense of ourselves and a sense of another simultaneously. Seen in this light it is also a "social sense." The other proprioceptive senses are self-movement, balance, and "life." This last one requires a bit of explanation. It is the life processes you feel inside of yourself. One way to characterize this is feeling well or feeling ill. You could say that a sense of well-being is a sense of life: we sense the life inside our own body. It is closely related to the sense of touch, because nurturing touch increases our sense of well-being. You have probably felt this yourself when you have been upset and then someone held your hand or gave you a hug. More »
April 13, 2013
JÄRNA, SWEDEN — Seventy cows died in the early hours of Friday, March 22 after a barn at the Järna Biodynamic Agricultural High School about 50 kilometres south of Stockholm caught fire. Emergency services were alerted to the fire at the giant barn at Järna Biodynamic Agricultural High School (Naturbruksgymnasium high school) in the town Ytterjärna at about 2.30am. Firefighters from six nearby stations rushed to the rescue, but the barn's structure had crumbled by morning. "Now we just have minimal presence on site - one fire truck and two staff - to make sure the remains of the fire don't spread," emergency service spokesman Roger Magnusson told the TT news agency. He said the cause of the fire was yet to be determined. "When we arrived the barn was more or less entirely engulfed by fire so it is difficult to even say where it started," said Magnusson. "The other two buildings on campus that contain a workshop, classrooms, a hay loft, and stables seem to be unaffected," he added. No people were hurt in the blaze. The agricultural high school is owned by the Nibble Foundation (Nibblestiftelsen), which focuses on biodynamic milk production. Ytterjärna and its environs are home to many agricultural and educational establishments inspired by the Anthroposophic movement. More »
April 11, 2013
GLASGOW — Plumes of smoke billowed out of the towering Victorian building in Glasgow's West End as children as young as three watched, horrified. Evacuated in just their indoor clothes and tiny slippers, the snow fell on pupils of the Steiner School while chaos ensued all around them. Ten fire engines screamed to the scene, effectively shutting down the densely populated area of Yorkhill as 55 firefighters tackled the inferno at around 11:30am on Tuesday, March 26. A saving grace was that the fire started in the attic space, far removed from where children laughed and sang and learned. It is presumed the cause was electrical. Standing to face the media as the beloved B listed building burned, shell shocked school manager Kathryn Turner could barely speak. Words like ‘devastated’ and ‘heartbroken’ didn’t seem to quite encapsulate the scale of the tragedy for the close knit school community. Now, just over a week on, the exhausted leader knows the full magnitude of the fire still hasn’t sunk in. "The reality of it kicks in but you still wait to wake up and find that it’s not happened," she said. "It has been a really busy time for us, we’ve made a lot of progress in a week but, I don’t think it will sink in for a long time yet. At 3am on Wednesday morning, I was still counting in my head to make sure we’d got everyone out. I knew, logically, that everyone was out but still, you keep counting." Thankfully, a total of 65 children - aged between three and 12 - and 20 staff did make their way out of the Lumsden Street school as the fire alarm sounded at 11.30am. More »
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