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steiner education (3)

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Transitions To Social Justice? Does The New Director Have Any Knowledge Of Steiner Education?

iBerkshires.com News
"Dr. Sue Das (new school director) is the right person at the right time for Steiner, as we go through a vitally important transition in our school's history..."

"Dr. Das brings to her position at the Steiner School a deep commitment to equity and social justice in teaching and learning."

"(Dr. Das is) skilled in curriculum alignment and development..." 


GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School has announced that, after a nationwide search, the school's new director will be Dr. Sue Das.

"Dr. Sue Das is the right person at the right time for Steiner, as we go through a vitally important transition in our school's history," said Chris Lee, president of the Steiner School Board of Trustees and a member of the school director search committee. "She brings extraordinary knowledge as an educator, deep experience as an administrator, and wisdom from her rich and meaningful life story. Combine all this with her fresh perspective, quiet confidence and compassion for children, and we will have a very strong leader to help guide our future."

An experienced global educator, Dr. Das has broad teaching, literacy, and leadership experience in primary, secondary, and higher educational settings. Skilled in curriculum alignment and development, and holistic assessment frameworks, she is an international presenter in literacy topics.

A native of Calcutta, India, Dr. Das brings to her position at the Steiner School a deep commitment to equity and social justice in teaching and learning. She has worked as a board member and a volunteer to create international literacy initiatives for non-profits, including Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.

Dr. Das earned her Ph.D in language, literacy and learning from Fordham University in New York and holds master of arts degrees in both teaching (N-6) and reading (K-12) from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., as well as a master of arts degree in English from the University of Calcutta and a bachelor of arts degree in English from Saint Xavier's College in Calcutta, India. Dr. Das holds a certificate of advanced educational leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and has completed educational leadership training at the Vanderbilt University Peabody School of Education, The Children's School, Fairfield University, and Kingswood Oxford School. Most recently, Dr. Das was a fellow at the National Association of Independent School's Aspiring Heads Institute.

Dr. Das comes to the Steiner School from the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn., an independent, college preparatory day school providing character-based education for boys in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. At Brunswick, Dr. Das has served as a teacher and administrator since 1998 and currently serves as the co-director of the Brunswick Faculty Institute, an in-house professional development program. Throughout her career, she has championed linguistics, literacy, early childhood, special education, action research and STEAM, for which she received her teaching certification in 2015. Dr. Das's teaching experience includes gifted, remedial, and other elementary education programs for children from pre-K through grade 8, as well as adjunct professorships in language and literacy at Queens College of Education, Manhattanville College of Education, and Iona College of Education.

Commenting on her appointment as Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Director, Dr. Das writes, "In my own life, I strive to be a global citizen and have been blessed with truly remarkable teachers. These authentic relationships and experiences, coupled with my own sense of calling in my work, have brought me to this unique haven that is the Steiner School. I have seldom seen the absolute and pure joy, excitement, commitment and passion for education that I've seen at Steiner. As the Director, I am looking forward to being part of the Steiner School fabric — to grow and learn alongside the community, as well as continue the work of educating the 'whole child' in the 21st century."

https://www.iberkshires.com/story/58835/Great-Barrington-Rudolf-Steiner-School-Announces-New-School-Director.html

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Is Waldorf Education Really Occult Education?

Waldorf education
I was looking for something different. I found traditional academic education horribly lacking in fantasy, imagination, and storytelling. So I was excited to hear that a new alternative school had just opened in my area that taught in innovative ways and instilled a great reverence for the forces of nature.

I visited the school admissions office and was delighted to see that all classroom supplies are made of natural materials such as wood, silk, wool and cotton with rich, natural colors that stimulated my senses. Following my gut feeling I eagerly enrolled my children into Seven Rays Waldorf School.

When I arrived back home I looked up the school on the internet and found some disturbing information. I read that the curriculum is riddled with alchemy, magic, astrology and all the bizarre and weird ideas of the occult. It made me wonder if Waldorf Education is really Occult Education!




Nature table
My fears of occult practice in the school quickly vanished when I visited my children's Waldorf classroom.

An important part of the classroom is the festive Nature Table where I listened to the children joyfully recite their daily incantations about spirits and rhythms in nature.





Handwork
There were many adorable knitting, crocheting, and hand sewing projects on display. Handwork develops hand-eye coordination, counting skills and creativity.




Puppetry
My children participated in a puppet show. The puppets draw the children into the story and enliven it with colorful fun characters.




Story book list

The school librarian did a wonderful job in supplying us with an appropriate Waldorf fairy tale book list. Every evening the children look forward to their uncle's story time.




Lesson book
Students create their own lesson books – valuable learning tools that record progress through the grades. The books include their own verse compositions with ancient symbols that the student illustrates.


Class play

At the end of the year the class presented a dramatic stage performance. I was so proud that my children had leading roles. These presentations complement the subject matter of the grades.


Definitely not occult education

I don't know who is spreading the misinformation online that Waldorf Education has anything occult in its program. This is absurd!

I am so pleased with how Waldorf education is cultivating a great reverence for nature in my children. They are learning how to live within the rhythms and cycles of nature so they can conjure up the powers of the fairies, gnomes, and elves to bound life's trolls.

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© Tom Last 2017