Bringing meaning to children’s world 

The founder of a Waldorf curriculum program used around the world, Rainbow Rosenbloom, will spend tomorrow in Whistler sharing techniques.

Hosted by the Alta Lake School the all day presentation and workshop will start at 10 a.m. and go until 4 p.m. at the school site in Spruce Grove park.

If you call the school today at 604-932-1885 tickets are $20. If you register tomorrow at the school, it’s $25.

"My presentation is going to be based upon what I consider to be one of the key neglected aspects of elementary education, which is helping children to learn how to build healthy relationships with one another and with adults," said Rosenbloom from his California home.

"It’s is often sought after yet very little thought has gone into how you develop the sense of trust and respect.

"Most school forms focus on discipline as punishment and to try and force children into respecting you, and of course they never do. They may be obedient but obedience is not the basis of respect.

"I will be presenting actual curriculum and pedagogical techniques as tools to extend one’s authority in such a way as to inspire trust in the students which leads to respect."

Rosenbloom, founder of Live Education, has 20 years experience teaching and advising for Waldorf schools. He has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad bridging Waldorf education, homeschooling and Multiple Intelligence Theory.

He received his Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Emerson College in England in 1978 and his Ed. M. from Harvard in 1990.

He is concerned that without a strong grounding in making moral decisions for themselves children as they grow will be at a loss to make appropriate decisions.

"If we are constantly trying to tell our children what to do and supply them with directions and guidance so that they make no moral decisions themselves, what happens when they are faced with a decision they have to make that isn’t exactly like one we have guided them through?" he wondered.

"Where is their resourcefulness going to come from?

"That is a very important aspect of education: To build up that capacity for making decisions based on their perceptions of what is right or wrong or appropriate or inappropriate, however you want to describe that.

"If they are only to memorize a set of standards or rules, say the Ten Commandments, that’s fine until they face a situation that isn’t answered by the Ten Commandments."

Learning this resourcefulness and approaching education with a lively imagination and curiosity are key in Waldorf education.

"There is a recognition that the children have all of these different ways of learning and domains of intelligence that integrate the information the teacher is bringing throughout their whole being," said Rosenbloom.

"(This means) the actual subject is truly living in them. It is not simply something that is lectured to them. It is not simply information it is rather an experience.

"In general, this perspective of both wonder and reverence for all of the world is really the key to learning.

"To be able to create curiosity in the child, which also must live in the teacher, and through this curiosity the interest can develop and then the child is a participant in their education not simply passively trying to take tests to satisfy the authorities.

"They are actually participating. They are curious. They are interested and to get at that there must be something worthy of their interest, and the (Waldorf) teacher is well trained in creating this curiosity that then becomes worthy of a child’s interest.

"It is really to bring meaning into their world."

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