New book description: Growing Sustainable Children and Schools Worthy of Our Affection

I’ll be sending our gift copies of the digital version of volume one in next few days. Okay to request a copy.  HealingToolbox (at] gmail.com Also up as eBooks on Amazon. Paper editions coming shortly.

Subtitles: Team Human K-12 Teacher Training;
Waldorf 2.0 for Public Schools, Local Assembly Required
How to Re-Invent Face-to-Face Culture Series

In 2017, for Waldorf’s 100th birthday, 2019, I thought it might be timely to discuss what the next 100 years could bring. Here it is. One of several themes proposed is: Team Human K-12 education.

In 2016 Douglas Rushkoff proposed humanity as a team sport; everyone is on Team Human–tho not everyone recognizes-acknowledges this yet. “Team Human” is a healthy response to Faustian, dystopian “Team Machine” (programming people to conform to technology). Check out Doug’s podcast.

From multiple angles, this book project uses Team Human to refresh Waldorf schools as “seedbeds of social-cultural innovation.” In the coming 100 years, how will we engage NEW generations to innovate socially and culturally? How will they create another 2,000 practical seedbeds prototyping alternatives to dystopia? I found some answers. See if you agree–or disagree 🙂

Can Waldorf evolve in the next 100 years? How exactly? How an authentic USA Waldorf did not yet evolve–and could–is discussed.
This is also the first text I know of written for BOTH private-independent and public charter Waldorf teachers and trainees.

The book project is organized around What is “real work”?
– What is “real work” for children on their journey thru the Land of Childhood?,

– What is “real work” for adults who will teach children in the Land of Childhood–before and after puberty?

– What is “real work” for parents?

– What is “real work” for everyone, at a K-12 community center towards a Team Human positive future?

The endgame? Grade 12 graduates who are:
– Emotionally Intelligent,
– self-propelled problem-solvers, and
– cooperative-collaborative, willing and able to play on a team or lead a team.

Read as much or as little as you like. Five short volumes of 125-150 pages each, are divided over three SECTIONS:

SECTION 1 ~ Theme of Team Human K-12 ed. Couple introductions. “What is Real work for Children?” Lays out the 100-year-old wisdom of Sensitive Periods and how our Outer Game of Life as a child, becomes our Inner Adult Game of Life.

SECTION 2 ~ “What is Real work for Teachers and trainees?” Annotated short history of childhood. Annotated short summaries of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and related Best Progressive K-12 Practices from outside the ‘Classic Waldorf box.’

SECTION 3 ~ What is Real work for Parents and Everyone at a school? “Classic Waldorf is primarily characterized by its metaphors,” building on the UNESCO characterization. Waldorf metaphors universally useful. Metaphors only useful to “parochial” Anthroposophic schools. School as a person. School as a Commons. WHO do we graduate? Conclusions. Three ways to re-brand Waldorf for the coming 100 years.

Comments, corrections, additions on the entire effort are welcomed.
Written primarily for teacher trainees, I hope this usefully outlines ideas for Team Human parent education.

A robust USA version of Waldorf incorporating Best Practices from holistic-humanistic movements, has yet to develop. The Best Practices likely to be useful are summarized, a way out from the dead-end of USA schools trying to succeed as European-Waldorf-lite.

For an authentic USA Waldorf to emerge, schools will have to embrace North American genius in the areas of Emotional Intelligence, interpersonal competency, personal growth, and healthy group process.

Openness to innovations and self-assessments, compatible with Classic Waldorf, from OUTSIDE the Waldorf box will play a big part.

Can USA Waldorf evolve? Will it evolve? Let’s hope the answer is “yes” to both.

If Waldorf ed is new to you, check out the Waldorf100 video on YouTube to feel its worldwide, international momentum for yourself. Celebrate here: Waldorf100 video (17-min.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfec6eF4I_4&t=1s

Goethean Science as observing in 3-D

Quality of observing

Goethe’s theory-method of science can be clarified by ‘quality of observing;’ as in, what quality of observation does this reporter-experimenter engage in?

Two ways to experience a circus

Consider this contrast: You are 13 years old. The circus comes to town. You have never seen a circus nor seen it on a movie or screen. You want the circus experience. You mow lawns to earn the ticket price.

You enter the big top with all your senses open. Beyond the horses, elephants, trapeze artists, beyond this, a sense of wonder pours into you. In the moment, not easy for you to articulate the wholeness of your circus experience. Only later, maybe days or weeks later, will you be able to speak and-or write about your conclusions after all your external and internal movement has integrated and “come to rest.”

Contrast this with: A one-eyed, color-blind person in a wheelchair also wants the circus experience. He has no money for a ticket. He walks around the outside of the wooden fence surrounding the big top. He finds a small missing knothole in the fence he is able to look thru. Yes! He can see the big top activity, the women standing on horseback, the elephants, trapeze artists. After watching all of the circus thru this knothole, where each act can be catalogued, a more limited immersion in the experience, the one-eyed, color-blind onlooker can indeed organize his sensory and mental impressions and report his experience.

Given these two circus-goers, if you interviewed both persons, who’s account is more interesting and engaging?
Which of the two people would you invite into a Grade 1-4 classroom to describe the circus to the children?

What Goethe did not have rhetoric to say, which we can say today, is the quality of observation contrasts in the two accounts.

In one account, the objective (sensory) details of the circus converge with their own personal experience of the circus. This reporter tells you details of horses and trapeze artists; alongside details, of how and what the reporter felt.
Three-dimensional observing ~ Because this report converges feelings with sensory details, listeners find it more 3D, more engaging.

The other reporter, observing from a distance as it were, was more detached from their own feelings about the circus. They may list more sensory details of horses and trapeze artists; however, this reporter reports fewer feeling experiences, thoughts tangential to how he felt; or possibly, reports no feelings at all.

This contrast between two qualities of observation, also characterizes the contrast between the Goethean whole-person observing and Sherlock Holmes primarily left-brain-only observing.

Joe Friday: “Just the facts, mam”

I’m going back to the two circus observers. I’m aware an even starker contrast along these lines exists in pop culture. It is the hysterical mother, wife, daughter being interviewed by Detective Joe Friday in the 1952-’58 TV drama Dragnet.

Harvey Kurtzman’s and Will Elder’s parody of Dragnet in MAD (comic book) #11, page 4 especially, takes this contrast to its extreme, the hysterical widow and Joe Friday, who never responds in a personal way to ANYTHING, no matter how extreme or even absurd.

The Kurtzman-Elder Dragnet parody is here – http://ethunter1.blogspot.fr/2010/05/sunday-funnies-mad-11-dragnet.html

In both Dragnet and the parody, Joe Friday is NON-emotional. The widow wife has all the emotions. Joe even appears to have his eyes closed.  He’s closed-off to his own experience (a topic not discussed until Men’s Liberation in the late 1970s).

Starting around 1792, Goethe intuited a science drawing on BOTH extremes, could keep humankind in the middle zone of truly human values.

Mythologically, the unresponsive male, especially emotionally unresponsive male, is buddies with:

– The cowboy Marlboro Man, all tough cowboys of few words,

– Sherlock Holmes, “Elementary, my dear Watson,”

– The white-lab-jacketed scientist.

Can you add to this list?

Now for the $64,000 questions

How much are you an observer in your own life?  How much are you a full participant? 

Did you parents or grand-parents divide up Thinking and Feeling so one was “in charge” of one function and the other function fell to the other?  

How willing are you be be a full participant in your own life, employing all your senses, all your Thinking and all your Feeling?  

In Modern lingo, this is what Goethe proposed as a science for soul in the human experience.  

Can you see why Goethe’s holistic ideas had to “sleep” until the 1970s before they could be appreciated even a little bit?  

Excerpted from the up-coming On Beyond Waldorf mss