YARN - From the (shorter) Oxford English Dictionary:

Spun fibre of cotton, silk, wool, or flax.... fibre prepared for use in weaving, knitting...a fisherman's net...any of the strands of which a rope is composed...a (usually long or rambling) story or tale, especially an implausible, fanciful, or incredible one.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mindfulness in Education

I am interested to see the overlaps between this conversation about mindfulness in education and some of the things I find in Waldorf education -
joyous educational environments, educational communities, social emotional learning, inner resilience, integrated learning, grounding, active movement, nature, virtue, making the world a better place, transformation, peacefulness, self-realization and awakening, being present...

Talking about Mindfulness and Education from Mindful Videos on Vimeo.

Wake Up Schools - Cultivating Mindfulness in Education is an initiative of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and associated communities to share these ideas with educators, administrators and students.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What IS eurythmy??

What IS eurythmy?

If you had asked me last week I would have said eurythmy had something to do with dancing and scarves, or maybe dancing with playsilks… clearly I had not the faintest idea what eurthymy was.  I knew it to be “one of those Waldorf things,” a hardcore Waldorf thing, and it was a bit of a mystery to me, one that I was fine with not knowing too much about.

This week I know enough to know how wrong I was to dismiss this important aspect of Waldorf education. Having participated in the workshop last weekend I can now say that eurythmy has to do with music and movement and language and evokes a strong sense of connection with others in the group.  Our school hosted a 1/2 day workshop with a guest eurythmist who led us through a series of eurythmy exercises that served to instruct and to whet our appetites for more.

I can now imagine how eurythmy in a curriculum would support the introduction of literacy in grades 1 and 2 and the whole body experience of learning to read and write in a Waldorf curriculum. And it was fun.

Waldorf education is rich with stories and the children learn to feel the rhythm, images and music in the spoken word.  In a second session a professional stage and screen actor coached us to pay greater attention to language, the words we use, and the ways in which they embody the essence of the thing they represent.  I came away with a new sense of how I might begin to speak in ways that support the intention of my words and strengthen my connection to both language and audience. I also feel a greater sense of gratitude that my children are learning not just the content of the words they use, but the power and meaning of them.

After looking for a video that captured my experience of the workshop these 2 came the closest. You can see why I linked it with scarves.  I am not so sure I can say that eurythmy is an art form for watching so much as I feel like it was a fun group activity and one that is rooted in the movement, language and music already so central to a Waldorf curriculum.