Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Book Reivew, Systemic Education Reform | Tags: charter schools, intellectual virtues | No Comments »
It’s the Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach (IVA): a multi-year development process for Loyola Marymount Professor of Philosophy Jason Baehr culminates in a visionary school opening in Long Beach: it’s a new public middle school using an educational approach, as described in their charter petition, with aims and values similar to the aims and values of El Rio Schools. It’s the Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach (IVA).
In his book, The Inquiring Mind: On Intellectual Virtues & Virtue Epistemology, Dr. Baehr proposes that there are intellectual virtues (i.e. curiosity, humility, courage) as well as ethical virtues (i.e. empathy, kindness). This is what we mean when we say we want to teach “critical thinking” and this is how we do it.
Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Education Policy, Systemic Education Reform | Tags: consciousness, deep education | No Comments »
If you want to build a new world for children in school, this is a joyous find. Managing to be both scholarly and lighthearted, the essay “Deep Education” by Francois Victor Tochon describes the intent behind El Rio Schools and all forms of holistic, transformational education in positive terms. Not a complaint piece. Three top likes:
- “Current shallow teaching and learning practices need to be interrupted. The time is ripe to introduce an new approach to education. The new educational concept is … depth.”
- “Deep education involves a sense of one’s deep identity … the world of meaningful acts.”
- “Applying deep principles aims at … cultural consciousness [serving others] as well as spiritual consciousness [serving the whole] act[ing] in favor of a society that is more just, peaceful, and mature.”
Posted: December 1st, 2011 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: parenting | No Comments »
Posted: January 27th, 2011 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
The El Rio Charter School planning process is now getting to the heart of the matter.
If you’ve been following our progress you know we’ve been ueberbusy with business plans and bylaws and all such necessary parts of starting to move El Rio from rivulet to white water. Parents write every day asking to participate.
And … some things just require teachers to weigh in.
So now, as we write our way towards our August deadline for presenting the El Rio Charter School petition to LAUSD, we turn to you, teachers, for input, feedback, guidance and vision.
Whether you are a teacher, a pre-service teacher …
- Are you interested in helping to write a charter petition for 21st century teaching that builds capacities for an enlightened future today?
- Do you wish to help build a network of classrooms in L.A. preparing young people to have the presence, empathy and initiative to think big and, as Obama said last night, “do big things”?
If this resonates with you, please join us at the first El Rio “WORKSPACE FOR TEACHERS” on Saturday, February 5th from 2-4PM at the home of El Rio Charter School development team member Jennifer Patton, in Highland Park, LA, CA 90042. Joan Jaeckel will facilitate a conversation between us and Julie Navarro will set the tone with a Waldorf kindergarten circle.
El Rio Charter School, although still a dream, is not a lone dreamer. El Rio is part of a dynamically growing cultural movement of public Waldorf education that already has in it, nationwide, 45 public schools and 20 developing initiatives. Most of this growth is in California, northern California to be exact. In L.A., things are just beginning.
Ocean Charter School opening six years ago and El Rio is in the works. The Mariposa school in Thousand Oaks is a ‘regular’ public school whose teachers implement Waldorf practices. Several individual teachers in L.A. schools use Waldorf approaches in their classrooms. The northern California school network grew out of close proximity to teacher training and intra-school mentoring. We can build this same capacity of mutual learning by getting together to imagine an expanded network of public Waldorf education adapted to the realities of urban, inner city life in Los Angeles.
The charter writing process, the most essential part of it all, can only be done with input from actual teachers – visioning what the children will experience, translating the vision into the actual charter petition, forming a mutual learning space … whatever is needed.
The WORKSPACE starts forming a energetic hub for L.A. teachers interested in teaching, adapting Waldorf teaching to the LA urban schools, interested in teaching or mentoring at El Rio … meet and form the actual life of the school.
Whether you wish to join us as actual worker bee between now and August or you only wish to come once or twice to share your thoughts — please join us for the first El Rio “WORKSPACE FOR TEACHERS” on Saturday, February 5th from 2-4PM .
For address and directions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
El Rio Charter School development team
P.S. Please allow 15 minutes for parking. Once at the house, you will follow the signs leading you up two flights of external stairs to the right towards a door to the cozy attic of the El Rio Charter School development team “HQ”!
Posted: October 13th, 2010 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
“There are questions we should be asking, such as what educational theory backs up standardized testing?” ~ Jenifer Fox, author of Your Child’s Strengths.
Here’s the “Waldorf” excerpt from today’s Huff Post article, “Education, What Are We Talking About?” by Jenifer Fox.
Waldorf Education Picks Up on Piaget’s Concepts
In 1919, Austrian-Swiss philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner founded a progressive school for the workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Germany. Although the school was shut down during World War II, it regained acceptance afterward, and more such schools followed worldwide. Like Montessori, a Waldorf education’s curriculum follows a pedagogical model of child development. Steiner’s model divides childhood into seven-year developmental stages rather than three-year ones, each having its own learning requirements. Waldorf education subscribes to the Aristotelian notion of educating the whole child and emphasizes education that inspires creative and imaginative development in addition to the analytic development that most contemporary schools prefer. Waldorf aims to integrate practical, artistic, and intellectual approaches into the teaching of all subjects.”
Posted: September 25th, 2010 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
I say this movie is worth seeing for the sake of knowing what up.
Next up? The super’man’ we are actually waiting for is the superpower of childhood. In each child, ‘super powers’ already wait as a pre-existing condition.
Fuller review at www.whole.org
Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Teacher Professional Development | 1 Comment »
“Yes, but two of my unruly boys would immediately start fooling around and start sword-fighting with these things”, was the middle school teacher’s objection. We were 20, standing in pairs in a circle, and 3-foot long/1/2-inch diameter copper rods were being distributed in preparation for practicing tossing the rods to each other to a clapping beat without dropping them. It was an example of waking students up, focusing the mind, and being social. We did, of course drop the rods continually, unaccustomed to throwing or catching with our left hand, clapping and saying a poem all at the same time.
The instructor’s response to the accidental ‘dropping of the rods’ turned out to be an object lesson of a central feature of the Waldorf educational ‘approach’: forgiveness. We are not warned not to drop the rods, instead we are told we will probably drop the rods and if we do that will be fine because rods can drop and probably will. As a result, we do not feel compelled to apologize, feel bad or make excuses. We just pick it up, laugh, learn from the experience and try again. We notice that no one is selected as the best rod thrower of the day. We are free to notice and appreciate the more talented throwers and learn from them. We are not being judged and, as a result, try really hard and exceed our own expectations in every case.
- Blackboard drawing of the brain for Bonnie River’s public talk, “Brain-based theories of learning and Waldorf education”, a real crowd-pleaser.
So back to the teacher worried that in real life with real middle-schoolers real fooling, not just accidental rod-dropping, would ensue. The instructor says, “watch this”, and invites the skeptical teacher and her partner into the center of the circle with their rods. The instructor says to the two ‘boys’ who, in our imagination, have been sword-fighting, “Sword-fighting is a discipline that can be learned with practice over time. Let’s begin. Here is how you cross swords (clang! clang!) and you two can practice crossing swords right here while the rest of us practice throwing.” I can’t guarantee that this tactic would works with all unruly boys in all situations but the demonstration of helping the boys direct their energy into a productive purpose while having the chance to be admired and experience a small success seemed, to me and others when we talked about it over coffee at break, a direction worth developing to suit.
El Rio plans to continue developing opportunities for L.A. teachers to get to know Waldorf education philosophy and practice. This initial project was a collaborative effort initiated by Tamar Kern, founding teacher and co-charter writer of the Ocean Charter School charter, and Joan Jaeckel, lead developer of el Rio Charter School and co-writer with Tamar of the founding Ocean Charter School charter. The Public School Outreach team at Rudolf Steiner College assigned Bonnie River (assisted by Robert Murar) to develop the content and assemble the team and, with the Administrative assistance of Stephanie Edwards and Kristy Mac Fett at Ocean Charter School, it all came together. In total, 18 teachers took the course, including the winner of the el Rio Charter School get-to-go-for-free lottery. Our instructors were Ken Lavner, Lisa Profumo and Alice Stamm. I especially want to mention the inspiring leadership and willingness of el Rio Charter Shool development team member, blogger-writer Julia Posey and her brilliant brainchildren, the UTLA ad and the lottery.
It would be great to hear more stories from participants. Please join in and write!
And, tell a friend.
Posted: August 16th, 2010 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
7 Top Picks (and still working):
- Akan KAY,
- Gever TULLEY,
- Ken ROBINSON (schools kill creativity),
- Ken ROBINSON (bring on the learning revolution)
- Stuart BROWN,
- Temple GRANDIN,
- Tim BROWN
Posted: August 1st, 2010 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Child mental health, Parenting, play, Teacher Training | No Comments »
PRESSURE TO PERFORM, SUCCEED, WIN, COMPETE, PLEASE
- NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO PLAY: FREE, SELF-INITIATED PLAY WITH “LOOSE PARTS”.
Imagine a kindergarten where PLAY is the main subject. Where play is the pre-requisite for acquiring proficiency in the three R’s? Where free, experimental, child-initiated play is the pre-requisite for critical & creative thinking, getting along & collaborative networking, and taking individual initiative in life?
What if free play becomes the new way to keep students’ brains active?
Is there anything about the idea of non-prescriptive, self-directed, no-rules, no winners/losers play as children’s essential ‘work’ that worries you?
What are the obstacles you think stand in the way of giving L.A. children and students the play they need for a satisfying childhood and meaningful life?
How would your own life change if you adopted more of a no-right-or-wrong-way-to-play approach to your world-view, your relationships, your activities?
- “Building a Better Playground” TIME [video: http://bit.ly/bYfrIs] [story: http://bit.ly/bAMpXD]
- “State of Play” The New Yorker [article: http://bit.ly/aGkb95]
- Monique’s Magical Waldorf Kindergarten Class 2010 San Francisco: [video http://bit.ly/cRF27q]
CHILD-INITIATED PLAY GROUND: Who would we be if this was our daily experience as children?
TRY IT OUT FOR YOURSELF THIS SUMMER
“Play Every Day” ideas and fact sheet from the Alliance for Childhood
Posted: May 11th, 2010 | Author: Joan Jaeckel | Filed under: Education Policy, events, K-12 curriculum, LAUSD, Public Meetings, Teacher Training | 2 Comments »
Teaching at Ocean Charter School: public Waldorf education in L.A.
For five days this summer Los Angeles public school educators will have a chance to experience public Waldorf education in practice, not just hear about it in theory.
Begins July 19th at Ocean Charter School. ***PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD*** [Flyer, contacts, registration below]
Educators will EXPERIENCE:
- Experience the comprehension-inducing effects of storytelling.
- Experience the focus and learning effect of song, movement, drawing, painting, sculpture and more on the mind.
- Experience the mind-opening effect of hands-on science.
Educators will TAKE HOME:
- A KIT with ideas and materials for their grade.
- Collaborative strategies to form a professional in-house learning community.
- The ability to make a difference with different learners through Waldorf-based ‘different-learner’ methods.
ONLINE REGISTRATION [*Click on button that says "Waldorf Education for Public School Educators of Southern California"]
- Some people have found the online registration process a bit trying, so if that’s you, Debbie Brown in the RSC Registration Office will help you: 916-864-4864 and her email is email@example.com.
Waldorf Education for Public School Teachers
of Southern California [flyer]
JULY 19-23 2010
OCEAN CHARTER SCHOOL
12606 Culver Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Workshop fee: $350
FOR MORE INFORMATION about the course itself or other info on Waldorf teacher professional development, including an MA in Waldorf Education, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In joy, the el Rio Charter School development team together with Ocean Charter School teacher Tamar Kern ANNOUNCE a collaborative project of el Rio, Ocean and Steiner College to boost teacher effectiveness in Los Angeles through a one-week professional development immersion into the K-8 Waldorf classroom experience …
We would love to meet you and invite you to take the plunge this summer!