Why Choose Green Meadow Waldorf High School: An Overview
by Sandra and Joshua Abrams
There is a saying, “Speak to one of our high school students, and you will understand why families choose Green Meadow.” When we were exploring Green Meadow Waldorf School as an opportunity for our children, we approached, with permission, then-high school seniors and asked about their experiences at Green Meadow. Their unrehearsed responses were grounded, thoughtful, and detailed. In other words, they engaged with us in a mature and deliberate conversation about their own education. What is more, they seemed to have a happiness that was neither giddy nor ephemeral. It was a soulful, fulfilling, humble confidence.
…a happiness that was neither giddy nor ephemeral. It was a soulful, fulfilling, humble confidence.
Fast forward 12 years, now with one child —a recent Green Meadow graduate in her freshman year of college— and another child in her junior year at Green Meadow Waldorf High School, we can say that we see that same soulful, fulfilling, humble confidence in our children’s daily lives. They love to learn. They seek new ideas and contemplate them deeply; they greet challenges and work through the solutions; they enjoy competitive sports and collaborative projects; they develop a work-life rhythm that is healthy and productive; and they perceive and actualize their commitment to the world in and beyond Green Meadow. They are, indeed, well-rounded learners who continuously expand their knowledge and perspectives.
When asked the question, “Why did you choose Green Meadow Waldorf High School for your children?,” we have multiple reasons that extend beyond one blog. Thus, this first post focuses on the fact that Green Meadow Waldorf High School is an academically rigorous institution that includes hands-on learning, community-driven thinking, and soul-filling experiences. Because typical track courses found in traditional high schools (e.g., math, science, English, and history) are taught in a seminar style, there is conversation and interaction wherein students’ independent learning is complemented by educator teachings and guidance. Students build core skills and competencies that simultaneously nourish their love of learning and serve as a foundation for advanced discussions in the daily Main Lessons. After all, at Green Meadow Waldorf School the goal is not to simply “fill” the students’ minds with information; it is about generating and nurturing a curiosity that guides students’ research and investigations. Simply put, students engage in meaningful learning.
Green Meadow Waldorf High School is an academically rigorous institution that includes hands-on learning, community-driven thinking, and soul-filling experiences.
Each morning, high school students attend their respective 100-minute Main Lesson that mirrors a special topics seminar one takes in college in which in-depth, focused readings, research, writing, projects, and presentations advance student knowledge. Students create their own Main Lesson books that, in portfolio-like fashion, showcase original multimodal representations of literary, scientific, mathematical, philosophical, theoretical, and historical perspectives. At Green Meadow Waldorf School, learning is about questioning, analyzing, synthesizing, hypothesizing, creating, and discovering. Thus, in addition to their daily English classes, students take a deep dive into literature, such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Melville’s Moby Dick, and Dante’s Inferno, because each is the topic of a three-to-five week Main Lesson. Likewise, in addition to daily science classes, students have Zoology, Biochemistry, Stoichiometry, Electricity and Magnetism (to name a few) as Main Lessons. Students become accustomed to active learning by questioning, experimenting, and exploring. Excellent examples of this are found in the Projective Geometry and Codes and Number Theory Main Lessons wherein students consider “What is truth?” and delve into mathematical theory and the philosophy of mathematical concepts. And, in addition to their Social Studies track courses, students enjoy in-depth explorations of history, including, but not limited to, subject matter more typically found in college course catalogs such as Human Origins and Ancient Cultures, Western Civilization I and II, Contemporary World History, and the History of China: Dynasties, Asian Philosophies, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
At Green Meadow Waldorf School, learning is about questioning, analyzing, synthesizing, hypothesizing, creating, and discovering.
This sampling of courses helps to underscore the depth and breadth of teaching and learning that represent integrated meaning making. Caring teachers with an expertise in their respective subject areas create hands-on activities to help students perceive ways that the material exists in the world. Be it lifting a car with two-by-four beams to learn about lever systems, sleeping on a fully rigged historic vessel after having read Moby Dick, observing a trial after learning about the judicial system, or star gazing during an astronomy block, students enjoy interactive learning experiences. Furthermore, because students apply what they learn across their coursework, which also includes art, music, and movement, students can envision architectural concepts in physics or rhythm in language or movement in mathematics.
Although various forms of art are infused into the coursework, Green Meadow Waldorf School is not to be confused with an art school. Rather, the multimodal approach to learning helps students to materialize and concretize abstract theories and concepts. Additionally, the focus on community further expands meaning making beyond the classroom. Thus, it is unsurprising that students see themselves as part of the world and, applying what they learn across their coursework, they engage in interdisciplinary work that has a larger, global purpose.
As parents, we feel honored to learn alongside our children as we read their Main Lesson books, observe their performances, as well as watch ideas become reality through projects, essays, presentations, and speeches. Our children teach us as they share their discoveries, and we see first-hand the unparalleled value of Waldorf education at Green Meadow High School.
students see themselves as part of the world and, applying what they learn across their coursework, they engage in interdisciplinary work that has a larger, global purpose.