Does sucking your thumb prevent allergies?

Many books on parenting and child psychology include extensive discussions of the perils of thumb sucking and nail biting, and offer an array of (sometimes bizarre) suggestions to “conquer” these behaviors. Among the many ills attributed to these behaviors are a perceived risk of developing addictive disorders, malformation of developing teeth, speech abnormalities and infections….

The use and abuse of neuroscience

As a neuroscientist, and and a proponent of Waldorf Education, I seek evidence-based support for the principles of this education system, and I am particularly intrigued by evidence from brain research, the academic field I chose. Ed Meade (our Director of Education) and I recently had the opportunity to speak with our community about How…

Steiner Waldorf schools as models for science teaching

The Austrian Federal Institute for Education Research, Innovation and Development of the Austrian School System (BIFIE) recommends Steiner Waldorf schools as models for teaching in the sciences. The original report (in German) and the original blog post is on Excalibur’s blog. “Based on the relatively high competence of Waldorf pupils in natural science, combined with…

Why Did Waldorf Middle School Students Beat Hopkins Engineers at Their Own Game?

On Wednesday February 19, 2014 a group of 4 middle school girls from the Waldorf School of Baltimore earned an honor they will never forget. After besting seven middle school teams at designing a structure made entirely of marshmallows and spaghetti, they topped that achievement by winning First Place against Johns Hopkins University Whiting School…

STEM + Art = STEAM

There is a prevailing consensus that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects are not adequately addressed in most schools, and that our graduates—and our society—will fall behind in innovation capacity because they will lack the skills represented by STEM. Indeed, the recently published Common Core emphasizes the need to expand STEM education in most grades….

Coffee & Conversation with David Kaplan

Current WSB parent David Kaplan will show a clip from his forthcoming award winning film Particle Fever and talk about his experience as a Waldorf parent. David Kaplan is a professor of theoretical particle physics at Johns Hopkins University and studies supersymmetry, dark matter, and properties of the Higgs boson. After receiving his Ph.D. from…

Experiential science

Although I struggle with some aspects of the science curriculum in Waldorf Education, I strongly support an important aspect: the importance of careful, unbiased observation. Having attended middle school lessons at our school, and reviewed several students’ Lesson Books, I am impressed by the focus on cultivating powers of observation and perception as a basis…

Thomas Südhof, Waldorf Graduate, Nobel Laureate

Thomas Südhof, of Stanford University, was awarded the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine (2013). Dr. Südhof’s grandparents had been early followers for Rudolf Steiner’s teaching, and worked for Waldorf schools before Hitler assumed power and banned the anthrophosophical movement. He graduated from the Hannover Waldorf school in 1975.