GMWS Blog

On the debate about Common Core

Thank you to guest blogger & GMWS parent Beatrice Burgis for this post!

This article is an emotional first-person account by two mothers who wrestle with the effects of standardized testing on their elementary-aged children.  The Common Core standards initiative, which has been adopted by 45 states, has had its share of both supporters and critics, but mounting evidence suggests that the rigors of preparing for tests, particularly among the youngest students, may have a harmful effect on learning in the long run. 

In contrast, Waldorf® Education meets children where they are developmentally, rather than adopt a homogeneous approach that focuses more on memorization than in-depth comprehension and personal experience. One of the hundreds of comments following the article sums it up best: "I don't want a standardized child."  At every age, Waldorf students are encouraged to explore their environment with curiosity, enthusiasm, and respect, thereby fostering a life-long love of learning.  

The Documented Life

As we prepare for winter break and time with family, let's consider this opinion piece by Dr. Sherry Turkle of MIT, from The New York Times.

One of the best quotes: "It is not too late to reclaim our composure. I see the most hope in young people who have grown up with this technology and begin to see its cost. They respond when adults provide them with sacred spaces (the kitchen, the family room, the car) as device-free zones to reclaim conversation and self-reflection."

Why Are These Kindergarten Children Harvesting Potatoes?

(Photo from October 2012)

There are so many reasons...but let's start with these:

  • Because science begins with nature study and observation. They are learning how food is grown and harvested, while developing an intuitive and reverential respect for the earth and its processes and cycles.
  • Because life-long health (social, emotional, physical, spiritual, cognitive) includes being in the fresh air and sunshine, alongside friends, as we work on a cooperative project together, share opportunities to ask questions and solve problems, and build our will and our muscles.
  • Because life requires that we get involved. These children are being given an important chance to be engaged, helpful, and focused.  

Remembering Newtown

The Motherlode blog of The New York Times has some eloquent words about the one-year anniversary of the Newtown shootings. Our thoughts are with all the families who experienced the tragedy.

Posted by vlarson on Friday December 13, 2013
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Tag: Newtown CT

GMWS Alumni Parent David Goodman in conversation with Dr. Maya Angelou

Don't miss this conversation from The Andrew Goodman Foundation's Hidden Heroes Awards 2013.

We are very proud that David Goodman and Sylvia Golbin-Goodman are involved alumni parents at GMWS. Did you know that the stage in Rose Hall is named for Andrew Goodman?

Cursive Writing Makes Kids Smarter

A professor of Neuroscience at Texas A & M University, William Klemm, D.V.M., Ph.D., wrote this excellent piece that supports teaching cursive, an integral part of the Waldorf curriculum. 

Relearning the Lost Skill of Patience

This article from last week in The Atlantic reminds us about the differences between acquiring information and learning, between seeing and understanding.

Tony Porter: A Call to Men

Take a look at this TED talk by Tony Porter, who comes to GMWS regularly to work with students.

Posted by vlarson in parenting, success, self-expression, self-confidence, men, boys, feminism, stereotypes, TED talks, alienation, girls, self-esteem on Monday November 18, 2013 at 09:32AM
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