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Spring/Summer 2012, Volume 17 #1: Report from the Co-Directors

Download the article: Report from the Co-Directors

A Special Focus for This Issue
Because of intense interest across North America concerning the inner working of a Waldorf school, we have dedicated this issue of the Research Bulletin to topics related to this theme. We hope these articles will both inspire and encourage teachers in the deepening of their work.

With the next issue we will return to more global concerns and articles on preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, and high school students, as well as observations on the life of Waldorf graduates. Readers who have researched and written about experiences or observations specific to these areas are invited to submit their manuscript to the Research Institute for consideration by the editorial board of this journal.

Continued Collaboration
The Research Institute continues dialogue and exchanges with friends in Europe. Specifically we work with the Pedagogical College in Mannheim, the Padagogische Forschungsstelle in Stuttgart, Alanus College near Bonn in Germany, and the Pedagogical Research Center in Kassel, Germany. We seed each other with ideas, share research data, and seek ways to scientifically support the Waldorf curriculum.

Refurbished Website
This spring the Research Institute’s website (www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org) has been enhanced with many new articles. Soon the site will be housed on a new server, making it possible to download articles more swiftly. Comments or suggestions about this site should be routed to the Institute’s Co-Directors.

Sexuality in the Waldorf Curriculum
The Research Institute’s project on teaching sexuality in the Waldorf school (grades 4—12), headed by Douglas Gerwin, looks like it will be ready later this year under the Research Institute’s logo and sold by AWSNA Publications. This book includes leading articles by key researchers in Europe and North America, as well as descriptions of appropriate opportunities within each class. This collection of essays should be of value to teachers in both public and Waldorf schools.

Topics in Mathematics for the 12th Grade
The Research Center in Kassel has produced its fourth iTopics in Mathematics? book, which is being translated by the Research Institute for sale later this spring in Englishspeaking countries under our logo. This latest book, which focuses on the twelfth grade, can be ordered from AWSNA Publications (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or through Books Online at the AWSNA website (www.whywaldorfworks.org).

Technology
Educators who are following the debate sparked by the recent article in The New York Times on the use of computers in the Waldorf school are having to confront crucial decisions concerning the use oftechnology among different age groups. Which technology is appropriate at the different age levels? How is technology applied at each age?

Recently David Mitchell was interviewed about these questions for a forthcoming edition of the Waldorf education publication Erziehungskunst. The Europeans want to know how North American Waldorf teachers are dealing with this topic and how the popular media are reporting it. We are being called upon to state with greater clarity why in the kindergarten and elementary grades computers are restricted or banned outright, yet how fully they are incorporated into the high school program.

The Research Institute has applied to two foundations for funds to initiate a study on how Waldorf schools approach technology. Specific attention will be directed at the use of the computer. Where in the lesson plan do we find computer studies? What are the intentions of these courses and how are they evaluated?

Finally we intend to assemble a guidebook focused on this topic, including a systematic set of examples and lesson plans on teaching computer science.

eBooks
Thanks to a new grant from the Waldorf Curriculum Fund, the Research Institute will be able to continue producing eBooks for our OWL website. This feature, coupled with a new search engine, will make it easier to find
important books now out of print. Individuals who search specific topics—for instance “child development” will soon be presented with many options from these online books.While this service is not meant to replace the availability of hardcover books, readers will be able to preview books to find the most suitable match for their needs.

Annual Appeal
Finally, the Research Institute is in constant search of funds, both from foundations and from individuals who see our research efforts as critical to the development of Waldorf education. If you know of a foundation that might be interested in assisting this work, please contact the Co-Directors or any trustee of the Research Institute.

Individual readers of the Research Bulletin recently received an annual appeal letter and gifting envelope from Alice Groh, a trustee of the Research Institute. We are grateful to those who have already responded and hope that others of you will be able to support our work with a tax-deductible donation.