New Research on How Waldorf Students Learn

Take a look at this new study from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in Germany. A few highlights: "80% of Steiner [Waldorf] students find their learning fun (compared to 67%). 85% find the environment supportive (compared to 60%). The relationship with teachers is judged significantly better at 65% compared to 31%. [Study author Andreas] Schleicher praised the emphasis on personal responsibility and self-motivation, preparing children for the life that awaits them after graduation."

Alone Together

Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, has been on our radar for some time. A professor at MIT and one of the first academics to study the impact of emerging technology on adults' and children's behavior, her April 2012 TED talk was followed by this interview last week with Bill Moyers. Hers is an important perspective.

Here's a quote: “What concerns me as a developmental psychologist is watching children grow in this new world where being bored is something that never has to be tolerated for a moment,” Turkle tells Moyers. “Everyone is always having their attention divided between the world of people [they're] with and this ‘other’ reality.”


Fall Fair: A Go Green Success

From the Go Green Committee: Our Go Green efforts at the Fall Fair were spectacular! We kept hundreds of plastic water bottles out of the waste stream, and minimized our contribution to landfill, sending most of our waste to a compost pile at the Fellowship Community, where it will be transformed into black gold (compost) and used to enrich our farm fields.
Counting bags, the results were about as follows: 
73% compostables
12% recyclables
12% landfill
3% paper/cardboard
Posted by vlarson in success, collaboration, sustainability, eco-friendly, Fall Fair, environment on Thursday October 17, 2013
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Let's Work Hard to Protect Our Girls

All children have more pressure on them than ever before. This important article shows us some of what girls face, from as young as age 8 (and even earlier).

Posted by vlarson in parenting, success, self-expression, self-confidence on Wednesday October 16, 2013
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Is Music the Key to Success?

While we don't believe there's any ONE key to success, this article (from The New York Times yesterday) is certainly worth reading.

Book Recommendation from CCFC: The Big Disconnect

We are thrilled to have Susan Linn, Executive Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), coming to speak at GMWS on May 6! Check out the CCFC's latest book recomendation, below.

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age 
by Catherine Steiner-Adair

CCFC has long been at the forefront of the movement to reduce children’s screen time—and The Big Disconnect is an important tool for helping families and people who work with children address this challenging issue. As families are more and more consumed by screens —children constantly texting their friends, parents working online around the clock—everyday life is undergoing a massive transformation. Easy availability to the Internet and social media has erased the boundaries that protect children from the unsavory aspects of adult life. Parents often feel they are losing a meaningful connection with their children. Children are feeling lonely and alienated.

Renowned psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair has written a highly readable book—relying on research and her clinical experience to argue for the urgent need to set limits on how much and what kind of media children consume. Not only do chronic tech distractions have deep and lasting effects, but children desperately need parents to provide what tech cannot: close, significant interactions with the adults in their lives. Steiner-Adair offers insights and advice that can help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they come up against the tech revolution unfolding in their living rooms.

Posted by vlarson on Monday September 30, 2013
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GMWS Alumni Stefan Schaefer's new film

Congratulations to Stefan Schaefer '89, from whom we just received this message:
Dear Waldorf Friends, 
I hope this finds you well. Below please find a press release about a film I wrote and directed, entitled MY LAST DAY WITHOUT YOU. The film stars Nicole Beharie (SHAME, 42, SLEEPY HOLLOW) and European leading man Ken Duken. It opens on Oct. 4th in DC, Atlanta, Seattle, New Orleans and Chicago. It's a heart-warming, cross-cultural love story - rated PG-13 - that members of your school community may find compelling. For those of you who saw my prior film ARRANGED (, it features several of the same actors. You can learn more via the following links: 
Please let me know if you have any questions or whether I can provide any additional information. 
All the very best, 
Stefan Schaefer | writer, director  
Green Meadow Alum

My Last Day Without You is an independent feature film produced by Cicala Filmworks and Silver Shepherd. The film directd by Stefan Shaefer, sis co-written by Stefan Schaefer and Christoph Silber, and produced by Diane Crespo, Christoph Silber and Stefan Schaefer. The film is distributed by Novus Content and Mission Pictures. Film stars Nicole Beharie, Ken Duken, Marlene Forte, Laith Nakii, Robert Cohessy, and Reg E. Cathey. 
On a one-day business trip to New York, a German business executive falls in love with a singer-songwriter who exposes him to her Brooklyn world and emotions he's never experienced before.


Director's Note
The premise for the film is very loosely based on the experiences of my writing partner, Christoph Silber, who met his wife on the subway in Brooklyn. Such "chance meetings" are often depicted in film, and at times come off as narrative device, but both of us have been shaped by such encounters in our personal lives and so decided to forge ahead and flesh out some ideas.

We developed numerous treatments over the years, eventually settling on a love story between two characters that appear very different on the surface - a German on the corporate fast-track; and a pastor's daughter from Brooklyn with musical aspirations. Fortunately, the screenplay appealed to some amazing actors, who in turn took the story to places I could never have anticipated. Additionally, the music composed by Scott Jacoby and performed by lead actress Nicole Beharie elevate the film tremendously.


My Last Day Without You will have a limited theatrical run in October. We will be hosting premiere events in both DC and Atlanta.
Posted by vlarson on Tuesday September 24, 2013 at 09:44AM
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Today's Rose Ceremony

Professional photos are coming soon, but here's a sneak peek at today's Rose Ceremony. With great pride, we present the Class of 2014 and the Class of 2025. Welcome back, everyone!

Posted by vlarson on Monday September 9, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Getting Ready for School, and Staying Present in Our Lives

As we get ready for school to start next week, I wanted to share this article sent to me by a GMWS Board member. As with other aspects of parenting, so many of the challenges around media have to do with our own self-development, as we model a balanced life, healthy boundaries, and impulse control for our children. 

Happily, our child(ren)'s teachers, the Media Resource Group, our Community Education Series, and other parents are here to support all of us on this very worthwhile journey.

 See you next week!


Posted by vlarson on Monday September 2, 2013
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End-of -Year Slideshow: Happy Summer!

Enjoy this look back at the past few months.

Posted by vlarson on Tuesday June 25, 2013 at 11:38AM
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