Waldorf Education Featured on The Simpsons Season Finale

The Simpsons gave a comic shout out to Waldorf Education during their Season 26 finale for 2015 — “Mathlete’s Feat”, which aired May 17, 2015. The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) was pleased with the level of in-depth knowledge The Simpsons writers clearly possessed about pedagogy and stereotypes associated with Waldorf Education, which made this fun caricature both lighthearted and flattering. So how did Waldorf Education end up in an episode of The Simpsons? After Springfield Elementary School is bested in a mathlete competition, a well intentioned group donates servers, laptops and smart boards to the school so that students can better compete. Shortly after this tech revolution, there’s a massive server crash and teaching is at a standstill. This is when Lisa comes up with an idea that will save the school — “Learning while Doing.” Springfield Elementary becomes a Waldorf School! From there the students learn by doing — in Simpson-esque, tongue-in-cheek fashion, of course. By the end of the episode, their new Waldorf Education helps them win a mathlete rematch.   AWSNA was honored to have been featured in such a positive light in The Simpsons Season Finale and several Waldorf schools are responding with tributes to The Simpsons. A collective of handmade hats is being created to send to The Simpsons writers. The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is having students create beeswax figures of The Simpsons characters to share online and with The Simpsons execs....

Putting the Media Monster in Its Place:“Space Management” in the Home

  As National Screen-Free Week approaches (April 18-24, 2011), one CAWS parent shares his perspective on his family’s journey towards a more media-free environment. Paul Hurst is the father of Gillian (age 18), Quenton (age 14) and Rhiannon (age 8). DISCLAIMER! The discussions and suggestions I offer below are based purely on empirical evidence garnered over the past 15 years or so while observing our children and their interaction with media placements in our home “spaces.” During our family adventures we have made plenty of mistakes, missteps and tactical adjustments. We also fully admit to some occasional lapses from “holding the line.” However, these efforts over time have yielded many benefits and in summary have achieved the effects we desired as parents. LEADING FROM THE FRONT Parents’ actions set the tone and rate of their children’s media absorption. If YOU turn on the TV, computer or iPhone during family gathering times to catch up on news or your favorite show or the Nasdaq, or if YOU are answering e-mails or taking cell phone calls during family times, then you are reinforcing the impression that media trumps all. Period. Sorry, there is no intellectualizing or rationalizing your way out of that with your (pick your child’s age). INSIDE THE COMFORT/MEDIA LINKAGE Children wish to be where they feel safe and warm and where social interaction is vibrant. Generally, this is on the first or primary floor. Children will gravitate to spend their time where meals are being prepared, parents are located or where there are siblings to pester. This is also traditionally the floor where the family room (aka “TV/media” room),...